torstai 20. maaliskuuta 2014

Shift and stays for 1810

The stays are hand sewn from cotton twill and cotton sateen with linen thread. They are bound with cotton tape and have a wooden busk and spiral steel center back bones. They are made using J.S. Bernhardt's Schnürleib Fig.C -diagram in Sabine's excellent 'Short Stays' Studies.

The shift is made from handkerchief weight linen and hand sewn with linen thread.

I had made the shift in 2009 during my (then) short lived desire to make a regency outfit. I had made the sleeves accidentally too tight and I had to figure out a quick fix to that problem. My solution was slashing open the underarm gusset and inserting a gore.

Stays details:

The neckline has a drawstring to adjust the fit.

Busk is held in place by lacing it through two eyelets on the bottom of the busk pocket.


Why you should always make a mock-up:

Making these stays wasn't my brightest moment in this hobby. I was under a tight schedule and because the pattern is so simple, I thought I could get away with just measuring everything carefully to determine the right size for the gores. I took 2 cm off of both sides at the CF edge (4 cm in total) to prevent it being too loose and trusting my math, begun sewing it together. The finished stays fit in their own way but the shape was completely wrong for 1810.

I tried to fix it by adding two more gussets on both sides of the original bust gussets and changing the shape of them all to more U-shaped. Then I was able to wear it higher and tighten the shoulder straps more to keep it there. Because of that, the waist of the stays doesn't hit my natural waist anymore meaning the hip gores are now cut too high. And I'm not perfectly happy with the shape of the neckline now either. But they do provide the necessary support and worked well under my new riding habit. So even if they are not as pretty as they could have been, they are perfectly functional and that's the main thing.

7 kommenttia:

  1. I'm so happy you've given the Bernhardt's stays a try!!! :) Thank you!!!
    Herr J.S. Bernhardt would have been very pleased to see that you've made adjustments to meet your taste and fit. The stays did come with no tutorial at all and in a recent workshop it was amazing to see that everyone assembled it differently, it truly is a very individual pattern.
    I still think that the fit on the last picture is very period and would give the silhouette we often see in fashion plates and paintings. The insertion for the bust gussets could have been cut shorter and widened a bit, maybe you could have added some length to the bodice as when re-sizing the pattern it sometimes proofed too short or long...
    The most amazing thing probably is, that it gives a completely different look/shape than previous stays or following corsets, which reflects how amazingly different this period was fashion-wise.
    Hope the stays proofed to be comfortable for you - usually they mold very well and are highly comfy even when worn a whole day long.


    1. They are extremely comfortable! And if I had managed to cut the first bust gore higher (shorter) or the hip gores lower (again, shorter) or just lengthened the body so that the waist would now sit at my natural waist it would be even more comfortable because the only small discomfort I developed was when I had been wearing from morning until late afternoon was and my shoulders were starting to feel little pressure from the straps because I think it would have liked to creep down to my waist if the straps weren't holding it higher. But that's very minor and my own fault.

      How interesting that you think my first try would have given a correct silhouette too. I was convinced that the bust line was too hard and needed more roundness. But I'm so new to this era. I made a c. 1810 hussar braided riding habit jacket to wear over it and in hindsight that kind of stiff fronted jacket would have worked well over less rounded bust shape too. So in that sense the extra work to change the stays was a bit unnecessary at this point. Do you mean that the completely different look and shape from previous stays and following corsets is very specific to c. 1810/11 or did you mean it in a larger scale like compared to 1790's stays and 1830's corsets? I apologize for dumb questions but I still have so much to learn when it comes to the regency era. :)

      The results from the workshop sound very interesting too. I'm sure not everyone wants their work to be published through the internet, but if you get a chance to blog about it, I'm sure many would find the variation interesting.

    2. Thank you very much for the reply - and there's never such thing as a dumb question:) I was referring to the shape of stays during the period from ca. 1795 - 1820. These mark such a different silhouette and J.S. Bernhardt shows that his pattern/stays clearly developed from the earlier stays, but he tried to transform them in a 'healthier' shape. During that time period was a constant struggle to improve the stays and find new approaches on one hand - and on the other hand women still fancied stays with lots of support, whalebones and shaping. It's highly intersting.
      In one line Bernhardt refers to a book from ca. 1803 where he got some ideas on stays (I have a copy of the book - an english one - but there's no mention of the stays, maybe it was a common thing in fashion magazines etc, where he learnt more about the stays), but we still see this kind of stays in the early 1810s, I suppose they remanined in fashion for quite a while.

      I'm glad you find them comfortable and once you have the fitted pattern they're easy to assemble. During the workshop we received proof that it is easiest to fit the mock-ups with some help. I' m afraud I haven't taken many photos, and the stays aren't done completely yet as our main attention was to assmble the fitted pattern, but if they like to share the results I will put them up on my blog or refer to their blogs.

      Thanks again for assembling Bernhardt's stays, it's very interesting to see how they work on different body shapes :)


  2. Hello! Your dresses are truly amazing! I would like to post some of you pics and info about your blog and about yourself on my blog and facebook page (Steampunk Finland). How can i contact you? Do you have an email address or a facebook page? (for some reason i can not see the email address on your blog profile) Thx! :)

    1. Hi! Thank you very much for the compliment! My email is :)

  3. I like reading about the adjustments for fit! I have to make my own from time to time. :-) It looks wonderful in the end.

  4. Hello!
    I've just discovered your blog while researching 18th century stays, and am absolutely amazed by your technique and style. Everything looks so well made and beautiful. You really have an eye for material & proportions. Looking forward to reading more about your work.