HSF #4: The Complete Underthings

And my first-ever challenge for the Historical Sew Fortnightly is done!

Yesterday I finally finished the Corded Short Stays to go with the chemise you have already gotten a peek at in this post. As I am still a novice seamstress, they have definitely been a “challenge” in more than one way… many raspberries were blown and I am glad my poor sewing equipment is rather deaf to coarse language. But in the end I am quite happy with the result. Here is a summary of the challenge facts. After that, there will be some pictures of the finished sewing adventure for you.

The Challenge: #4 “Under It All”

The Challenge Items: Regency Underthings ( a chemise and short stays)

Fabric: Varied weights of white cotton. Mostly muslin and some pink duck.

Pattern: Sense & Sensibility Regency Underthings

Year: 1800s-1820s

Notions: Unbleached cotton bias tape, 1/8-inch weaved cotton cord, wired plastic boning and a leather lace for the stays; 1 ft. of various bobbin laces for the chemise; No. 1 purl cotton for the drawstrings.

How historically accurate is it? All in all, a good 85 %. The chemise in itself is much more accurate because it was entirely hand-sewn. The stays, however, have some plastic boning and a little machine stitching on some of the inner seams. But I did attach the whole five yards of binding by hand. :)

Hours to complete: About 40 hours for each of them.

First worn: For fitting and taking some pictures.

Total cost: About 15 € for the chemise and 20€ for the stays.

Now here is a look at the finished short stays over the chemise:

The finished product. ( I still need to get used to lacing them properly…)

So you can have a better look at the cording, here is another snap shot from the side. I used some doubled 1/8th of an inch wide cotton cord for it. It provides good bust support and feels nice and soft against the body to boot.

A side view of the cording.

If you have been wondering where the above-mentioned pink duck fabric went: It makes up the interlining. In the right light, it shines through a bit, which was the desired effect. You can see it more clearly through the inside lining:

Here is the lining, with the pink interlining peeking through.

And now, to the project’s biggest blooper: Because of the four months without weekly hand-sewing, my fingers got a bit more poke-sensitive again. So, attaching those five yards of binding and pushing the needle through several layers of fabric was a bit of a chore. As a measure of ouch-prevention, I taped my middle finger below the thimble. It seems the thimble long enough for my funny needle technique has not been invented, yet. ;)

“Safety measures” for hand binding the stays. ;)

Making these short stays has been the most ambitious historical sewing project I have tackled so far. It has been a new, exciting experience. I hope you can enjoy the look of the finished product as well. :) Perhaps I will try making a modern corsage from my folk wear book next. But first, I need to recover from that mountain of binding… ;)

Love, Nessa



2 thoughts on “HSF #4: The Complete Underthings


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s