1830 Stays – Part 2

Whoa! Two days in a row of sewing and writing… what is the world coming to?

Mostly very tired fingers as it turns out! When I was sewing full time for my business (i.e. 8-10 hours a day of handsewing – often staysmaking or en foureau pleating) I ended up developing muscles in my fingers that I had been previously unaware of. Well, guess what? After two straight days of handsewing with linen thread through 6 layers of linen and canvas, those small itty bitty muscles have announced themselves with a vengeance!

My right hand started to hurt so much I even resorted to a secret weapon… needle nose pliers for pulling the needle through the fabric layers!

Needle nose pliers were also especially handy for creating a cording puller for those narrow channels

Needle nose pliers were also especially handy for creating a cording puller for those narrow channels

Truth be told, they just sort of ended up in my workspace after making the cording loop above – but they really did come in handy for that last hour or so.

The back facing has been folded to the inside, clipped for ease at waistline, and pressed to keep its shape

The back facing has been folded to the inside, clipped (slightly) for ease at waistline, and pressed to keep its shape. And no idea why this photo is so yellow!

Today’s progress was mostly along one of the back lacing edges, in addition to discovering that I’d made some poor decisions in yesterday’s work.The biggest problem I discovered was that I should have put the lining in place before channeling the busk area at the center front. I’ve come up with a work-around but I should have read the instructions more closely in the first place.

So… on to the back. I did a quick test fit to make sure the stays would be in the realm of fitting – or at least not way too big to start with. I then cut away all the extra fabric along the center back edges – down to the original cut lines of the pattern.

I retraced most of the pattern markings with pencil on the interlining so that I didn’t have to worry about the Frixion pen ink disappearing during pressing.

This is where things got a bit more tricky. Or I should say that I got a bit lazy. Had I added more basting stitches along the folded back facing and/or properly basted the interfacing strip that was applied to that edge, I probably wouldn’t have had to work so hard to keep everything in place while sewing the cording channels along the back edge. But best laid plans…

Although I’m using a heavier canvas for the center front and back facing interfacing, I was surprised at how well the back piece were able to mold to the necessary curve even though they are cut on the straight grain. I sprayed them pretty well with water and just kept smooshing them with a hot iron until the right curve was achieved.

Center back interfacing will primarily support the eyelets for lacing but it makes for difficult channel sewing along the way

Center back interfacing will primarily support the eyelet holes for lacing at the center back but it makes for difficult channel sewing along the way

I’m pretty sure I’ve made myself about six pair of c.1770 stays over the years so I think it’s safe to assume this won’t be my last foray into early 19th century stay making. I’m enjoying the process for now but taking lots of notes so I’ll know how to ‘do it right’ when I eventually decide to make the ultimate 1830ish corset!

In the meantime – here’s where I left off this evening:

Left back edge with lining attached, interfacing secured, and the first two of five rows of stitching to form cording channels

Left back edge with lining attached, interfacing secured, and the first two of five rows of stitching to form cording channels

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s