Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cording regency stays and finished stays

I finished the cording on the regency stays. I thought I would share some pictures of the method I used to cord the stays.  The cotton cording I used is pretty thick and I needed to widen the needle hole before I could pull the cotton cording into the channel.  I used my corset maker's awl to widen the hole and looped the cotton cording through doubled up regular thread and a blunt needle.  Here is the basic set up:

To start the cord, I poked a hole with the awl:

 After the hole was wide enough, I pulled the cording into the channel using the needle and thread.  At the far end of the channel, I pushed the needle through until the thread came out the other side.  I then used the awl to widen the hole over the regular thread.

Finally, I could pull the cording all the way through.  I then cut off the excess cording.  Here is what a fully corded section looks like from the inside.  You can see the cording a bit at the far end where it was cut off.  The cording fully disappeared into the channels at the first wearing.

Then I finished boning the stays and tried them on.  Here is the very sad part, the cording and boning changed the shape so very much that they are no longer create the correct silhouette for Regency!  They are now too curvy and it shows beneath my dresses.  I think the shape would be alright for Romantic Era dresses, but not the straight skirted Regency styles. Since the stays had such a curvy shape to begin with, I did not realize how much they stretched when worn due the bias cut.  The cording and added boning prevented any stretching.  Now when I lace them up there is a huge gap in the back as well.  Oh well, I will need to try and make a new pair using a different pattern soon!

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