So, like much of my costume wardrobe, my 18th century stays aren't fitting so well these days, so I decided to make a new pair. I've never tried making a later 18th century pair of stays, so I thought I'd try out JP Ryan's new half-boned stays' pattern (pictured above).
Unlike her fully boned stays, I've experienced some fitting issues with this pattern. I usually really like JP Ryan's patterns, but I've had some frustrations with this pattern. It might have actually been the same amount of work to scale up a pattern from one of my costume books. I had to redraft the pattern, shortening it by 2.5 inches, adding 4 inches in the bust, and shrinking the waist by 2 inches. I had to make two mock-ups - my edits made the pattern the correct proportions, but it was too large. Here's my first mock-up (clearly too big)
I forget sometimes that I'm very squishy. Here's the second mock-up...apparently still too big, even if my dress dummy fooled me:Luckily, I didn't want to make these stays meet in the back as the pattern is designed to do, so I just took the excess out of the final back pattern piece and was back in business.
Now I have to redraw all of the boning lines. This was painstaking work that took over an hour to get right, so I'm slightly frustrated. I'm also thinking the straps might be too short, but that's an easy fix and I have enough left-over fabric. You can barely make out the penciled in boning lines in the photo below: