This is a belated entry to let you know the outcome of my conversation with Saundra about the Transitional Stays. She is very nice to speak with and her knowledge is extensive. She understood the problem and the short story is…for a DD like me it’s going to take a lot of work to get the stays to fit, let alone fit comfortably.
The pattern was developed from an extant garment that had been made for a woman with a 44-inch underbust circumference, so I assumed it would be an easy “downsize” to fit me. But Saundra explained that the original owner was not a large woman in the sense of being overweight; she was just plain large. Big boned and tall, but not overweight. And no large breasts. So goes the easy adjustment theory.
She walked me through how to do it – alterations, additional fabric for strength, perhaps using heavy tailoring lining, etc. – and shared that her DD friends had the same issues with fitting. So it sounds like it’s just inherent to the pattern – large-breasted women will need to take extra time with the muslin to get the fit right. She did bemoan the fact that it’s rare to find an extant garment made for larger women, which makes it hard for pattern-makers to know “how they did it” when it comes to things like this.
The end result is that I’m putting them aside, probably for quite a while. I still want to make them, and I do want a comfortable fit, but I don’t have that kind of time right now. I’m in the midst of mountains of legal paperwork that require my immediate attention (it’s a good thing, but time-consuming and demands accuracy), my second eye surgery is tomorrow, and I really need to finish up my Victorian hat and try to finish the Victorian corset before the Bustle Dress class starts in the middle of May.
The last 2 weeks have been crazy busy, but things will/should/might start to calm down by Tuesday night. We shall see. (A phrase I believe is begging to be made into a tattoo.)
So, the upshot of all of this is that I think my big Regency birthday weekend bash will have to wait. The Regency Long Stays from The Mantua Maker were much easier to understand and I’ll pick them back up for finishing. They’ll be done when they’re done. And then I can start making gowns.
It’s a little bit disappointing sometimes, not being SuperWoman. But, then, she had her own world of problems to deal with and mine are so much simpler.
Now, where are those darned papers and which page was I on?