Sunday, February 06, 2011

Stays or Corsets?

I really should refer to the undergarments I'm making as Stays. Corsets did not come around until just before the Civil War and continued into Victorian and Edwardian periods.

I have worked up a muslin of the first set of stays. I got the wrong size apparently and have inserted an additional panel which may or may not remain (I may end up just widening the panels that I have instead). I cut out all the pattern pieces and transferred them onto muslin. These were whipped together with basting stitches on the sewing machine (major cheat). Then I cut it apart when I realized there was no way it was going to fit around me, and inserted strips of muslin fabric which currently have not pattern parts. In a few places, I widened the muslin patterns parts.

If this passes some sort of muster at our study group meeting, I will take it apart and use the muslin pieces to make new pattern pieces (either tissue paper or a paper grocery bag or some newsprint).

I'm a little stumped as to actual fabric from which to make the stays. I have some nice linen and silk fabric which is tightly woven and might work, but it's very thin and I'm skeptical. I also have some mustard colored heavy canvas type stuff out of which I planned to make a pair of dungarees for Ken to complete his costume for blacksmithing. The canvas might be too heavy for the stays. The other ladies should be able to guide me on this.

I am also in the process of weaving on the inkle loom some cotton tape. We will be able to use it for binding, lacing tape and maybe even for channels for the boning. I'm happy with how it is coming out. I also plan to make several yards of similar tape from linen threads.

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