All posts tagged: stays

Making linen buckram: gum tragacanth vs xathan gum thedreamstress.com

Making Linen Buckram: Gum Tragacanth vs Xanthan Gum

I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with making linen buckram in the last year and a half, playing with using both historically accurate gum tragacanth, and a much cheaper and easier to source modern equivalent: xanthan gum. We’re getting very close to launching Scroop Pattern’s and Virgil’s Fine Good’s first collaboration: a 1780s stays pattern with extensive historical instruction. Historical stays use linen buckram, so here’s what I’ve learned about it to help you make your own. What is linen buckram? Linen buckram is stiffened linen. It was used in 17th, 18th and early 19th century sewing as support layers where stiffening was needed, such as in stays, stiff collars, stomachers, and hatmaking. It’s made by coating linen with a gum paste, usually gum tragacanth, or xanthan gum, and then letting the gum dry. The more layers of gum that are applied, the stiffer the linen gets. Here is what it looks and sounds like in motion: In addition to historical sewing, I think it has lots of potential for general costuming: particularly for …

George Romney Mrs. Billington as Saint Cecilia, 1787

What do you wear under a chemise a la reine? 2.0

Five years ago I wrote a post about chemise a la reine (also known as gaulle) dresses, and what was worn under them based on how they are depicted in paintings of the 1780s & 90s. Unfortunately that post is one of the ones that has fallen victim to the Photobucket 3rd party hosting debacle, so I pulled it.  I’ve had quite a few requests for it since.  I decided that as long as I was going to go to the effort of finding and replacing all my images, I should update the entire post.  I’ve learned a lot about chemise  and 18th century undergarments since I originally wrote the post – hopefully I can make more educated guesses.  However, the 18th century is still not my area of study and expertise, so my guesses are  just that, and not an expert opinion.  I’ve posted them to give people food for thought, and a jumping off point for more research of their own. So what was worn under a chemise a la reine?  Obviously you’d …

A quick guide to corset & stay styles from 1750 to 1850

In last week’s (well, almost week before lasts at this point!) Five for Friday post, when I discussed transitional stays, and succumbing to the temptation to make ‘reenactor style’ Regency stays* (which, you will be pleased to hear, I have not!), I didn’t make it clear what either was.  So naturally, people asked! I was going to just write about transitional stays and reenactor stays, but how can you write about a transition if you don’t show what something is transitioning from, and towards?  And how can I show something is a reenactorism if I don’t show what the reality was?  I realised that both needed more background, and deserved complete posts. So, here is the slightly longer, more complicated, post with a history of supportive undergarments (i.e. stays and corsets – read this post for the difference between the two) from 1750 to 1850.  This is intended as a very general introduction to the way the types of supportive undergarments period, rather than an in-depth exploration.  One could easily write a full blog post about the …