HSM 2015 #1: Regency Stays

Regency Stays Front

Regency Stays Front

Back View. This is what happens when you try to take pictures when you're tired. The back would line up right if I had laced it right!

Back View. This is what happens when you try to take pictures when you’re tired. The back would line up right if I had laced it right!

I'm a bit proud of my cording.

I’m a bit proud of my cording.

The Challenge: Foundations

Fabric: 2 layers of Cotton Sateen (~1.5 yards)

Pattern: Mine, based on the picture in Underwear: Fashion in Detail by Eleri Lynn. I made the pattern by wrapping myself in muslin then pinning the sides until it looked right. That worked surprisingly well for this style of corset/stays.

Year: 1800-1820

Notions: 12 metal bones of varying lengths,1/8″ cord, kitchen twine, linen thread, and a wooden busk

How historically accurate is it? Pretty darn! They’re entirely hand-sewn using natural fiber fabrics and linen thread. They’re based off a picture of an extant pair of stays. I did use some metal boning rather than reed/whalebone and some of the cording was done with synthetic fibers.

Hours to complete: Approximately 30. The cording took longer than I would have liked.

First worn: Not yet!

Total cost: I bought the materials a couple years ago for this project but never started it so it was already in my stash. I don’t remember the original cost of the materials.

Remember how I said that I was going to use this challenge to get specific things made? Well these stays were one of those things. I’ve been collecting regency shoes and stashing fabric for gowns and I’ve done nothing with them. I don’t go to regency events and so never enter into the panicky “I must have this done now” phase. But I have wanted the option to go to events and so I continued to stash. Now I have stays and no excuse for not making more garments.

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