Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Early 19th Century Riding Stays

What the item is: A pair of early 19th century riding stays
The Challenge, and how this item fulfills it: Firsts and Lasts. A well-fitted garment needs well-fitted underpinnings, of course!
Fabric/Materials: Cotton drill, Southern Belle cotton
Pattern: Custom-made from Redthreaded on Etsy, done specifically to my measurements.
Year: 1810 or thereabouts
Notions: Spiral steel boning, synthetic whalebone, bone casing, metal grommets, pre-made bias binding, pre-cut and tipped corset lacing.
How historically accurate is it? The pattern is based loosely on an original from the defunct collections of The Museum of Costume and Textiles in Nottingham, UK. Other than that, it's abysmal. I machine sewed every single stitch, bought pre-packaged binding, put in metal two-piece grommets...it's terrible. I'm going to say 10%. HOWEVER. I now know that the pattern fits great, and this iteration gives me a garment that I can wear while sitting on a sidesaddle to see what, if any, changes are needed before I invest hours into a hand-sewn, corded replica. So for what it is, it's perfect.
Hours to complete: Not very many. The hardest part was the binding and that took me just one evening. Stitch in the ditch...not even once.
First worn: Just now for photos, but those were unbearably terrible so you get dress form pictures instead, even though it doesn't fit Cuffy nearly as well as it fits me.
Total cost: $40 for the pattern, maybe $30 for fabric and materials used? I ordered lots of extra corsetmaking supplies at the same time but hardly used any at all for this. Definitely less than $100 all told, though!