Jenny La Fleur
The Candy, Jelly Bean or Easter Egg Stays - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
The Candy, Jelly Bean or Easter Egg Stays

Yay pics! These are from yesterday and the sewing of the channels. I did some experimenting and just pinned my two pieces of twill together instead of basting with thread. I pinned around the edge then choose the piece of boning that ran through the middle of the piece and pinned along that line. I started there and worked my way out from the center (like you do with a quilt). It worked just fine – yay some time saved! You will note it’s sewn with green thread, because originally the twill was going to show in the inside.

...but I changed my mind. And so were born the Candy Stays, otherwise named (by the mater) the Easter egg stays! :> The more I looked at the twill the less I liked the color. What can I say; I've been watching too much Marie Antoinette and having visions of jelly bean colored frocks.

Also I decided to follow Jean Hunnisett's advice and mount the horizontal bones on a separate piece of fabric (rather than hand stitching them on like last time) so I needed something. I spied this pink cotton sateen at Hancock’s yesterday and grabbed it. I wanted something that would go with the changeable silk taffeta. Even though I'm making a jacket therefore the stays will never be seen at the same time as the taffeta, I am making these pieces to be worn together and can't help thinking of it as a complete outfit. Anyway I was taken with how nicely the sateen looked with the changeable. (Which of course won't photograph so you will just have to take my word of it. :>) Most fabrics just look like crap next to it, it’s so gorgeous you know.

I had originally wanted a changeable silk for the stays binding but being discouraged with the local selection, the high prices up north and being too lazy to order online, it occurred to me why not bind the stays with the sateen? So I had the fabric cut and THEN looked at the pre-made binding. Lo and behold, what do I find but a perfect match to the sateen! The pre-made stuff may be a poly/cotton but for the hassle it will save me I can totally live with it! :> So I now have extra sateen… enough for matching pannier perhaps? I’m thinking yes. :>

So far I've got everything cut, the silk spray basted to a layer of cotton, the front and back layers each joined at one end and the boning channels attached to the front lining. I think I should insert the boning before I attach everything at the sides. I'm not looking forward to it but it has to be done so I’m resigned. At least I can do that in front of a movie. Right now my headache is back (2 hours before I can take more meds *grinds teeth*) and my brain feels like mush so I'm taking a break. We've ordered take-away gnocci so I think I will dig unto that, slip into a fat induced coma and then pull out the trusty Navy issue scissors and toe-nail clippers to hack away at some cable ties. A riveting evening, no?

music du jour: Mozart

12 comments | comment?
aclisto From: aclisto Date: March 2nd, 2007 12:57 am (UTC) (link)
How exciting! Can't wait to seem them finished
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 2nd, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC) (link)
Neither can I! Thanks! :>
girliegirl32786 From: girliegirl32786 Date: March 2nd, 2007 02:23 am (UTC) (link)
I really love the pink and green combination! As much as I love that raspberry twill, the pink is just so pretty! :)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 2nd, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC) (link)
I know, who can resist a pretty baby pink? :>
chloeandrudy From: chloeandrudy Date: March 2nd, 2007 03:39 am (UTC) (link)
Yeah, this is the first time I've ever *seen* anyone working on stays, so it is interesting.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 2nd, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC) (link)
Oh, I'm glad you are finding it so! I'm making mine according the method on Mara Riley's site. Same way I did it last time - well mostly the same. :>
chloeandrudy From: chloeandrudy Date: March 3rd, 2007 02:27 am (UTC) (link)
I find a lot of things that I'm making are totally alien to me. I've never seen them so I try to make it without knowing what the heck it's supposed to look like. Someone can say, oh do this and this, using some term I've never heard of, and I give them *The Blank Stare*.
And since photos are not three dimensional, it's even hard to to figure it out that way, because I want to turn it over, turn it inside out, just how DID you DO this? I'm one of those who needs someone to hold my hand for me and explain. But photos do help immensely.
mlsdesigns From: mlsdesigns Date: March 2nd, 2007 08:56 am (UTC) (link)
i think i'm being very thick, are the stays going to be green or pink? are they green with a pink lining and binding, with raspberry interlining? or all pink? i'm sure i'm being very thick, but my brain is a bit mushy at the moment :) either way, i love your colours, and the dress fabric is b-e-a-u-tiful!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 2nd, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC) (link)
You aren't thick - I keep changing my mind! The stays are green silk outside (mounted to white cotton), raspberry interlining (two layers) and pink cotton sateen lining with pink binding.

