Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Kid Stays In The Picture

           It would have been much easier to buy a pair of stays.

Perhaps even cheaper if they weren’t historically accurate?
But nooooo. I had to be a perfectionist. Do it myself. Customize the pattern, travel hundreds of miles to take lessons from pros, mess up / rip up / sew the same piece twice. Only to be overwhelmed, hide my sewing kit behind the TV and try to forget it was there.
But like the Tell-Tale Heart, you can’t ignore it. Finish them… FINISH THEM….

Anyone else ever feel this way?
Finally this Christmas I forced myself to make good by signing up for an 18th century gown course this February. No stays = big problem. I got my fiancĂ© to fish out my sewing supplies from exile, sat down, and sewed. I immediately remembered why I had stopped in the first place- binding the stays with soft kit leather was HARD. I went through an irreplaceable amount of 1940’s English Clinton Deluxe needles. The calluses built up on my hands, the wax for my thread began to crumble. And then came the tabs. Oh God… All the Youtube videos and tutorials in the world weren’t enough to breeze through it.
But I did it! And it feels amazing!

Short answer: if you don’t care use a sewing machine. It’s 2018 and very few people will be rustling under your garments for HA stays.
Long answer: ultimately it mattered to ME. I would know my stays were bought, not HA and it would make me feel like a poser. I want to commit to my kit, to hand sew, to being able one day to hold my own with costumers I admire and respect. Am I American Duchess? Before The Automobile?
But am I just one teeny tiny step closer then if I’d said f^*k it and had someone else make them?

Enough about me, here’s the pictures of the process:
Where it all began- I cannot say enough good things about Burnley and Trowbridge. Seriously-
give them all your money now.

And HERE is where I stopped for about a year.
Behold the incredible disappearing straps! In the end the fit was better without them.

I swear this was aligned before I lined them.

The lack of chemise and loose form is because I had to tie myself in. 

But ultimately look how badass I am!

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