The Challenge:Foundations: make something that is the foundation of a period outfit.
Fabric:Cotton Muslin, Cotton Duck Cloth
Year:First Half of the 19th C from 1820 to 1860
Notions:Pink cotton thread, white cotton thread, Bamboo wood edge from a placemat, cotton twine
How historically accurate is it?For 1860 - not to shabby. It's machine sewn in part with the upper edge being hand sewn, hand bound eyelets, and hand done embroidery.
Hours to complete:5 or 6, I think?
First worn:This weekend, I hope.
Total cost:Everything was stash so maybe $6? I think the placemat was $2 when I bought it and I know the muslin wasn't exactly pricey. The thread was part of a large batch I got years upon years ago from a thrift store for 10 cents.
So, gussets don't like me. Actually, I know of very few ladies who are gifted up top that can wear gussets without complaint. Therefore, I went looking for a pair of stays that would work for the Romantic era that didn't have gussets and I found a few.
The first pair I found, and the pair I based this one off of is actually from 1860. Although it does have side gussets, it's not the type that you typically see with the earlier stays. Rather, these look more like piecing than that for cup size. Another one I liked that was from the right time period (1810 - 1830) is at the Met and also lacked the cup gussets. Both are pretty similar in shape.
The sides to the pieces for the stay I made are curved but the back edge is straight. I thought it looked way too plain once it was done so I added a bit of embroidery where the busk is. The busk being the bamboo edge to a placemat I took apart years ago.
It's not the prettiest pair of stays, but it is functional and I finally have a pair of long stays!
EDIT: Here is another example of stays without gussets. And another... And another! They might not have been the most common, but they also weren't unknown.