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17th Century Stays

Added Nov 11, 2012

by katexxxxxx

Sittingbourne, U...






These stays are designed to go under dresses from the early Jacobean period, in the mid 1620’s. This is the time of Charles I, Louis XIII, the Musketeers…

These stays are both softer and less heavily boned than that of the earlier Elizabethan period or the later 18th Century. It was a period of higher waistlines and egregious amounts of lace, for both men and women.

The pattern is extrapolated from several documented sources and extant garments of the period held in the Victoria & Albert Museum. Very few complete gowns survive from this period, and fewer stays. Some gowns had built-in support at this time, and were worn without stays. These will be worn under an open bodiced gown with a stomacher. There will be a period shift under the stays.

This is the foundation for a project that will encompass at least two complete gowns, plus a jacket and petticoat if there is time: Customers come first, but we use our own kit to experiment with.

Material Notes

Stays and gown supports at this time were frequently made from linen and hessian canvass stiffened with size, and boned with baleen (whalebone) or reed. These are made with stiff cotton twill canvas for the inner layer, and a polycotton jacquard curtain fabric for the outer. They are boned with polyester Trifold boning made to behave like baleen in use. The edged are bound with polycotton bias tape that I cut. All fabrics and boning are made from off-cuts and left-overs from other projects! A total stash-buster!

The metal eyelets were put in for speed. On the outer gowns they will be stitched.




Garment Type
Cotton, Blends, Eyelet, Polyester

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    Nov 12, 2012, 12.48 AMby Rosemarie Athas


    1 Reply
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      Nov 12, 2012, 07.21 PMby katexxxxxx

      Ta. These were awkward rather than difficult, but require a degree of historical knowledge, drafting skills, and sewing skills to put together.

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