Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Regency stays

I have been working on a pair of Regency stays.  I wanted the stays to be long since I have a fuller figure that is really not conducive to the stays confined only to the bust. I also wanted the stays to be comfortable.  I ran across some amazing research by Sabine about short stays ('Short Stays' Studies) and thought these would be a perfect fit.  Short stays have very little boning while still providing the correct shape.   Sabine provides all the necessary information to make several different types of short stays.  I used her information and quickly whipped up a set using Figure C with full cup coverage. I boned only the center front and the center back to support the lacing. The stays were amazingly comfortable and surprisingly curvy. However, the curves did not show at all under my dress and gave me the correct shape even when sitting!  I am sorry I did not take a picture of my stays prior to starting the alterations (I was rushing to finish them before an event and then plain forgot after).  Thankfully others have gone before me and provided wonderful pictures of the unaltered stays.  Of course Sabine has pictures as well, but also have a look at the lovely work of Abigael of My Darling Dear and the Regency who is posted several times about her version of the stays (J.S. Bernhardt Stays, c. 1810-11Part 2, Part 3) and the always inspirational Before the Automobile who also made a lovely set of these stays (Shift and Stays for 1810). The pair I made looks very like those made by these two wonderful ladies.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the short stays were great, until I had to drive. After one wearing I determined I was going to have to add more support to be able to use these stays for my figure with my modern lifestyle.  I added more boning to each side to support the sides and added cording.  There is not a specific issue I hoped to solve with the cording, I have just always wanted to try it. Originally these stays were 2 layers in all areas except the gussets, so I could simply sew boning and cording channels. To add the cording, I used an awl to poke a hole into the channel and a needle and thread to lead the cotton cording through.  Here are a couple of pictures of the almost corded stays, I promise this time I will get pictures when I next try them on!

In this photo, the right side had had the boning and the cording added. I have just started the left side.

Here is a close up of the left side, where you can see the area with stitching but no cording added yet.

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