07 January 2012

New Year, Old Project

It's a new year but it's time to get serious about completing an old and long lingering project--stays. I have been semi working on this for months but have not pushed myself to complete this important garment.

I'm making a pair of front lacing stays, with great guidance from Hallie Larkin. The front panels will have beige silk for the fashion fabric while the side and back panels are plain linen.

After nearly a year and a half of delaying this project (due to pregnancy and nursing), I'm close to completing what I assume will be the most laborious step--creating the boning channels.

Eight nearly complete panels with hand sewn channels.

Looking at them up close, I am rather proud but...

...in my anxiousness to make progress I don't think I have done enough advance research.

I think I spent too much time relaxing and sewing, and I didn't pay enough attention to reviewing the proper direction of boning channels in extent garments. (See how the channels meet at funny angles above?)

Here are three period examples that align differently...

Late 18th century, large front and back lacing stays
Taking advantage of the PMA's great zoom feature, one can see how the boning channels go straight up and do not meet in the middle as mine do. However this pair is late 18th century and the tabs are quite different than mine.

Another pair from the PMA, the boning channels in this example seem  similar to the example above despite their earlier date. 

It's a little hard to tell the direction of the boning channels at the tabs given the photograph's angle, but I think they are also similar to the two previous examples.

While this is a very short survey, I think I messed up. Sew...what to do? Rip them out and restitch a good portion of the channels while further delaying this project--or take this as a learning lesson and be sure not to repeat this mistake in the future?

I'm not sure which path I'll choose, but I do know that if I'm going to get anywhere any time soon I need to order more thread. 

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