Workshop Stays - Where are they now?

So, there has been quite a bit of talk on this blog in the past few months about the Burnley and Trowbridge Stays workshop, and my stays that came from that workshop.

Then. I got busy. (moving, job, sewing, etc so on and so forth)

And quiet on the blog.

I broke my own blog rules...

But they're the only rules I can break without getting hives, so I'm ok with that.

Anyways, though I've been quiet on my blog, this does not mean I haven't been busy. I've been working on Sapphire's gown and my stays. Tag teaming, basically, as they are both crucial to finish for my mental sanity.

My stays are thisclose to being finished. There were a couple bumps on the way, but now everything is good and I'm in the final processes...instead of verbalizing what was going on, I'll just show you pictures, because, let's be honest, that's more fun anyways.

the innards. You can see where the boning, and linen have been chiseled off
leaving the worsted wool to be folded over and casted down. Also you can see where
I've been lazy and haven't casted down the seams (I'm doing it as I go along).

The outside shot. The tabs have not been split yet, but I have started shaping
the boning to help with comfort.

The extension of my front tabs.

As it turned out, the front of my stays were too short. When I tried them on with boning, the front was pushing into my stomach instead of smoothing the front. I was instructed to extend the boning channels, add piecing where needed, move the boning down, and cut away the ugly for binding. There's talk of adding buckram to that section to help stiffen this section of the stays.

Note: the addition of buckram (stiffened linen) or pasteboard (really stiff cardboard) to this part of stays was actually quite common. There are countless extant stays (countless because I haven't bothered to count them, and I feel as though that would be a slightly silly and laborious process.) with this feature. I could also use a busk. Going off and rambling...there is a fantastic pair of stays in the Liverpool collection that have never been worn, are fully boned and date to the mid 1770s. The interior workings of these stays are intense. There's lots of pasteboard, and interior boning work (the bow across the bust and additional boning angling from the top of the bust/rib cage in towards the waist.) They're stellar stays, in perfect condition (lining in perfect condition). It was really great to examine them a bagillion years ago.

Hand-sewn channels.

My eyelets. I need to add leather to the outside to help make them last.

I have also been working on shaping the stays to help fit my figure
so you can *hopefully* see how the tabs are already flaring out and (you
def can't see this) how the upper part is curving slightly inward into my back.

Alright. I'm going to go and actually work on this sucker...I can see the light at the end of the tunnel....which includes altering all of my clothes since these stays (and potentially weight loss) have changed my shape so much.

But that's for a later post.

Happy Memorial Day <3


  1. Love the colour! I really look forward to see them finished!

  2. Thanks for posting your progress--they're looking great! Beautiful color, too :) I'm in the midst of a Great Stays Experiment and it's awesome to see how someone (way more experienced) is pulling hers together!

  3. Aww, they look so pretty! I'm glad you've been making progress. Oh, and the ribbon arrived! Thank you so much, it's gorgeous! I'll definitely update when I figure out what to do with it. ;)

  4. Very nice! I can't wait to see the finished products :)

  5. Great job! The fantastic Lindsey (Adventures of a Costumer), recently made me stays with gorgeous silk I sent her. They are so treasured and appreciated! So much work goes into these garments~
    You have chosen a lovely color...


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