The Dreamstress asked me to share a little about the stays I’ve been working on.
|Those extra grommets at the bottom are me messing up. Ignore those, pls. 🙂 I apologize for vague modern underwear sightings as well.|
These stays are cut for the 1780s “prow front” fit, which means that the bust is pushed upwards, while the waist is pulled in. This differs from earlier styles that are flatter in front and create a more conical shape.
|All the undies on together.|
The pattern has a major change in the shape of the front pattern piece. Instead of a straight edge to meet the Side Front piece, it is quite curved. This pulls the stomach in and creates a very curved front – you sometimes see this with German and Italian bodies of the 16th c., too. Another change with the 1780s styles is the boning patterns. Half-boned stays appear, but don’t let the name fool you, there is quite a lot of hardware in the front of this thing – two layers with vertical stays (1/4″), another two layers at the top with horizontal stays (1/2″), all tucked neatly away under the lining.
|Click for notes.|
I chose to make my stays front and back lacing, so I can get into them myself, and adjust as needed. While this breaks the line of horizontal boning that spans the chest, the support is really quite good. Prior stays have been too short-waisted for me, which put them too low in front, and caused all kinds of weirdness, including muffin top, but with this pattern, I extended the strap tab quite a ways up, and ran one boning channel right up it, containing a 1/4″ cable tie (not too stiff) – something like this is seen in the Diderot stays pattern. It makes a huge difference in controlling side-boob.
|Diderot Stays pattern, showing boned strap tab, and also the horizontal stays across the chest.|
The ribbon straps I have no documentation for. I simply made them up, the reason being so the strap tabs in front would be pulled in close to the body instead of sticking out, because they contain that one channel of boning. I also despise straps that manage to *always* show underneath the necklines of gowns, and since I like low and wide-cut necklines, I opted for something discreet and that could be easily removed.
What’s historically accurate? the patterning, the boning pattern, the resulting shape of the torso
What’s not historically accurate? the metal grommets, my undocumented ribbon straps, my boning materials, the bias-cut binding, and my method.