09 November 2007

18th c. strapless stays: fully boned

Strapless stays boned with reed
Originally uploaded by Catrijn.
I've finally finished getting all the boning in and the ends trimmed to the right lengths on my strapless stays. My channels ended up being a bit narrow, so it was more work than in should have been, I think. Anyway, it's 1/4" half-round reed; two per channel with flat sides together. I do definitely like the lightness of the reed - even as a completely boned garment, it doesn't seem too heavy.

My biggest problem at this point is one of size and fit. In the photo, the stays are laying on top of the mock-up used to create the pattern pieces. And it's 2+ inches smaller horizontally (vertical is more or less unchanged). This turns a quite reasonable 2 inch gap for lacing into more like a 5 inch gap, with the dips for my arms being too far forward. I've double-checked my pattern pieces and my unassembled lining against my mock-up, and they're all the right size and include the proper seam allowances. So most or all of this difference is due the the shrinkage from inserting the boning.

So long story short, these stays are nearing completion and it doesn't look like they'll fit me. My plan at this point is to go ahead and put eyelets in and try to wear it as-is, which will hopefully stretch things out again. If not, I'll be thinking about replacing the two center front sections with much larger ones. Either that, or find a very petite lady doing 18th c. reenactment who'd be interested in buying them.

No comments: