Sunny Stays on Winter Days

Sometimes random things pop up, like a quick little project making a delightful pair of yellow and cream striped stays.  How could I resist!

I have a lovely client, also named Lauren, who is a silhouette artist back East, and needs some accurate 18th c. underpinnings STAT.  She wanted them to be breathable, indestructible, and comfortable.

I selected a 100% cotton upholstery fabric, for toughness, and have lined in unbleached cotton muslin.  Lauren also wanted a short front for comfort, and front and back lacings so she can get into it by herself.  We’re also doing removable straps.

One side is already armored, the other awaiting attention.  You
can see the zigzag decorative stitch.

I’ve patterned Lauren’s Sunny Stays to have short little tabs at the waist, which will allow the stays to flare over the hips, but will not extend too far.  The center length is only a few inches below the waist, which will make these stays comfortable for long hours of sitting.  The back is cut lower than usual, so as not to show above the neckline of gowns and jackets (I have this problem with my current stays).

Left side is armored, the right side not.  I did some pattern matching
on the stripes, so it looks like all one piece…but isn’t, mwahaha!

These stays are fully armored, and I’ve done a somewhat creative boning pattern, with interlacing of the channels, and some zigzagging in the “dead zones,” which is both decorative and keep the fabric from buckling through those areas.  I’m using 1/4″ zipties for the majority of the stays, and 1/2″ monsters for the front and back edges.

The stays will spiral lace over a stomacher that will have a chevron pattern made with two pieces of the striped fabric.  To finish it all off, I will bind with self-bias, which will create a playful pattern with the stripes.  These are entirely too fun!  More photos later as they progress.


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