Tags: z:archive:18th:stays:diderot


then there were stays, and it was very good

The eyelets are done! *cheers*

I tried the stays on the they fit!! *throws much pink confetti*

Whew, that is a relief. They still gap a bit at the bottom but I think that is as good as it’s going to get. I could probably lace them tighter or try adding more eyelets but really I’m happy as is. So now I need to trim the straps so there is a gap, then work those eyelets before it’s onto the binding.

I think I’m going to take a break from the stays though and detour to the pocket. My Wooded Hamlet order arrived yesterday so I finally have the supplies to finish that up. I’m a little burned out on the stays (particularly eyelet making) at the moment but I don't want to lose my momentum. Besides I really want to actually finish something (anything!) for this ensemble, ya know? :>

please let this be the last time!

I spent this evening working on the stays. I cut the outer fabric, sewed the seams, inserted the boning and basted the edges to keep it all in. In other words, I have the stays to the handwork stage. Next up are the eyelets and whip-stitching the side seams down. Oh yes a finial fitting and the binding, when that arrives. (My Wooded Hamlet order has been on backorder. mreh)

I have two “tips” this evening:
1 – when your stays involve tabs, cut only the lining layer’s tabs. Sew the lining & outer layers together, baste around the tabs, Then cut the outer tabs (using the lining as your template). I did that this second time around and it was much easier to baste the tabs with one piece uncut, as they didn’t want to move so much. It came out much neater too.

2 – If your stays involve horizontal boning, wait to insert is until all other machine stitching is complete. Trying to machine baste the back panels, with the horizontal in place was a serious pain in the butt. If I hadn’t already planned to attach all the binding by hand, tonight would have convinced me to do so. Wrestling with an independently minded pair of stays while trying to sew around a tabbed bottom is an experience I hope to avoid repeating. Not my idea of fun.

You know I think I’ll skip starting the eyelets tonight. I’m anxious to get them done so I can try the stays on but I’m ready to hit the sack. I think this is the thing I hate the most about corset making. You get to the point where it looks like a corset but you can’t try it on until you sew the eyelets. Suddenly unbidden thoughts of a deformed and ugly finished product flood one’s mind.

I’m trying not to be too stressed but I am concerned about the fit of these wretched stays. I noticed a few things as I was sewing tonight that are a cause for concern. I have little fear of changing/altering patterns but I’m not good at anticipating how those changes affect other areas of the garment. That gets me into trouble a lot. I do not want to redo any part of these stays. One re-do is okay, a little fudging is fine but I’ve reached my limit on this project. I’m ready to move on. **crosses fingers real tight* This time had better work or I may have to steal a pair of stays from somewhere. :>

continuing on...

It is such a pain when real life gets in the way of costuming. Anyway, I was able to get back to working on the stays yesterday.

I basted the new back interlining to the lining then moved on to the horizontal boning casing on the front panels. I couldn’t figure out another way to do it, so I handstitched it to the inside. SUCH a pain! The casing was really hard to sew through so it took me forever. I did manage to stay awake long enough to finish though. I must admit, I’m really curious to see what sort of difference the horizontal boning makes and if it is comfortable.

I mostly worked on the back panels today. I got all the channels sewn before I had to put it aside for church and dinner. Later I clipped threads, trimmed the pieces and cut the tabs. I also cut the boning for the horizontal channels and inserted that. Unfortunately the boning didn’t fit in the casing once it was sewn in a curve. In the end I had to insert the boning behind the casing, not inside. Very annoying. If I’d know that I could have just used some bias tape or something. It would have taken me half the time, and sans the sore fingers. *pouts again*

I have a pic or two of what I’ve been up to but I’m feeling very lazy about going all the way downstairs to download them so they will having to wait until later…

correcting the stays part one

I worked on the stays last night, correcting the pattern for the back panels. I ended up adding that 1½”, angled from about 8” up. I also decided to add a ½” to the center back. During the last fitting, the stays were really laced too tight for comfort. I’m trying to anticipate weight loss in the next year, which makes it so difficult to judge. I decided that, if the extra to the CB turned out to be too much I could always take it in. Taking it in would be fairly painless, either at the side seam or the center back it’s self.

I decided in the end not to take any length off. I think once the stays fit better the back waist will be okay. I did angle off the very back slightly but I want a fairly severe point at the center back of my gown so it makes sense to keep it a bit long there. Hopefully I’ve done the right thing.

I cut the interlining and transferred the boning pattern, again using a hot-iron transfer pencil. I had to fudge the pattern slightly from the original but not too much. I’m hoping to work on it some more today (to at least baste the interlining to the lining) but we will see… My to-do list is long today and I’m feeling very lazy.

two steps forward, one step back

Well the fitting didn’t go as well as I’d hoped it would. I was really worried about the length issue but that turned out to be just fine. The problem du jour is that the back is too small. Specifically the bottom part of the back. Curse of the hips strikes again!

My main concern is that the back edges are under too much strain. Those pieces are designed to be more or less up and down, sitting in the small of the back. At the moment they are angling over the waist and hips, sticking out in an odd way. I really don’t think I can fudge it so I will have to completely remake the back panels. I need to redraft the pattern first, adding a triangular extension to the side seam. An inch and a half at the bottom should straighten everything out nicely.

