I’m feeling more than a bit frustrated with my transitional stays. Actually, it’s the instructions. I know that corset- and stay-making are not beginner-level projects. I’m not a beginner, but I need help.
I obviously don’t know enough to make the stays on my own. True, I managed a Victorian corset which came out rather well, if I do say so myself. But this little project ain’t goin’ so well.
(This is the part where I make the legal disclaimer that these opinions are nothing more than that: my opinions. They are not a statement of fact, merely my interpretation of circumstances which are driving me flippin’ nuts.)
The instructional format is not working for me. Too many pages. Information not sequential. Have to keep flipping back and forth. Makes me unhappy.
Working without a fit buddy is difficult at best. Apparently, the author believes it should not be attempted.
Either that, or I’m short a few limbs.
And failed to purchase the magic scissors option.
But I think the only way to figure this thing out is to keep going. So I basted the center front and back and basted the left side seam. Then pinned on the straps (marks for placement on back piece only – thanks) and wiggled into it.
The center front and back seams are indeed centered and straight. The side seam is at my side. The circumferential fit is snug, but not impossibly tight – that is, it’s a good reminder for posture but I can breathe.
OK, so far.
And then I came to the step where it really started falling apart for me: the bust gusset. As you can see in the illustration above, you are to put the muslin on with a bra under the chemise and locate the highest underbust line, and mark the outline for the bust gusset. So I did and this is what I got.
Anyone notice a bit of a disparity? The model seems to be sporting a lovely set of AA’s. I need to construct stays that will display a pair of DD’s. Hmmm. And no where is this addressed in the instructions or comments (except my own ongoing comments which are not all that helpful at the moment) other than to cut a bust gusset with more support. More on this later.
I traced my “outline” exactly where is was. Then I read the next part of the instructions, which state that the inner edge of the bust gusset must be located two inches in from the center front to allow for the busk. The tip of the black pen marks two inches in (that diagonal line to the left is the center front…I’m using my left side for positioning). As you can see, my…uh…anatomy doesn’t comply with that placement concept, even in its fully-brassiered state.
So I’m not exactly sure what to so. I know the high-underbust mark is correct – I’ve checked it three times. I’m thinking at this point I’ll just smile broadly and proceed as if I understand what I’m doing, put the bust gusset where it should be (as opposed to where I’ve marked it) and see what happens. The fabric is already cut and marked. I can donate a day to experiment with magical thinking. And, who knows – I might get wildly lucky and it will work.
In the meantime I’ll be trolling the internet looking for tutorials on how to fit this pattern. And bopping over to the Oregon Regency Society Facebook group for assistance and moral support.
And advertising for a fit buddy.
After all, how hard can it be to find someone who lives at the end of a peninsula to no-where and is interested in period sewing techniques?