Jenny La Fleur
a fine day's work - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
a fine day's work

Considering I didn't work on them for very long I sure got a lot done on my stays yesterday! I'm pretty jazzed with how quickly they are going together - much faster than the first time around. :>

I started with the bust gussets. Taking my "fashion fabric" (a pale chartreuse cotton sateen left over from a Tea gown) I cut along my markings then folded back the fabric and pressed with a steam iron.

I then took the bust gussets and after basting them together (wrong sides together) with my handy basting spray, I marked the seam allowances on them with a washable pencil. I had to pull out my old stays to figure out what the seam allowance was! Apparently I added ½" which seems a little excessive to me now. I would probably make it more like 3/8" next time.

Then starting with the straight side of the gusset, I carefully pinned the gusset to the sateen front, using the blue pencil markings as my guide. Fudging where needed of course. After everything was pinned in nicely, I used the machine to top stitch the gussets in place, stitching as close to the edge as possible and using a small stitch length. I then snipped off the excess point at the bottom of the gusset and trimmed down the sides as needed.

I then took the lining (a white cotton twill) and repeated the process of cutting along my markings, folding back the fabric and pressing with a steam iron. I then laid the lining on top of the sateen (wrong sides together) and after spray basting the bottom of the piece together I carefully lined up the gusset openings, this time using the stitching line as my guide. Once that was all pinned into place I whip-stitched the lining in place along the gores and spray basted the rest.

To stabilize the piece a bit (the spray basting is temporary after all!), I stitched the channel for the busk down the center of the front. After some experimenting (and some ripped out stitches!) I figured out the size channel I needed for my cording and ran two cording channels alongside the busk as well.

I then turned my attention to the hip gussets. The first one was easy, just like the bust gussets. The one that is inserted into the seam though took me a little pondering. Looking at my old stays I don't have the faintest idea how I inserted it last time. So no help there. After a bit of Think-Think-Think, I decided that the easiest thing to do would be to sew the seam together, leaving space for the hip gusset un-stitched. After stitching I ironed the seam allowances open and again using my markings as a guide pinned the gusset in.

After I stitched the gusset in I realized I should have only included the sateen layers in my seam, so I could finish the seams off by folding over the lining and whip stitching down. I did it for the side piece but not the front. Lame! I didn't feel like ripping out all that stitching though so I left it. Like with the lining of the front I spray basted the area around the gusset, then pinned the lining in place and whip stitched it down by hand. So I have half a seam showing there which bugs me a little but not enough to redo that hip gusset!

I then attached the back piece, seams showing and ironed toward the back. That I did on purpose knowing from experience that if I need to address fitting issues in the future (like weight loss *crosses fingers*) that easiest thing is the remove the back piece and either trim or replace it. I did that at least once on my old stays, one of the reasons they lastest so long! I'll whipstitch that seam down eventually.

So here are my stays as they sit this morning. On to the endless channels ...


9 comments | comment?
dawnluck From: dawnluck Date: July 16th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC) (link)
They look fabulous, Jenny! Is this the Hunnisett pattern? I think I remember you mentioning that you adapted this from your previous stays. I’m going to enjoy project updates on this! WOW! :o)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: July 17th, 2009 12:55 am (UTC) (link)
Thanks! Yes, it's the Hunnisett pattern. I leaned heavily on Past Patterns 001 for the cording design and construction on that original one as well.
fancyfrocks From: fancyfrocks Date: July 16th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC) (link)
Those look beautiful!
I only made that pair of Regency stays at costume college and I hate them. I admire your skills of a staymaker.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: July 17th, 2009 12:59 am (UTC) (link)
Aww... too bad! Why do you hate them? The pattern, the fit?

Thanks! Honestly I'd rather make a frock or hat any day but there is something deeply satisfying about stay making. I'm not sure why that is, maybe because they aren't easy...
bauhausfrau From: bauhausfrau Date: July 16th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC) (link)
I don't know how much you plan on machine sewing it but just fyi there is an extra machine you can use. Looking forward to Sat! :)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: July 17th, 2009 01:03 am (UTC) (link)
Thanks! I'm not sure either. I'm hoping to get my stays to the handwork stage before I leave but I was also thinking I might take advantage of another costumer in the room and work on my Charles toile. Either way I think I'll just bring my machine anyway. It's light and I'll be faster on it. :P

I can't wait!
muddled_musings From: muddled_musings Date: July 17th, 2009 12:58 am (UTC) (link)
Wowza girl!!! You are just steaming ahead on this one! It looks fantastic so far... good luck with all those fiddly channels. ;)
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: July 17th, 2009 01:05 am (UTC) (link)
I know - I'm totally whaleing on them! Whoo hoo!

I'll slow down once I get to the cording. At least I assume so... :P
girliegirl32786 From: girliegirl32786 Date: July 18th, 2009 02:14 am (UTC) (link)
That is a great day's work!
9 comments | comment?