After some deliberation I decided to cover this pair in green silk taffeta. I have enough for a matching petticoat which could be used as a colored undergarment set for a chemise a la reine, or be worn together over a nice chemise during the summer, or be worn as undergarments for gowns and jackets. I plan to embroider the hem of the petticoat with my embroidery machine, but that is a project for another time!
Now, on to the stays.
This pattern is interesting in that that front panel has 2 pieces for the cover and 1 piece for the lining. Here are all the pattern pieces for the main layer of the stays:
And here are the front pieces – the 2 pieces for the main fabric and the 1 piece for the lining:
After doing some measurements and checking some of the individual pieces I did not do a full mock up on these. Keep in mind that I have made many pairs of 18th century stays for myself over the years – if you do not have this much experience it is always better to do a full mock up.
This seems odd at first but actually they go together quite nicely. The 2 main pieces are stitched together and then are laid on top of the lining piece, and from then on they are treated as one piece. I cut the front cover using the lining piece to avoid extra seam lines. The other pieces I assembled and boned, then add the cover:
Since many of these boning channels are curved, I used spiral steel boning for them even though it is not historically correct. For the straight channels I used regular steel boning. I am not sure how well the synthetic whalebone will work for half boned stays.
Here is the assembled front with the first side pieces sewn on:
I put the eyelets in the back piece after attaching the cover but before assembly, using my eyelet plate. I wanted the look of handmade thread eyelets without the time it takes to hand sew them. See post Making Thread Eyelets By Machine.
The stays are now ready for binding, which has to be done by hand. They will be bound with bias strips of self fabric.