Second 18th century stays

August 01, 2017

Hello lovelies,

I was not satisfied with the 18th century stays I made a while back. (link)
They were a bit too long for my short torso and I lost a bit of weight so they were a bit too big too.
The pattern I used was the same as before. It's called half boned Diderot stays (halbversteifte Schnürbrust in German) and I bought the pattern from Nehelenia Patterns. 

I used three different layers, the inner layer was white cotton, the middle layer was a very sturdy material, I think cotton too?, and the outer layer was pale pink satin.
Due to my previous work on stays I didn't really document every step on my way, therefore parts of my sewing progress are missing.

My first step was to cut out all parts and sew back and front from each layer.
Afterwards I pinned them together (I was too lazy to baste them) and with the wonderful help of my magic markers I drew the tunnels on the fabric.

I was a bit anxious if the magic marker would disappear after sewing but I shouldn't have because it worked really well and there were no pink lines after a good douse with water.

All the lines are gone and magic marker is now official going on my fave sewing supply list.

Instead of first putting in the steel boning in I did the holes first. Last time I did it the other way around and complained about how the steel made the stays absolutely not flexible at all.
I am still not good at doing button holes but at least they look better and are bigger than on my last stays. 

Almost done with the holes. 

My next step was to put in all of the steel boning and the bind the top and bottom.
I made the cotton bias tape myself because I couldn't find one under 1.5cm width.
The bias tape was only about 1.2cm wide but more pleasant to work with because it got in all the nooks and crannies of the stays.

During that time I called the stays my flesh poker because that's what it literally did. My legs are part cat scratches part needle pokes from the stays. 

In this step I also became half robot. No idea why I didn't start to use a thimble much earlier because they are life savers.
I first did the top part because I wanted to start easy and then I moved down to the bottom part.

I found out that laying on the sofa with the head propped on some pillows and the needlework on my lap is much better for my posture and it doesn't result in severe neck stiffness and pain. 

As for sewing the stays I first did the back and then hand-stitched the front. It took some time because I had a mild tendinitis and therefore had to stop and continue the next day. 

And halfway through. My binding also looks better than my my last one.

The last step was to do four more holes and then I was officially done.

This is how the stays look like on me.

The spiral lacing is a bit off because my boyfriend didn't know how to lace it correctly, but he will learn.
Apart from that I like how it looks but I think I will add another hole on the left side of the stays and also sew another chemise.

Time needed: I made it over the course of one week. I would have been faster but thanks to a re-occurring tendinitis I had to stop a few times.
Cost: Nothing, I had all the material at home
Satisfaction: 5/5

All the best,

Auris Lothol

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