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Chemise And Stays

October 16, 2010
12/11/2008 22:28:44
It is now time for me  to begin to make my chemise and stays.  I’ve had a little break from needlework,
since finishing my Hallowe’en costume…but now I feel ready to get stuck in…!  “About time!” I hear Rachel mutter…!! Wink At the moment I am going to trace the patterns, but know of a printers that can do very large (AS) sized photocopies for under £4, so will be taking the pattern sheets in when I get paid…then I can send them back (thanks Rach…!)
I did attempt to make a chemise myself, but it didn’t quite turn out as I’d anticipated, so now I can make one properly…I will post photos when these items are made…with some slight modifications to the patterns…
This photo shows some short stays and long stays of about 1818/19 (Kyoto Costume Institute).  There were many individual designs, as the ladies would often make them themselves, to their own preferences.
The stays I am going to make are from the Sense and Sensibility pattern that Rachel has lent me.  I’m afraid the front is fairly flat, and there is no allowance for a ‘generous bosom’, even though it has the gussets, which I find a little strange, as the Regency shape was for uplifted, seperated breasts…hence the wooden busk down the front of the long stays to seperate the breasts.  We shall just have to wait and see when I make them.
What I will attempt to do is to copy the front of the long stays and add a drawsting and rounded cup
shape…I need all the help I can get, I’m telling you, and I don’t want to be flattened!!  On her website, Jessamyn has reviewed some of the patterns available (USA) and she suggests narrowing the shoulder strap a bit and making more of a cup to the front…otherwise the pattern is more acceptable for late eighteenth century gowns. is the link to Jessamyn’s Regency Costume Companion patterns review page. Open-mouthed
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