So the stays will be green to match the quilted petticoat and bound in pink to match the silk taffeta jacket I'm making to go over them. Hope that helps!
jennil From: jennil Date: March 2nd, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC) (link)
"What can I say; I’ve been watching too much Marie Antoinette and having visions of jelly bean colored frocks."

You are so not alone! ;)

I meant to ask how you find the cable ties hold up after multiple wearings? Do they start to bend/mold into a non-18c form at all? I'm figuring not, since you are using them again, but hey, I'll ask anyhow, because I need a new option for boning stays. My old ones are fully boned with reed, but I was thinking I would like less boning with my new stays, and I don't think my reed can stand up to the test. I don't want to order a billion pieces of metal boning online and have to a.) pay for that and b.) wait for it to arrive. (Want the stays now, LOL!) And I'm so glad you put a picture of what cable you are using. I always picture the wimpy little ones they have at Wal-Mart, but I will have to make a stop at Home Depot to find the sturdier sort you are using!

Oh, and I think your fabrics are lovely! Especially the shot silk. People who use pink/yellow shot silk for making 18c costumes obviously have fabulous taste. ;)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: March 2nd, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC) (link)
People who use pink/yellow shot silk for making 18c costumes obviously have fabulous taste.

Absolutely - the best taste! *hee hee hee*

I've found the cable ties to work quite well. They have just enough give to be comfortable but not so much that they form to your natural shape. I have had them begin to mould to me after hours of wear (I'm talking 7+ hours, dancing and in the heat) but after laying flat again overnight they are back to normal (remember whalebone had give to it and would mould a bit after time so I think that is a good thing). My horizontal bands have stayed kind of curved but that is because that is how I store them most of the time, my bin not being quite big enough.

To be honest, it's the fabric that has given out on my old pair, not the ties. Make sure you use something sturdy – my new stays have more layers and a stiffer twill than the last pair for just that reason. I suspect that the ties wear similarly to the German whalebone Farthingales sells. If I hadn't found the cable ties that is what I would have used. The advantage (not having actually used them) is that the German is smaller in width (if that matters to you), it's more finished (smoother edges) and comes in a roll (less wastage). Cable ties on the other hand can be found locally and are a fraction of the price. I’ll be able to bone my whole stays for $10-12 – it’s hard to beat that!

FYI, I have seen those "wimpy" ties used but with multiple ties per channel. (Jessamyn used them here) I think you really have to fully bone for the little ones to work and I would also add steel or large ties to the seams in that case. But I'm not a stick figure and need sturdy boning. :> I’d like to try it someday, as I love the look of all those little baby channels.

The large cable ties are to be found in the electrical section by the way. ;>
jennil From: jennil Date: March 2nd, 2007 05:21 pm (UTC) (link)
Thank you for all that info! You know, when you mentioned the Farthingales plastic boning, little bells went off in my brain. . . I think I may actually have ordered some of that a while back to check it out. I'll have to have a rummage through my "miscellaneous supplies" drawer and see if I did! But the cable ties sound like a great option. I'm all about being cost-efficient, especially now that I've bought all this fabric lately (bad, Jenni!), and also, these are not the only 18c stays I'll be needing to make between now and Costume College, if all goes well. *winks mischievously* And, the twill I'm using is ridiculously heavy. The swatch seemed fine, but once I started making these, I thought, wow, this is too heavy, and that is why I started entertaining the idea of partially boning them. I wasn't looking forward to splitting, cutting, and sanding reed for each channel anyhow, so - sounds like my "wrong" twill will actually turn out for the best. Yay, serendipity! :)

"I think you really have to fully bone for the little ones to work and I would also add steel or large ties to the seams in that case."

For my old 18c stays (the ones I fully boned with reed) that's just what I did. I put steel in the CB channels (on either side of the eyelets), the CF channels, and all the on-seam channels. Everything in between is reed. It worked out really well! I'd wear those stays again, except that now I want pretty pink ones. Of course!

Good to know, about what section to find them in! You saved me from a lot of wandering around all confused, I'm sure. And probably saved some poor employee from confusion as well, when I tried to explain what I'm looking for and why! ;)
12 comments | comment?