So in the last days of the holidays, I felt a bit idle after having done the mockup for the gold handmaiden, but I couldn't do more on that project. Then I started to think that the HSF challenge for January is foundations, and I must get a pair of proper fitting stays before embarking on my planned 18th century projects. First a bit of advice, ask yourself these questions before starting a project:
Do I have access to a pattern?
Do I have enough material?
Do I have enough time?
Let's just say that if you answer no to all these questions, it might not be the best of ideas to start it, at least not until you can answer yes to some of them. So I didn't have a pattern, well I did have the RH833 pattern and my notes of what I didn't like with it. Then of course there are a lot of pictures online of stays patterns so I figured I could frankenpattern something. So I took the wide front, regular side, side back and center back pieces from RH833, put them on some fabrics and took a look at a bunch of stays pattern. You can find most of them on my pinterest board. I freehanded the patternpieces and came up with this pattern.
The first full fit was a disaster. I looked like a wine barrel. I started out with taking in the seam between the front and side front, going from a seam allowance of 1 cm up at the bust to 2 cm at the waist. I also straightened the curve of that seam yet again.On the picture above you can see that there is a diagonal crease on the side front, the new seamline actually follows that crease pretty well.
The side back piece also needed to get a lot more shaping, once again taking it in at the waist. The main issue was with this piece, and it wasn't so much the size, but the placement of the boning. I had placed the boning on this piece vertically down, since I thought it would end up mostly on the back. It turns out this is more of a true sidepiece, so in order to get a better shape I unpicked all the boning channels and made new ones, that were placed diagonally on the piece.
One thing I hadn't planned to do was to have only backlacing. My front piece was so narrow though that I just wouldn't be able to fit the lacing on it. Backlacing is so annoying though, since it's so much harder to lace up yourself. With a helper I would be able to tighten the stays even more, I can definitely feel that they are sitting a bit loose, or not loose if you compare it to normal clothes but I can definitely cinch them a bit more.
Oh and the name of "red roses stays" comes from the colour of the read thread, and I have a nice cotton with roses on it that I want to use for the lining.