Sunday, August 22, 2010

Linen stays

I have been working on these stays for the past few weeks. We are slowly (or maybe not so slowly?!) getting into 18th century living history so it is a very new and different realm for me. More hand sewing is involved and more linen. I love both but in moderation ;)

The J.P. Ryan pattern that I am using (more stays to come!) was quite overwhelming at first. The instructions are very detailed but they prove to be very helpful. I found all of the answers to my questions in the instructions and following each step, they went together quite well.

It did take much more time than I expected but in the end, I think it was all worth it. A word of advice though, if you ever do lots of hand sewing, learn to use a thimble!

My only regret is the tabs (funny looking things that stick out at the bottom). They are fun and different compared to mid-19th century corsets but rather odd to my civil war trained eye! They did not turn out as well as I would have liked so I am sure am glad this is not a dress or piece of outerwear!

Hand done eyelets, boning channels and binding........ I did as much as I could by machine but it did not turn out to be much compared to all that hand sewing!

I would like to make a linen shift or two eventually, but for right now, my civil war chemises will have to do!

As Always,
Bethany Lynn


  1. Unsightly tabs? I have no idea what you're talking about. Your tabs look better than mine! :-)

    It turned out very lovely and I love the shape of it. When my "expanding" stays are no longer needed I shall make a pair using the half-boned JP Ryan pattern. It looks comfortable and, again, has a lovely shape. Of course the question of the day will be the color of linen. Haha. :-)

  2. Wow, those are really squiffy looking stays! I love the look, you're just making me jealous now that I don't have any so lovely, ;-)
    Mrs. G

  3. They look really good! What don't you like about them?

  4. Well, see, the tabs aren't exactly even. It does not really matter but I think it is because part of the caning broke when I was binding them and I did not take the time to fix them. Better next time!

  5. Oh, phooey on the tabs! No one can get them perfectly right, they're the hardest part of stays for any mantua-maker. ;) Besides, I think yours look just lovely, especially with all the handstitching! I didn't notice anything wrong with the tabs. And I love the color! Gorgeous!


  6. Wow. That's a LOT of work! But it looks really good. :D Ditto to loving the color. They're beautiful. You really did not help squish my desire to make a corset or set of stays. :D

  7. Really lovely! They are exquisite and I think the tabs look just fine! I'd love to try this pattern sometime. I have the fully boned strapless stays from JP Ryan but haven't made up that pattern yet. What size caning did you use? I'll be interested to hear your experience with them! I used cable ties for my half boned stays but would love to try something more period appropriate sometime. Not that I have anywhere to wear 18th c. stuff to. :( Sigh.

  8. Is this an organized project doing the 18th century stuff, or is this independent? I think there is a lot of great style and history in the 1700's! :D Are you focusing on European style or colonial impressions?

    Hope the rest of the outfit(s) turn out well! :D Maybe if I ever finish my regency wear I may consider doing some other eras too... :)

  9. Justin, it is organized in that we are volunteering with a group called Bonnets and Bayonets. They are educational days for families. More info on there website:

    We are focusing more on colonial impressions because the educational day is centered around the birth of America but I am also working in Irish, Scottish and German flavors because I am of that ancestry.