sunnuntai 6. toukokuuta 2012

1780's stays, 2012

My favorite surviving 18th century stays can be found in the Victoria & Albert museums collections. As my previous stays were starting to show signs of wear, I thought it was a good time to make my version of them. The top layer is light brown cotton, the next two layers underneath are linen canvas and the lining is of fine white linen. They are completely hand stitched, mainly with pale blue linen thread, but I also used white linen occasionally and silk twist for the back lacing holes. The pattern is my own and, as I was drawing it, I tried to achieve a close resemblance to the original stays but also to achieve a better fit than in all my previous stays. I have an x body type, and my previous stays have been too tubular to fit me well. I used cane for boning. I was planning on experimenting with high land cattle horn for durability, but as I haven't had problem with snapping in my previous stays and these were to become almost fully boned, I chose 1/4 inch wide flat caning that I narrowed down to an almost tooth pick width of 2-3 mm. The front and back bones are narrowed down from a sturdier 1/2 inch wide flat cane. The seams are covered with narrow silk ribbon and the stays are bound with straight cut self fabric strips as it looks like it was done that way in the original stays too. Armholes are bound with ivory chamois leather.


The construction:

First I outlined the pieces by stitching around the edges through all three layers. After they were outlined, I stitched the boning channels.

Then I boned the channels.

I turned under the center front and center back edges and made the lacing holes. 

Then I turned under the seam allowances and whip stitched them down.

I joined the pieces by whip stitching, covered the seams and started binding the stays.

I finished the binding an added shoulder traps.

The last step was adding the lining.