Post by dawnluckham on Dec 14, 2007 10:10:44 GMT -5
The stays and chemise in these images are made from the Sense and Sensibility pattern.
Changes: With the chemise I only use the front pattern piece and cut two instead of a front and back. The back of the chemise is cut fairly wide and period “shifts” were rarely this full. Even this one has too much fullness to actually mimic extent garments.
I make the stays with 1 single layer of coutil. I don’t line except in the very front where I need a double layer for the boning channels and the grommets. I use French seams in all areas except the gussets. The seam allowance in the gussets is covered by a piece of ribbon on the inside and machine embroidered to the garment on the outside.
Modifications: I’ve made these stays so many times; I’ve made some modifications that are sometimes used, sometimes not.
The bustle in the back is shaped similarly to extent stays. I sew this bustle into the back of the stays. It’s padded, but could just as easily be boned.
The dip in the front: Some people prefer the stays to cover their tummy. This little dip is attractive and it lengthens the area where the stays are boned to just cover the top of the belly. It stops just under the belly button.
"It is something for a woman to be assured that in her eight-and-twentieth year, that she has not lost one charm of earlier youth." Anne, Persuasion. I totally agree, I only hope it feels the same at nine-and-twenty.
Post by dawnluckham on Dec 15, 2007 10:28:56 GMT -5
Stephanie, it's true that this pattern (and a lot of the other pattern styles from this era) give the kind of "mono bosom" look.
The only pattern I've worked with so far that really does the "lift and separate" thing that the period "divorce corsets" were supposed to do is the Hunnisett full length stays that I posted before. I'm experimenting with a pattern these days that will have a front wooden busk, but will also be short stays. I'm discovering that busk length counts here as well.
I've made the S&S stays pattern countless times for different people (all different shapes and sizes!) and I've tried and tried and no matter what I do in the gussets/ cup area, I cannot make a set of stays that does not squash the breasts together when you tighten the lacing.
The Mantua Maker pattern *should* work. I own the pattern, but there's something about it - it's never inspired me. There are a few Past Patterns stays pattern that are suggested for 1820's to 40's and mid century (sensible stays) that have the right "look" for Regency, but used as the pattern is made up, you're looking at "late" Regency. The gussets need to be shortened to achieve the high level bust line required for the "Empire" waist gowns.
Post by Mme de Beaufort on Apr 15, 2008 13:52:49 GMT -5
I just dove into the pattern again because I'm making the unmentionables for tiny Miss Tara. She's so small... it felt like I was making doll clothes after working on the larger sizes for me. I forgot how simple and easy this pattern is, and how satsifying it is when it's done.
I made the short stays pretty much in one sunday, and cracked out about 80% of the shift last night; I need only add some requested trim.
I decided I like this pattern. It's so versatile and really easy to do. A short set of stays may not be ideal for me, but it will work nicely for Tara.
I really recommend this pattern. I think it's a project that will make you more confident to try more complicated stays later on down the road, and it still serves the purpose of making you the right shape for whatever gown you wear.
Where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right, is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong? ~ Jane Austen
Post by Mrs Parker on Apr 15, 2008 16:12:28 GMT -5
Past Patterns has a pattern for short stays that is quite good. Saundra offers a set of steel horizontal "underwire" bars to help avoid the monobosom effect. They work rather well but the lining fabric has to be sturdy enough to keep the bars from eating through.
Post by Mme de Beaufort on Apr 15, 2008 17:26:44 GMT -5
My next project is to do a back closing, busked set of long stays for myself. Like Cosmo's.
I have my S&S stays, but with my cup size, it tends to just angle out like a platter, and simply didn't work for me. The pattern is still great for beginners, and it will suit Tara; she doesn't need a full long set--she's so lean and thin, that it'll mainly help to create the bust she needs.
I FINALLY have some finished projects, so here is my first post. ;D
I completed the S&S short stays using Dawn's modifications above and some of my own.
I used the dip in the front which I think gives it a really pretty line. I also used the padded bustle in the back.
I added the drawstring at the top, like Dawn's, but didn't use one a the bottom. I made the straps more narrow, coming in some from both sides in the middle, but the pattern size near the ends.
I added some decorative stitching on the gussets to dress it up. I liked Dawn's leaves much better, but this was the best my machine could do. It was all machine stitched (I'm nowhere near good enough to do any of this by hand!).
The bodice was too big around the middle in the initial fitting, but because everything else fit, I just took them in under the arms at the seam on both sides and this seems to have fixed it. I don't have really any more room to tighten them in front, however.
If I make another set, I'd like to add more boning down the sides at an angle to keep things more toward the front. I'd also make them a size smaller than the chart called for (I must, er, "compress" more than the average gal!).
So, you were all a tremendous help in getting these selected and completed. Thanks for all the advice and sewing support!
Your corset came out really nice, Tess. Good job! I had the same problem when I made that pattern where the finished piece was too big in the end, so I'm going to give it another shot, and make sure it's smaller. I also noticed how far down the bottom of the front went. That looks *right* to me, whereas I was thinking when I mae it, that it shouldn't be that long. I'm wondering now if I was wrong. Maybe that was part of the problem I was having fitting it, trying to have it right under my bust. I'll remember that when I start mine again.
I love your stays. Excellent! They look soooo much better than my first sewing projects. I keep them around as reminders of where I started. It helps when a project doesn't turn out exactly as I had envisioned :-)