Rather awhile ago I shared with you some photos of a very interesting, atypical pair of 18th century stays held in our local costume and textile collection. There was much discussion as to the date of these stays, the purpose, who wore them, and why such a weird boning pattern.
(sorry, I’m not allowed to show the photos of the original stays anymore!)
Curiosity has gotten the best of me, and I’m going to try these out. There are so many questions to inhibit progress – are they short because they’re transitional? or were they for a child? or a very small lady? – but I thought I’d start by learning about the boning pattern and how it will shape the body.
I drafted a pattern to fit my measurements, to the natural waist. This throws the proportions of the boning pattern off a little bit, and I may find a shorter version shapes differently, but first I want to see the effect these have.
|Left side without boning inserted; right side with all channels sewn and bones added.|
|I marked out all the boning channels in pencil, on the inside layer, and also marked how many and where they should go.|
I’m constructing them from a cotton/linen blend, medium weight, with a layer of buckrammy-crin-stiffy-stuff sandwiched between. This is my progress so far – not much, and they’re not in a state to be put on a body yet, but already it is appearing that they may need a stomacher. The originals in the museum didn’t have a stomacher with them, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist, and other extant stays I’ve found that are front-closing-only have stomachers with them. It makes sense.
|The front pieces with all the bones in, and the channels stitched at the intersections.|
|A close up showing the intersections. I’ve used 1/4″ zip ties for the boning in the body, and 1/2″ on the center front and back edges.|
But that all remains to be seen!