Thursday, May 13, 2010

Transition Stays: Transposition Exposed

The last few months several evenings per week after the tots have gone to sleep have been devoted to completing a pair of Past Patterns Transition Stays (the heavily boned version circa 1796-1806). They have been, generally speaking, a pleasure to create, for like other Saundra Ros Altman patterns, the product is high quality and superbly documented. Making them has given me a good dose of experience in18th century stitches and construction methods, and the attention to detail required has suited my temperament. Yet...

...those who prefer to examine the needles on the trees, even more than the trees themselves, should beware of the forest.

Small, even stitching isn't worth a pile of pins when part of the stays have been assembled upside down.

Photo: Past Patterns "Transition Stay" Fashionable Circa 1796-1806

4 comments:

MrsC said...

OH NO!!!!!!! I admire your restraint, my language at this point would be unprintable!!!

The Jersey Homesteader said...

You are a great inspiration for me. I have always been interested in making period clothing. I bought my first corset pattern. I am hoping after the spring planting to begin working on this project. I have always looked at women from yesteryear and how they sewed their own clothes. Why are women of modern times not doing the same. My goal is to learn to sew more of my own clothes.

Bethany Lynn said...

Oh dear!! Do persevere! I have made these before and they can be oh so frustrating! Keep going! You can do it :D

ZipZipInkspot said...

Golly, thank you kindly for the support! The discovery was a nasty shock and I thought some choice words, Mrs. C., no doubt of that, but the solution was, I hope, made with 18th century pragmatism.

I snipped apart the overcasting that held the offending pieces together, then snipped the binding, reset and re-overcast the pieces together, and pieced two patches of new binding atop the cut binding to repair them. And reset the breastbone casings.

The results are workmanlike and gave me a chance to refine felling stitches made on top of boning: this round they are neat and hard to see.

Have four eyelets to finish and they are done!

Jersey Homesteader, it is a real joy to make clothes and when you do it a lot it can really move along and you get a better fit and your own design.

The downside, as women then knew, is the time investment. If you have a busy household, not everything can get done without help. That's why in personal journals you hear of women complain of sore eyes and late hours, and why so many even middling households hired out at least part of the work when they could.

The lesson I most like from that period is frugality and keeping the "I wants" at bay. Make a few good pieces last, make and mend and mend again. If you lack time to make clothes, you can still learn the fine art of mending and refitting. Few people know how to do it these days, but it's very satisfying.

Very best,

Natalie in KY