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!