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Regency Stays…First Attempt

June 3, 2012

Having worn my first Regency-style promenade dress to the Jane Austen Festival in Bath a couple of times, I decided that proper underpinnings were necessary, to give me a real Regency shape, and to prevent my dress clinging to my legs when strolling about the town.

First Regency-style outfit…without under-garments!

I looked around for a suitable pattern for some Regency stays, when a friend said I could borrow her Sense and Sensibility pattern – http://sensibility.com/patterns/regency-underthings-pattern/  I then copied this onto dot and cross paper. 

I measured myself and chose the relevant size, cut the pieces from calico, and tacked them together…to find it just did not fit!  The reason is that I am not a standard size or shape, so a lot of re-jigging and fiddling had to take place before I was totally happy with it.   

The most obvious problem was the straps.  As I have very narrow shoulders, I had to re-adjust the back and side pieces in order to bring the straps in enough so they actually sat on my shoulders.    

The next niggly bit was the ‘cups’, as the pieces for my ‘size’ made no difference to the shape of the stays…flat…and were totally in the wrong place for me, anyway.  I had to move them inwards so they were not under my armpits!! 

The straps were not fixed, as in the pattern, but left free at the front with eyelets added so that I can adjust them…I might even add some more so that I can hoist it up a bit more!  😉 

Stays, almost finished

The length of the stays was not enough to be comfortable, so I added a couple of inches to the bottom.  The boning was added, then I spent ages top-stitching them like original examples were…

Regency Stays (KCI)

Another wee problem has now come to light…I don’t have enough bosom to create a ‘shelf’.  How can I rectify this?  ‘Chicken fillets’?  Maybe, but they cost money, so I made some crescent-shaped pads that I stitched into the cups.  Has this worked?  Yes and no.  I had a ‘shelf’ at last!  🙂  It didn’t last…after wearing the stays for a little while, my bosom began to disappear downwards.  😦

Wearing my new stays, before weight gain

I still haven’t worn them, as I have since put on weight, and they have become uncomfortable.  Oh well…back to the drawing board!

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