Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fully-boned 1760's stays in progress

Here we go again. I might have said I've had enough of stays for this year but now I've been making new stays for mid-18th century costumes. I based the pattern on the oldest pair of existing stays in Finland and you can see them here. The original is made out of 8 panels of pale brown linen (plus shoulder straps) and the 5mm wide boning channels are stitched in blue silk thread. With two small black-and-white photos of the stays in Dress of Gentlewomen in Finland in the 18th century by Riitta Pylkkänen and the one blurry photo from the web, it was a bit hard to imitate the boning pattern precisely. However, it's quite close to Garsault's  fully-boned stay pattern featured (for example) in The cut of women's clothes by Norah Waugh.

As usual, I mix both modern and period methods for construction. First, after cutting all the pieces, I stitched all the boning channels by machine.

Then I sewed the panels together.

And then inserted the bones (cable ties) into the channels. There are 140 bones altogether.

More w.i.p. photos coming later on as I progress... :)


  1. I like your method of construction. I might do the same. I like the idea of doing the boning channels before I sew all the bits together. Thanks!

  2. I look forward to seeing these complete. You are an inspiration! I need to make a pair of mid-18th c., but I'm nervous.