1830 Stays – Part 3

I have a Johnny Cash song stuck in my head… 25 Minutes to Go. I heard it recently and for some reason it’s still buzzing around my exhausted brain.

No prison sentence for me but after working on eyelets for the past two hours, I’m definitely in countdown mode! Normally I love sewing eyelets… buttonholes, no way… but eyelets – something about their round little perfect circles time after time makes me smile. However, this damn corset is doing its best to change my outlook!

This only works with small & narrow sharp scissors and there's a lot of twisting involved to form a circle

This only works with small & narrow sharp scissors and there’s a lot of twisting involved to form a circle

First of all, some of my favorite supplies were AWOL when I started on the eyelets – namely my favorite awl and my silver thimble. Instead I had to resort to sharp embroidery scissors as a tool to separate the fibers to make a hole followed by a round chopstick to even it out.

Because there are eight layers of fabric at the eyeleted area (something I would avoid in the future), I was definitely missing my thimble by the second eyelet. Trying to push the needle through all those layers became harder with each hole. Plus the rhythm is broken when you need to reopen the hole with the chopstick after every stitch or every other stitch. And with 16-20 stitches around each eyelet… well, perhaps you can see why I’m in countdown mentality! And I’m only working on one side of the back – the seven eyelets on the back left to be specific.

The threads on the right are still attached to the eyelet. Threads are carried from eyelet to eyelet on the inside. The chopstick is acting as a placeholder for the first stitch in the second eyelet here.

The chopstick is acting as a reference point for the first stitch in the second eyelet.

The photo at right shows the second eyelet in progress. The threads on the right side are still attached to the first eyelet and are then carried to the second eyelet on the inside. This is my own carry over from 18th century stays making when those carried threads would be covered with the lining. In this case, I’m being lazy and don’t want to stop and restart at each eyelet. Or bury threads. Apparently I’m just resorting to what I remember from another project!

My fingers are sore (again) but I’m happy to report that the left center back has been completed with its seven eyelets, three corded channels, and back edge lining and outer fabric combined.

The cording saga will have to wait until a later post… but the short version is that I ended up using a doubled strand of 3/32″ cotton cording in each of the channels. How it got there is the real story!

Now for one last photograph – and be sure to ignore the bits of blue ink. I wasn’t working near an iron so erasing all those Frixion pen markings didn’t happen before camera time.

DSC_0567

Tools of the trade… for tonight anyway! Finished left back plus linen thread, beeswax, needle, chopstick, and scissors/awl! (Oh and a fuzzy blanket to keep me warm while sewing all evening…

 

 

 

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