|Please excuse the coffee stain.|
This is my third attempt at early 19th century stays. (You can read about Attempt #2 here.) I used the Laughing Moon Regency Corset pattern in the theatrical version, because I wanted to make something quickly that would create a better shape. I used the pattern for cutting guidance, but the directions mystified me. I didn't follow them.
Red Threaded on Etsy makes an affordable custom busk and speedy shipping.
The edges are bound with cotton tape. I machine sewed little side tucks when fudging with fitting...which probably wasn't necessary.
Mais pas mal.
The single layer of linen/cotton on the side is really evident here...
It shouldn't be a surprise that gussets are so tricky. Finding a well fitting modern bra is hard. A seamstress class in constructing undergarments is looking especially appealing!
In terms of fitting the back lacing...
...the seams seem too close together, but I have a feeling that's how the pattern was designed.
On the scale of Good, Better, Best, these are somewhere between Good and Better. There are fitting issues to overcome, like growing a third arm to help when fitting them on myself, and pattern revisions I would favor.
When sewing these stays, I was amazed by how quickly they came together. My 18th century stays took about three months, these took two weeks.
I couldn't help but wonder what the late 18th century staymaker thought when this new style took precedence over fully boned stays. Was he tired of the years/decades of sewing boning channels and happy to have a change of pace? Was he frustrated that he had spent much of his career perfecting the knowledge of fitting a garment that had become a defunct fashion? Or was he up for the challenge of crafting this new shape for young ladies?
For anyone who has read, or scrolled, this far, what's my secret? What have I been wearing over the last year? Get ready to laugh...
a) It cost $10 (including the shipping) as it came straight from a factory in China via ebay.
b) It created the right shape.
c) It helped me focus on making better gowns, the part of the ensemble people actually see.
It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. What fun would it be if there wasn't any challenge behind the research, interpretation and construction...and coming up with creative solutions?