Beginnings of the Tan Stays

Monday, July 15, 2013

I was thrilled to get a commission from someone who does French and Indian War reenactment and wanted some 18th century stays made for her. Of course I jumped at the chance! When most of my summer sewing work is mending, hemming, making pillows, and other tedious tasks, a historical garment, and one I have experience with nonetheless, was a definite yes! 

So, I drafted a pattern based on Ashley's measurements, with help from La Couturiere Parisienne's helpful guide as well as various scans I found online of the Diderot stays from Corsets and Crinolines (the book is on my wishlist for sure). I messed up a bit in the original patterning and thus on my first set of stays as well: I had assumed the side seams on the pattern were in fact side seams, and drafted my pattern thus. After a little reconsideration and wondering why my pattern didn't look like the original, I realized they're about an inch back from being a true side seam! Luckily I had only cut out a mockup thusfar, and luckily it was really easy to simply chop off an inch of the back piece and tape it to the front. 

Here is a photo of the front pattern piece lying on the heavy duck fabric that I'm using for the inside layers. I made the front point shorter than usual because Ashley said that her reenactments involve more sitting than standing, and I thought that would be more comfortable for her.

The two pattern pieces side-by-side

The fronts all layered together

The backs all layered together

This is my attempt to show off the outer fabric that Ashley picked out. I think it's some sort of rough cotton or possibly linen, but it's got this silvery sheen to it which is quite lovely and quite hard to capture with a camera! (This was also to show off my new camera, which does quite well in natural light especially.)

I already have all the boning channels done but did not have time to take a picture of that yet. The eyelets will be done by hand, as will much of the binding. It is amazing how quickly sewing the boning channels went, compared to doing them by hand! 

This will be my (probably) one and only entry into the Dreamstress' Historical Sew Fortnightly, late I admit, under Lace and Lacing. I will get it done in 2 weeks however, because I'm leaving Vermont next Tuesday! Time for some speed-sewing!

-Madame T


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