Friday, October 21, 2011
Mrs. Hancock's Baby Stays, Part One
I'm modeling my baby stays after the baby stays in Colonial Williamsburg's collections (with some help thanks to Mrs. Peabody), and referring to photos of the baby stays that the Margaret Hunter Milliner's Shop created from the same set. (The photos can be found on the MHM's facebook page.)
For supplies: I need pasteboard, a few feet of reed for the boning, fabric scraps and some heavy linen thread.
I started by tracing my pattern, created from the baby stays that Mrs. Peabody had made, onto a sheet of pasteboard. After cutting out four pieces...
...I went through the dreadful process of making large slightly sloppy stitches to attach the reed to the pasteboard. I had thought I could use running stitches for this part to spare my fingertips (I'm not a fan of thimbles), but that wouldn't hold the reed in place as it kept slipping around. So I had to backstitch the reed. By the time this process was complete, my fingers looked like the header image from our friend Kristin's blog, Stuck in the 18th Century. (If this set of stays doesn't fit her by next summer, I will be tempted to research 18th century glue receipts to try and justify gluing the reed to the pasteboard.)
From there, I used a scrap of striped linen to cover the pasteboard and act as the lining.
I then grabbed some wool for the fashion fabric, but as I tried folding it I realized that it was too bulky and probably wouldn't be comfortable to wear.
Time to dig through my fabric stash and find another scrap for the fashion fabric!