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Saturday, 17 January 2015

Stay the Course

As promised, an update on my 1760s-ish stays.

To check the fit of the finished stays, I found this most interesting blog describing the use of cardboard as a replacement.  See Slightly Obsessed for more details.  So great!  I'll spare you the photos of me half-laced into cardboard and duct tape.

I made a few adjustments to the front tab.  You'll notice it's just a little nub now whereas it was was a full tab before.

I'm using Butterick 4254, which is made for modern seamstresses and not historically accurate ones.  Since I'm machine sewing my channels and am therefore already cheating, I feel justified.

I'm using a lovely piece of cotton with a sage floral pattern.  It was ear-marked for another project, but that's just the way things go sometimes.  I've searched high and low for linen for the inside of the stays, but no luck.  Edmonton simply does not sell linen canvas.  I was lucky enough to find all cotton fabric so it is at least accurate fabric if not my first choice.

Here's my progress so far:

I've pieced it together and marked my button holes.  Just marking the casings tonight so I can fully assemble tomorrow.  Hopefully.

In other news... Meet Judy:

Judy came home with me from College one day after the school replaced all the mannequins and sold off the old ones to students.  I believe I paid $125 for her.  Originally she would have cost upwards of $2000!  Even through my moves across the country I've toted Judy with me.  I was close-ish to Judy's size when I purchased her; however, she needed some adjustments now.

I read a few different ways to recover a mannequin, but since I need every inch to be pinnable, I decided that a muslin cover padded to my size was the way to go.  I started by making a princess seam tunic that was exactly my size.  I used a zipper in the back to check the fit, then removed it before starting to fluff.

Then I started padding.  I used 100% natural cotton quilt batting left over from the 'year of the baby' in which I made 8 quilts.  I simply cut it to the shape needed and tacked it in place.  I even sacrificed a bra in the name of appropriately placed boobage.

A little fluff here, a little fluff there...

Seriously, I have no rump.

Then, just tacked the cover closed.  It was actually quite simple.  I highly recommend this process!  It's semi-permanent, pin-friendly, and allows for any weight changes quite easily.  

The new improved Judy!

Cheers all!

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