Wednesday, June 27, 2012

1790 stays


I am finally finished with my new 18th c. stays, so I thought I would share some pics of the finished product along with a few notes about the construction.



I used the 1790 brown jean stays pattern in Jill Salen's Corsets.  The original stays were quite tiny, but they had great proportions to them.  I enlarged the pattern by 118% on my copier, added an inch to the length, and that's pretty much it.  The original owner was obviously bustier than I am, so I probably could have taken some room out of the top, but it still works fine as it is.  I also changed it from front opening to back opening so I wouldn't have to be quite as precise with the fitting.  

My stays are made with a double layer of linen canvas with a layer of pink wool twill on the outside.  They have a lightweight linen lining that I stitched into place once everything else was finished.  The boning channels are hand sewn with 60/2 linen thread, and the different sections of the corset are whip-stitched together with 16/2 linen thread, which BTW was probably overkill because it was very thick and heavy.  The joins are covered with 1/8" cotton tape, and the edges of the corset are bound with 1/2" cotton tape.   It is boned with 5/8" half-round cane.

I made a few rookie mistakes with this project since it was my first time making anything as complicated as a pair of hand-sewn stays, but I learned a ton and I'm sure I'll do much better next time.  I also want to give special thanks to the blog Before the Automobile.  Her most recent stays are a TRUE masterpiece, and her amazing work and incredibly helpful photos and notes are what inspired me to finally be brave enough to make some hand-sewn stays of my own.  



ZipZip said...

Dear Jen,
The lines, silhouette, and stitching on the corset are beautiful; super-wow!

Very best,


Anonymous said...

Those look lovely, you should be proud of your accomplishment. I at one time tried to hand sew a pair of stays and gave up, the sewing looked like it was done by drunk monkeys. :%

Anonymous said...

Amazing! These are lovely and you look terrific in them!

Amanda said...

They look great! I love the shape 1790s stays give.

Anonymous said...

Your new stays look beautiful! Brava!

Sanna K said...

Truly stunning! I'm more and more inspired to make hand-sewn stays myself now, too! The front looks so awesome and the shape these stays provide is lovely!

Kleidung um 1800 said...

Beautifully made!!! And lovely hand sewn stitches!!!


saraquill said...

How does it feel to wear? It looks really comfortable.

Jo said...

Beautiful! You're right, these stays do have great proportions. They make such a nice shape.

Augustintytär said...

Absolutely gorgeous stays! Your stitching is so beautiful!

And I'm so glad I was able to spread the joy of staymaking. :)

jennylafleur said...

They look amazing - bravo!

Jenni said...

Gorgeous! Lovely handstitching.

Anonymous said...

I love that these photos show off your stitching so well. It looks so nice and straight. I love that you can tell it's hand done, but still so nice and even overall. And the shape is just fabulous. I know whatever dress you put overtop will be lovely, but part of me thinks it's a shame that these will only get admired on the internet! You need to have an undies party sometime to show them off!

Mademoiselle said...

Un corps baleiné magnifique !


costume blog >

Caroline said...

These stays look beautiful. I was stitching the leather binding on mine this morning and it is tough! The cotton looks so nice on yours. I'm regretting not going with that too :/

M'lady said...

I just enlarged the pattern 200% on the copier (so the scale is correct) but it stilllooks tiny to me. Could you tell me the size yours ended up as? It will help me know if I've messed up.

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