Monday 23 March 2015

17th century stays, mostly

I haven’t updated in two months, which must be some kind of famous first. I have had the flu, which effectively benched me for three weeks and has left me sluggish and very non-productive for the three weeks that came after.

I have written an article for Foundations Revealed about 17th century stays. Great fun but let me tell you, it is a black hole. I think I can safely say that nothing specific have been written about stays and that period, so I have found my information in small bits and pieces all over. It’s also extremely annoying when you read scholarly works that states that stays WERE NOT WORN before 1680 which is just plain wrong. I also found that I had to cut it and just focus on extant stays and bodices and not at all on paintings and pictures which I had originally planned. I’m not sure when it will be published, but it will be in April.

I am sewing, but very sporadically. I have come so far in the cursed banyan for J that I only need to hem it. It will be so nice to see the end of that project. I am also making a toile for a pair of 17th century stays. I’m basing it on the pink stays in V&A and using my 18th century stay pattern s as template, which means a lot of redrafting. My friend Lithia helped me, I simply donned my stays, put on a fitted toile and Lithia drew that pattern pieces on it and fixed the shoulder strap.

It looks rather messy…

I have now made a new pattern and am currently sewing boning channels in it. I have to make a boned toile or I am sure it will be something wrong with it. It’s a bit of a challenge as the pink stays were clearly made for a slender lady with an average bust, and I am more rotund and has definitely not an average bust size. We’ll see how it looked when I try it on. I have my fabric ready, anyway, a pale green-gold satin with dark green ribbons.
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