18th Century, Felicity, Historical Sew Fortnightly

The 1770s Masquerade Stays

I’m hard at work on my item for the HSF Masquerade Challenge.

Remember my terminology post on marmottes?  (If you don’t, I highly recommend that you go read it, as it’s one of my favourite pieces of research ever).

If you follow me on facebook you may remember that only a few days after I wrote it I found a fabric featuring marmotte themed 18th century hair:

18th century inspired masquerade fabric thedreamstress.com


How awesome is that!?!

It’s crazy and fabulous and 18th century and masquerade-y.  And it has marmotte hair!

It also has ship hair (cute, but such a cliche)

18th century inspired masquerade fabric thedreamstress.com

And lion hair (just weird):

18th century inspired masquerade fabric thedreamstress.com

Obviously I had to have it, but just as obviously, it’s not exactly suitable for anything historically accurate.

But for Masquerade?  For something where historicism blends with fantasy and alternative realities?  Perfect!

So I’m making 1770s stays, featuring this fabulous fabric.  Even if they won’t be accurate in any meaningful sense, I still intend the shape they give me to be accurate, so that I can wear them under 18th century clothing.

1770s stays beginnings thedreamstress.com

I’m using Ralph Pink’s version of the 1770s Norah Waugh stays pattern.  Saves me the time of drafting it up myself.

1770s stays beginnings thedreamstress.com

I’ve cut my lining, and sewn in all my boning channels.  Now I’m inserting boning.

1770s stays beginnings thedreamstress.com

Tomorrow I’ll do the back grommets (I’m REALLY cheating and using metal eyelets instead of working them by hand), and fit it on myself.  Mr D’s going to have to help with that as there is no front lacing.  Oh boy is that going to be a fun evening…

For now, Felicity is being ‘helpful’

Felicity the cat thedreamstress.com

Actually, she looks kind a like a bored, sulking teenager in these photos.  Maybe I should do less staymaking and more throwing-of-toys?

Felicity the cat thedreamstress.com

You better


  1. That’s definitely going to be a fun garment! Huh, I did not realise what the marmot hair was earlier. Although it seems to me its ears are too big for it to be a marmot. It would get too much soil in those ears!

    • Well, the lion isn’t exactly anatomically correct either, but it couldn’t possibly be anything else, so I figure I can forgive the teeniest bit of not-quite-marmotness and still insist it is one 😉

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