September 01, 2010

Here comes Autumn...Lets get creative!

I was going through some fabulous postcards I have collected over the years and decided they should be displayed...but don't ask me the best way to display them.  This is the reason they have occupied a Nike shoebox forever! Allie (@HistFicChick) had the great idea of finding some cheap second hand frames and using ribbons to hang and accent them on the wall. Very cool.  Another idea I came across was to use 'scrapbook' photo corner inserts and 3M tape to pop them on the wall. Anyone have any other ideas?

On my quest it seemed other people were also in the creative mood.  I have been itching to sew a frock lately (haven't done so in two years!) and it seems other people I talk to have been thinking the same thing. So for all of you who are inspired enough to do so, I found this really interesting website all about making period stays (18th century corsetry anyone?) The site includes the following chapters:

* Chapter 1: Materials
* Chapter 2: The pattern
* Chapter 3: The technique
* Chapter 4: Wear and care
* Chapter 5: Fully-boned stays

Has anyone ever successfully crafted stays? Would love to hear your experiences! I have always been told it is tricky business. Which is why I am so very drawn to haberdashery...


  1. I've made three pairs of stays, one for someone else, one which turned out to be very pretty, but a tad bit looser than I wanted, and the other which was an awful mess. I'm having my third pair made for me currently, and shall brave the venture again when I have more patience.

  2. @Comtesse Olympe de la Tour D'Auvergne ah! May I ask where you are having them made? It does seem like it would take a while to make! What fabrics did you use?

  3. WOW! You ladies are impressing me! Can't wait to see what you come up with.
    As far as the postcards, you could have a piece of glass made to fit a table, desk, counter, etc and place them randomly under the glass or, in my powder room I took all my maps of France, the chateaux, metro ticket stubs, etc and wall paper pasted them to the ceiling. But then you have to be sure you would be willing to part with them if you ever moved.
    I think you could find it on my blog on my sidebar under "Design on a Centime", it will be back aways but I know it's on there if you want to see the photos.
    Love your blog!

  4. Making stays isn't too hard, if you have some sewing experience.

    Here's how I made mine:

    I used this "dress diary" to help me make them:

    Good luck!

  5. @padawansguide wow thank you for those links!! I am going to read through them tomorrow, I love the dress diary! Such a good idea...

  6. I'll watch from the sidelines! Can't wait to see the results.

  7. Wow. That seems like far too much work for me. I love to sew but making that...past my level. Can't wait to see what it looks like. Good luck.

  8. A friend of mine keeps a blog at http://www.cfgriffith.com/ and she has been writing about making a pair of 18th c stays for some time now. Her pictures and discussion of the process are really inspiring!

  9. I've made stays! It wasn't particularly difficult, more like painstaking. All told the process to make them took about 2 years between acquiring the whalebone for boning (it is illegal to buy/ship whalebone out-of-state so I had to do sewing to make a trade for that), taking classes and fitting the pattern, boiling the large pieces of whalebone and splitting them down, whittling those into widths that would fit the channels...I watched a LOT of Golden Girls during that time! Dealing with the whalebone was the hardest part I would say; channel stitching the most tedious. But I love my stays to death! They are back-lacing wool with linen and paper layers and a linen lining.

  10. You really are in a very creative mood these days! I'd love to sew one of these myself...going to check out those links right now! Thanks:)

  11. I also collect postcards from my travels. I put them into large nicely bound photo albums. I also rotate them by placing a few in the inside corners of frames so I can see them.

  12. Yes, I've made 2 pairs of long stays and 2 pairs of transitional stays. The first pair did not turn out very well. They are beautiful, and accurate, but they don't fit my body. My second pair fit me like a glove and are extremely comfortable. Both of my short stays are great.

  13. I am making a set of stays now. It is for an opera singing friend. I am making a set for myself too. I would never, ever make a set from whalebone, when metal stays are available very easisly. In my opinion, whales are for swimming, not for supporting one's figure!

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  15. I've made four pairs of stays so far. My first and my last were the best. They aren't as difficult as people make them out to be. If you follow the instructions on marquise.de precisely, they will fit perfectly. (My first pair was the most comfortable one with the best lifting effect, and I had no prior sewing experience except for making one princess seam dress, a shift and poches.) The part people complain about the most is the bias binding, but if you are not too obsessed with perfection and settle for "covering the fraying edges somehow", the tabs are easy, too. (No one sees your stays under a robe, after all.)

    They don't take ridiculously long to make, and they are much more comfortable than any other corset. I'd gladly help if you have questions.

    [Reposted because of a typo.]

  16. It is not so hard... I've made a pair for me and another one for someone else (which looks quite better than mine)
    You just must be very patient 'cause it's a lot of work... and even more it you decide sew it by hand