The front looks great so I won’t mess with that, just the back panels. The only issue with the front is that the sleeves pull a little but I think fixing the back with also help fix that problem. I am SO glad I constructed the stays the way I did. It makes ripping out the side seams and replacing them an easy thing to do.

All in all it could have been worse. I have to fix it but it’s a fairly painless, if slightly time consuming, thing. Luckily I have lots of fabric to play with and some boning left over if I need any. *sigh* I think the problem is due to using an historic pattern on a modern body. Oh well! I still love the pattern and the shape it gives me… the gown is going to be such fun to make!

last of the eyelets

I just finished up the last eyelet on the stays. Yay!

I’m hoping I’ll have time to try it on and fit it tomorrow morning but it may not happen until Thursday. I have to take a friend to the Richmond airport at noon and then I have a "date" to get together with Bridget while I'm on her end of the world. Ah, the price of friendship. :>

two down, 122 to go :>

The past few days have been packed with "real life" stuff so I wasn’t able to even look at the stays again until late last night.

I sat in front of a DVD and marked out the eyelet holes. I got two of them stitched before sleepiness lulled me to bed. Actually I stitched three, but I had to rip out the first one. I'd stitched it from the wrong side and couldn't leave it looking crappy. Sewing late at night is always risky. :>

the stays are getting there...

I began my day by cutting the tabs. I then marked where the horizontal boning will go. Silly me, I forgot that because my front is in two pieces, I can’t sew the casing on until the pieces are sewn together. Duh! No worries, just as well probably. If I have to adjust the length at all I’ll have to do it from the top (I’m not messing with those tabs now!) so there is no sense in placing the boning there until I fit it.

Once the seams were sewn up, I started work on the boning. Having a pair of very sturdy scissors helped a lot but it was hard, slow going, cutting and shaping all those bones. I hope I don’t have to do that again for a while! Good news is that it was very do-able and that I had enough boning. I bought two packages (10 24” pieces in each) and I should have 3-4 pieces left over. I do have to buy some more Rigeline though. I ended up needing narrower boning in a few places to get the original boning pattern to work. I’ve found that Rigeline folded in half width-wise makes sturdy ¼” boning.

Once all the boning was in place, I ran a very sloppy (machine) basting stitch along each edge, just to hold everything in place. Then I took some pics and cleaned my room. Next step is to do the math, mark and sew the eyelets so I can try the thing on. It does look good though so far, even on Narcissa. I can’t wait to try it on but I’m slow with eyelets so I’ll have to exercise a little patience.

Sterling virtue, patience. Too bad it’s really not my thing.

more channels

I didn’t get too much sewing done today. I am in a baking mood so I spent most of my day making a mushroom quiche and some carrot & oatmeal cookies. Oh yes and cleaning up the kitchen before and after. The quiche was very good, especially as I took the time to make the pastry this time but the cookies need some perfecting. I burned the first batch and overcooked the second. I’m a wiz at pastry & sauces but cakes & cookies are not really my thing. Practice makes perfect, right?

I did get the channels in the back done and the pieces trimmed. I also cut out the lining pieces. I decided that I preferred the “plain” side better so I won’t be showing the stitching after all. Beyond the large channel issue, I did a rather sloppy job with the stitching and I just a-soon hide it. Mom’s take on the subject was that it didn’t look like a corset if you couldn’t see the stitching. :>I’ve never had one like this actually so we will see if I like it.

I had the seams almost all pinned together when I realized that I’d forgotten the horizontal bust bones and to cut the tabs. The tabs are marked on the interlining and I’d planned on attaching those casings to the inside so I have to take them all apart now.

I think I’ll just call it a day. Bridget is expected home any minute. We are going out for Chinese for dinner and then a family game afterwards. Sounds like a good stopping point to me! :>

boning channel fun

My quick trip to Home Depot for cable ties turned out to be a few hours worth of errands. How is it that always happens? Anyway… When I started to sew up the channels, I had a bit of panic moment. The cable ties turned out to be thicker than I thought they would be. They are a good 3/8” wide by 1/8” thick and therefore required ½” channels to fit properly. I sewed a few and thought it couldn’t be right. I just knew I had bought the wrong thing and I would hate such thick channels.

After some consultation with elegant_musings, I calmed down a bit. Her cable ties were exactly that size as well. I decided that if that is what she used then I'd continue on. I’ve seen her Ren corset in person and liked it. In other words I didn't look at it and think "Oh wow, look at those huge boning channels", which is what I was concerned would happen with the stays.

I really think I’ve been working with ¼” and 1/8th” hemp cording channels too much lately! It must be bad when ½" is looking huge.

I finished all the stitching on the front pieces and honestly, now that I see a complete piece, I don’t think it’s that bad looking. If I decided I really hate the finished stitching, I can always turn the self "lining" into the outer fabric and not show the boning from the outside at all.

So the fronts are all ready to be trimmed… on to the backs! They should be a breeze as there is less boning. One nice thing about big boning – it means less channels which means less sewing. Works for me! *grin*