August 15, 2014

Fixing My Stays; Finally Costuming!

Long time readers may remember that last summer I made two pairs of stays. The nicer of the two sets turned out way too small, and so I started a second pair. Then when I finally finished the second pair earlier this spring, the back was too tall/long and created an unsightly ridge. In the picture above you can see how high the back of the stays go. I just couldn't win when it came to stay-making last year! I let the too tall stays sit for a while again, frustrated they needed yet more work to be usable. Well this week I finally got the courage to cut down the tops and fix them!

I sliced off the top inch 1/4 from the back, cutting through the three layers of fabric and the plastic (cable tie) boning. I then had to re-trim the boning, clip off the sharp edges and sand each piece smooth, before re-inserting the boning back into the channels. Then I added new bias tape over the cut edge and stitched a new eyelet for the spiral lacing. I have yet to try them on again since this last remodel but I have my fingers crossed that they will finally work!

Eek! not very pretty anymore, function over fashion people
I have had a floral cotton 18th century jacket planned for so long now that I can't wait to finally get started. If  I finally do have a pair of stays that work, I plan on diving into a hand sewn swallowtail style jacket (this jacket from Colonial Williamsburg) Check out my last post on the jacket plan, and in the meantime go take a look at the wonderful swallowtails and instructions over on A Fashionable Frolick! I will definitely being following their tutorial for how to make this jacket as this will be my first ever hand sewn costume project!

Woman's Jacket, printed, 1775-1785, Colonial Williamsburg


  1. How exciting! Fingers crossed the the alterations you've made did the trick. That's a beautiful late 18th century jacket and I'll be eager to see your version of it.

    Happy sewing!
    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thanks Jessica! I ended up trying on the stays last night and they definitely work much better. I am excited to get started on the pattern for the jacket now!


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