Well, if one wants to have a beautiful Tudor gown, one must have the proper undergarments. It is amazing how many perfectly well done gowns are ruined because of the wrong silhouette caused by a modern bra or corset of the wrong time period. So.....I had to make stays...... which I've never done before, nor even come close to doing.
Much to my surprise, it was not painful. In actuality my stays may be the most uncomplicated thing I have ever sewn. Huh, who knew? Apparently I can sew corsets. Woot! Now, with a confidence boost I can move on to the gown.
I know it's not the prettiest thing, but it functions.
No one will see it anyway....
Here it is sporting the colors of the Green Bay Packers.....well really now Christmas colors since the addition of red ribbon. Green cotton duck canvas, a nice heavy duty fabric that will be able to withstand the strain of tightening and steel, is what I used as the fabric. The best part about duck canvas is that it's cheap. Yes, silk is sturdy and pretty, but it's expensive. My stays are outlined in grosgrain ribbon. This allows me to create the pockets for the boning with two layers of canvas without all the tedious work of folding the edges closed. This is the economic and pretty way to seal it all off and make it look finished.
My stays were made with a custom pattern tailored specifically to my measurements. I used the drafting and making directions from the Custom Corset Pattern Generator from www.elizabethancostume.net
These guys really know what they're talking about! Read EVERYTHING!
My supplies (1 wooden busk, 12 8" steel bones, 4 9" steel bones, and two 10" lacing steel bones) came from www.corsetmaking.com
If you need it to make a corset, they have it! Speedy delivery too. Definitely buying from them again.