In fact, I wasn’t sure if I could even make myself finish the stays at all…
But then the Sewphist asked if I had anything she could wear to the ball.
When she came over the Wednesday before the dance to try things on, all of my frocks were too long in the bodice for her, and I had a brainstorm. The stays are too short in the bodice for me, so perhaps they would fit her?
And they fit her so perfectly, and looked so fabulous on her, that she agreed to finish the binding so that she could wear them (and if you have ever bound stays, you know what a major undertaking that is!).
So I showed her how to do the binding around the bottom tabs, and sent her away with bias binding (perfect historical accuracy was clearly not the object with these!) and thread.
And she managed to get them finish in time, and they looked amazing!
We paired the stays with a couple of petticoats that I use with various 18thc outfits, and my 1870s Nana chemise (the ribbons match perfectly, even if the periods don’t 😉 )
Her stays were a great success, but the real hit was her hair.
I built it up over a rat, and added a few extensions (as a costumer I am thrilled with the fad for extensions that has made them so easy to get!), and then trimmed it with some feathers and the ever-popular birds nest.
That birds nest was the best $2 I ever spent! It’s been used so many times, and never fails to delight the people who notice it.
The Sewphist was delighted with her hair. It stayed all night, and nothing ever stays in her hair. And the extensions had curls, and she never has curls!
A rousing success all ’round!
There are a few tiny things I need to fix – the front bones are a bit too soft, so the front wrinkles. I’ll add a bit more to reinforce it.
Overall, I’m tickled pink it’s done, and she did SUCH a good job finishing it!