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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Elizabethan-Costume's Stay Diary: Part 2 - Finished

I recently just tried on my stays and am happy to say that they function rather well! Even though they don't look pretty, I'm rather pleased with the flattened silhouette they give me, which looks very period.

I have to say that I'm not too fond of how they look, though. The fabrics I used (faux suede and a velvety pile fabric) could be more 18th Century, such as linen and silky taffeta, and the overall look appears very rushed and untidy - i.e. there are still lines where the tension was wrong, giving the thread a bobby effect, on show, and I haven't tried too hard to get rid of my basting stitches, as they're hidden in the rather sloppy bias binding...
But still, I managed my second period garment! The fichu is my first item, as I like to start with the undergarments of an outfit first.

For the boning I gave up on spiral steel as the little caps that go with them got stuck in my stay channels, as I didn't have the correct equipment to do it properly; getting those little, um, things out broke all my nails. Very annoying, but it had to be done. So instead I used plastic cable ties, which work like miracles in corsetry - I was so pleasantly surprised with the results!
Then I very messily added bias binding from the corner shop (I'm very lucky to have a sewing shop just one field away from my home, and the ladies that run the shop can't get rid of me!), which went wrong as the cable ties got in the way and wrecked havoc with my sewing machine.
The grommets were stitched by hand with embroidery thread, I'm pleased to say. I love stitching by hand as I can put music or Jeeves and Wooster on and just sit on my bed, sewing away. However, I'm not sure which stitch I used, as buttonhole looked too advanced for me, so I just made something up as I went along, which turned out okay in the end - I think it was satin stitch.

Next time, I'd like to have a go with the spiral boning that I purchased, and adapt my pattern that I drafted from Elizabethan-Costumes, making it longer with a busk, metal grommets, and prettier fabrics. I'd also take more care to make it neat and well-presented - but for now I'll just call them peasant stays.

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