Friday, April 22, 2011

Evidence at last

Finally some documentation that I have not completely been twiddling my thumbs in the 18th century, haha. But first, credit to some very helpful resources: Nicole at Diary of a Mantua Maker had a couple of tutorials that were the inspiration for my chemise and pocket (ok so it wasn't just inspiration, I pretty much straight copied because her instructions were so excellent), and Lauren at American Duchess was so wonderful for patiently emailing me a little more detail about what went into her beautiful Sunny yellow-and-white stays that I did not even use a stay pattern, I just went by her photos and extra info.

I sewed up a dreadful mockup of the stays before I started with my real fabric, and this must be the ugliest mockup in the history of such because I was just throwing together whatever materials I could find (or whatever thread happened to be on my machine).

 Aren't they awful? But based on that, I now have...this!

 They are fully boned with plastic zip-ties, the big kind, with metal grommets (I did get around to covering the front ones but what a chore), an outer layer of cotton upholstery fabric that has a subtle white stripe, an inner layer of some fabric I already had but can't identify (it's like canvas, only brushed soft?) and a lining of linen. The binding is blue cotton, with blue satin ribbon for lacing.

I have to admit, my tabs, particularly towards the front, turned out really bizarre. Not thinking, I did not cut one tab on each side near the hip bone, and then the squiggly bit in front, well, I don't know what happened there. They don't look like any stay-fronts I've ever seen but oh well, they hold my tummy and hips in, and surprisingly don't dig in to my thighs when I sit down. They are really quite comfortable.

And another view from the back, with the as-yet uncovered metal grommets *wince*:

If I were doing this project again, which I yet may, I may try them with straps, better-placed tabs, closer under-arm-cut and a higher back. I actually have them laced tighter in the photos than I intend to wear them, so hopefully that will release the hilarious over-the-stay bulge effect going on here. I haven't tried them on under my anglaise gown yet so I'm hoping that they will give me a nice solid silhouette that will take care of some of the strange torso-ripples that were going on before.

And also, my rather dreadfully embroidered pocket:

And my shift! Which I did not photograph on myself due to its extremely see-through nature.

I'm sneakily abandoning the men's breeches for the weekend to work on a navy-blue petticoat to dress my striped anglaise down, and then I will try to get some pictures of that up!

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