Finished Project: Late 18th Century Stays

Long time no post!

I have been struggling to keep up with all the sewing I’ve been wanting to accomplish, and after my last blog post about these, which I was feeling so positive about these, that I was very dissapointed that they didn’t come out as I anticipated.  Determination to actually have a useable object, instead of a finished project I wasn’t happy with, made me quickly revisit these to get them to be better, even though I was anxious to start sewing gowns.

After hand binding all the bottom tabs, I tried on the stays and it was no good. My mock up must have stretched on me.  So, I had to chop them at the underarm and insert a panel on each side.  Then, I had to rebind all the tabs.

I was really anxious to get these finished, because I only have a few weeks left and I was hoping to make at least two new outfits, so I machined down as much of the tabs as I could.  The other side got stitched down by hand so the machine stitching wasn’t seen.

Because my shape is more up and down than conical, I added these large bust pads that wrap from near the underarm and around to the front of the stays.  I hand basted several layers of cotton batting together, covered them in white muslin, and then hand stitched them into the stays so I could remove them later if I needed to launder them or replace them.

I still don’t have my other proper undergarments, but it’s enough to get the shape so I can move forward!  If I have time, I’d like to cover my laces in the green contrast fabric.

The good news is that it ended up working out much better.  The bad news is that I think I was overambitious with my piecing and I think they’re a smidgeon too big now.  Oh well!  They’ll work for now.  Heavens knows I don’t want to rebind those darn tabs again!

This was finished a few days late for the challenge, but this was my entry for the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #13- Lace and Lacings.

2 Comments on Finished Project: Late 18th Century Stays

  1. Kendra
    August 10, 2013 at 10:16 am (4 years ago)

    Ugh, perfecting the fit on stays is so hard! I think it’s an art unto itself, one which I have yet to get very good at. At least your stays are pretty and done!

    • Lauren
      August 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Kendra! It’s such a hard thing to do, and so hard for me to wrap my brain about things like stays and corsets. I think I’m trying to make them more complicated than they actually are! HA :)

      Thanks so much! All your 18th century things are gorgeous, so I’m thrilled you like my stays.