Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Late 18th Century Stays

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:


The Dreamstress said...

If it makes you feel any better, I helped a friend make this same stays pattern, and we had almost as many problems. I ended up adapting it so much we might has well have started from scratch too!

And the most irritating part is that they ended up not being very comfortable when worn - and we're pretty sure that is the patterns fault, not a fitting issue.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, so what half-boned, 18th century stay pattern (with straps!) would you recommend/have had luck with?

Costume Diva said...

Sadly, this is the only commercial 18th century half-boned pattern that I'm aware of (other than one really bad Butterick pattern that I don't recommend). If I had to do this again, I would get Corsets & Crinolines and size-up the Diderot stays pattern.