On The Sewing Table: 18th c. Strapless Stays

So while wearing my new stays for the first time at the Alafia River Rendezvous, I fell a bit out of love with them. I put so much time and work into them, and I think their beautiful - but the fit was just off. I don't think I'm a fan of the straps number one. I was always have to adjust them. I also found the straps restrictive. The stays were partially boned, and seeing as I'm a D cup, I think fully boned might suit me better. So one of the patterns I picked up from Wm. Booth Draper was the JP Ryan Stays pattern. 

Of course after I buy it I find that it's not really everyone's favorite pattern, but I'd already made a muslin, so I'm in it to win it. I've heard from a few sources that JP Ryan drafts patterns for people with a longer torso, which is great for me. I also tried making a mock up in cardboard. 

For a boned garment I think this actually works really well! You have to be quite liberal with the tape, but it's much quicker than boning a muslin. It fit fairly well, I did want to lengthen the front two pieces so provide better coverage and prevent a pouch. 

You can kind of see the adjustments I made. Pieces one and two on the far left were lengthened a considerable amount. It'll change the shape a bit, but I think it'll be much more flattering. I also added a bit of width to piece number 5, the back most panel, to give me a bit of play in how large or small the lacing gap is. I'm working on my boning channels. Which I am, for shame, doing with my machine. I really don't want to invest a weeks worth of hand sewing into a pattern which I've not sewn yet. If these do work out I might make another pair to keep in my hand sewing basket by the TV, but not until then. 

Here's hoping these turn out much more useful than my previous set of stays. Fingers crossed this isn't a waste of that beautiful teal linen!