All posts tagged: stays

Finished project: the very dreadful silver stays

Well, for better or worse the silver stays of doom are finally done. They continued their inclination to bad luck through the last few steps.  As I was working the eyelets they got sparkling apple juice splashed on them.  Luckily it didn’t stain the linen, but liquid is very bad for kid leather, so I think I’m going to have to replace part of the binding at some point. And then, after all the fuss about loosing the shoulder straps and having to cut a new pair, once I got all the eyelets worked and was finally able to try the thing, on the shoulder straps just didn’t work very well.  So all that perfect, painstaking hand stitching got unpicked, the back got cut down just a little and I now have strapless stays. Without the shoulder straps tying in pretty bows in front, the front has little visual interest, so I felt the need to lace it with fancy ribbon.  Of course, this means I can only unlace it via the back, which means I …

These are the stays that never end

I’m still working on my ill-begotten silver stays.  They are not moving very fast, partly because I haven’t had a lot of free time, but mostly because they are cursed. Every time I take them somewhere intending to work on them I find I have missed something important:  the kid leather binding, my awl for doing the lacing holes, the thread for the lacing holes, the thread for the binding, my snips, a needle, or (in the case of my Australia trip) HALF of the stays! Here is where they stays are now: Since the last post I sewed down all of the gilded linen outer covering fabric: I also worked all of the front eyelets, binding them in blue thread for a bit of contrast, and to match the lining: The lining is completely done, but I still need to work all of the back eyelets: I’m binding all the edges in white kid leather cut from damaged vintage gloves: The binding isn’t completely accurate – it has both raw edges showing, and most …

1850s? Or 18th century? Or…?

I found these images of a fascinating pair of stays ex. Brooklyn Museum that were sold through Augusta Auctions. The catalogue describes them as: Bavarian Silk Stays, 1840-1860. Pink satin, white leather waist tabs, attached metallic lace stomacher, multiple layers stiffened w/ baleen stays, homespun linen lining, B 30″, CFL 13″, (satin & metallic lace worn, linen lining replaced, leather dirty) fair. Brooklyn Museum Now, I know that the regional peasant attire in many places stayed decades behind the current trends, but these look very 18th century to me.  There is some obvious mistakes in the dressing: they are clearly meant to be spiral laced, and have been cross-laced instead, which just isn’t working, indicating that at least some of the people involved with documenting the stays didn’t know what they were doing.  Does that include the person who dated them and wrote the description? So what do you think, oh gurus of 18th century and European peasant wear?  Are these a localised throwback to earlier styles and construction techniques, or mislabeled?