The Daffodown Dilly Stays : Part 1

The Sewing:

So I puchased this pattern awhile ago since it seemed so interesting and this weekend I decided to give them a try. Upon close investigation the pattern revealed itself to be a very cunning piece of corsetry however I had little hope that a commercial pattern, even this one, would fit my frame. Unfortunately I was proven right. And so the butchery began!

I first put together a single layer mockup of the medium size and I immediately discarded it. I could hardly fit my arms into it and so I moved straight on to the large size. It was slightly more successful however there are several places that require significant alteration. The most obvious of which is the gussets. I chose the D cup gusset and while it seemed wide enough it was nowhere near long enough. So on one side I doubled the length of the slit in the centre front pattern piece and "stretched" the gusset piece out by eye. You can see the difference in this image:

On the left of the above image you can see I have elongated the gussets and on the right they are exactly as the pattern has them. I’ve also taken in the side under the arm on the left. The shoulder strap hit much to far to the front instead of closely in to arm as it was intended. In these images you can see the effect the gusset has on the shape. On the left  below are the altered gussets and on the right the unaltered.

In the right-hand image the bottom of the gusset is actually about level with my bust point. As well you may be able to see that the shoulder strap is to far forward (thats not just due to my pose). The back is another story altogether. As you can see I’ve actually used the tabs to tie the stays on, not ties attached to the tabs. This means that it is far, far to big. There should be a gap of at least 5 centimeters between the tabs. An image of the back also illustrates this.

The pieces overlap far to much and it doesn’t have the nice low cut curve shown in the pattern illustrations. As well the straps cut into my shoulders because the curve is misaligned due to the extreme overlap. This is not how the pattern was intended to be worn. I am concerned about lowering the curve since there is very little back support in this case. I’ll have to see how that goes. It should be a relatively easy fix should it prove necessary. 


I’m also considering adding cording in strategic places. I’m nervous about how heavily it wrinkles at the waist. Again this is a wait and see sort of thing. I can easily add that before the binding.

The Sundry:

I have a presentation on clothing from 1812 coming up this Wednesday. I think I’m prepared however I’m presenting for my colleagues at work and since they’re all material culture specialists of one sort or another I need to make sure that I’m on the ball! Wish me luck!


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