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.
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:
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.
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:
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. ;)
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… ;)