Sunday, November 21, 2010

18th c Stays

So I've done lots and lots of research into the making of a set of 18th c stays and although the concept of them seems really easy, the execution is not.  I'm on the 4th set and getting frustrated.  I'm frustrated cuz I can make a modern day corset that fits the body beautifully, but am having difficulty achieving the silhouette of the 18th c.  Hopefully with a completely new pattern and new boning it should work out. 

I can't show you the beginning of the 1st and 2nd set of stays since I started making them about 6 months ago and have since gotten rid of them.  They were mock ups anyways just to see about fit.  I finally thought that after the 2nd mock up that I had the fit right.  I was getting so frustrated and then DH pointed out a small detail as to why i was getting a cylindrical shape instead of the conical shape I wanted.  So I altered the pattern to his suggestions.  Sometimes someone who has very little knowledge of sewing, but a very analytical mind can see the flaws you don't, which is why I ask him for he;p sometimes.  :D  I was so excited!  I had found a solution and as soon as we were somewhat settled in in NS I dug out my pattern and fabric and got to work.

Unfortunately the excitement was short lived and when I put on my almost finished stays, they still gave me a cylindrical shape.  AAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!  So irritated that all that time was spent on sewing a completely useless set of stays I thought I would start fresh.

These are the 3rd pair and as you can see the shape it would create is the wrong one.

So I started searching again and came across Fushia's 18th c Dress Project blog and she had a link to a free stays pattern through Ralph Pink's Site, which the link didn't work for here or me so she had another link Which takes you back to the Ralph Pink site but somehow works.  Just download the file and there yah go.  5 free patterns.

So since I had no printer to print out the pattern I did however have stabilizer for embroidery which can be used as a sort of tracing paper.  So I enlarged the pattern in Adobe on the computer and traced it.  Genius I know!  lol.

This pattern is considerably different that the one I drafted.  I thought I was somehow cheating by using a pattern I hadn't drafted, but I can see where I went wrong in my previous attempts.  Besides It doesn't matter how you got there as long as you achieve your goal in the end, (with in reason)  lol.  So I swallowed my conscience and continued.

 And this is the result so far....I ran outta boning so I am waiting for new stuff to arrive.  Hopefully *fingers crossed, this new set will fit.

And I can get on with the fun stuff of making the polonaise.  Although I still have a new bumroll, a chemise, and a couple of petticoats to make first.  After all you can't have a proper fitting garment unless you have the foundation first.

Just a Note:  I admire the other wonderful women who have made 18th c clothing and have the determination to do it all or mostly by hand. I however am impatient and am not a big fan of hand sewing, so I will endeavor to sew as much of the dress by machine as I can...Just saying.  ;)  lol

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