Friday, 14 January 2011

1790's stays in progress

The fashion of the 1790’s is reeling between the earlier 18th century and the upcoming Regency fashion, and stays seem to reel too. My love for the 1790’s is quite new, but in the last year I have made three gowns from that period, so I felt that it was about time to make a pair of stays that were more correct for the period. Then I got really inspired when Katherine Hay posted about an extant pair in Corsetmakers in December. I want stays like that, the kind that are more like earlier 18th century stays in shape, but shorter and tables. For a pattern I once again turned to Norah Waugh and based my pattern on the front and back-laced pair that have the four stuffed balls attached to the back. I used the pattern I drafted for my un-finished stays as a template and came up with this. Picture of those can be found this old post on my stay-making history.

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Mats made sure I did it correctly.
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I’m making it out of two layers of white linen and one of light blue silk taffeta. I also added a small stomacher. I have never seen that on stays from that period, but my weight fluctuate a bit and I want stays that I can use even if my weight differs. There will be shoulder straps too, but they aren’t cut yet. Here they are with the silk basted to the linen.
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You may wonder why the silk doesn’t completely cover the linen. Well, that has to do with the fabric. Last summer I planned to make a striped robe battante. I wanted it in light blue and white and found the perfect fabric. I ordered and the colours were exactly what I wanted! However, the stripes were not 8 centimeters wide as I thought, but 8 inches… Totally my own fault as the website clearly states the width. So, no robe battante. I do have some plans for the fabric, but there’s a lot of it and I liked the idea of pale blue stays. However, 8 inches are wide, but not as wide as my pattern pieces, so some piercing was necessary.
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I know that it would have been easier to choose another fabric, but I got set on having them in this colour, so piercing it is.

I am now in the process of assembling the stays and I hope to show more of them next week. Though I’m full of admiration for those who hand sew their stays completely, my hands can’t handle sewing through all those layers. So I use my machine for assembling and boning channels and then hand stitch the lacing holes and the binding. My plan is to make them fully boned with stitching and other details in white.

8 comments:

LadyAugstaFredrika said...

Lycka till!

Madame Berg said...

Well, piecing is SO period so yay! And now I really want to re-make my 1790s stays...

BTW, is that your ironing board in the last pic? Because that's exactly how mine looks... :D

Isis said...

Lady Augusta: Tack!

Madame Berg: I know! :D
Yes, that's my ironing board...

Lauren said...

can't wait to see these!!

Lauren said...

Yeah!!!! More 1790's converts :D

Isis said...

Thank you Lauren and Lauren! And I'm stuck at work all weekend and I just want to get home and sew!

The Dreamstress said...

Pretty! And while I am sad that you didn't use the striped fabric for a batante, it does look gorgeous as the stays, and piecing is period!

Isis said...

Dreamstress: The stripes really were too much! But there will be a battante eventually. :)

I must confess that I like to pierce fabric. Not that I do it if I don't need to, but I like the effect.

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