The Daffodown Dilly Stays : Part 2


The Sewing:

So on to mockup number two…

I used a combination of sized in this mockup. This is trick I’ve used with some modern sewing pattern. Often I use a commercial size 16 for front pieces and a size 12 or 14 for back pieces. In this case I used the medium sized pieces for most of the stays except for the upper front portion where I used the large. To make the large piece fit into the rest of the garment I measured the top edge of the lower front and marked this measurement on the corresponding bottom edge of the upper front. I then simply folded the excess at the side away. Remember, I wanted to reduce the space at the front between the side/armscye and the shoulder strap so folding away this excess portion helped with this. I used my elongated gussets on both sides, extending the slashes as they were written on the pattern nearly all the way to the seam. I was pleased with the result.




There is enough room in the bust now but the angle of the gussets could be changed. I’ll also add just a tad to the curve of the seam in th centre so that when the busk is inserted there’s enough "give" for it to divide the bust a little. The tabs are now a little to far apart for my liking but I think I’ll simple lengthen the lower back portion so that they wrap a little closer together. I do this because I’m quite pleasantly surprised with how the back turned out.


It doesn’t really look it in this picture but the curve on the back is really quite flattering. As well it’s very comfortable! This is probably what surprised me the most. I didn’t expect it to feel the way it does but I like it!

The straps to cut into the back of my arm a bit as you might be able to tell in this picture:


The shoulder strap is much more than a simple rectangle. It’s carefully curved over the shoulder but straightens out more along the back of the arm. I think I should be able to continue the curve so that it doesn’t dig in the way it does now. I’ll try to lengthen the straps just a tad as well.

I started playing around with the gusset angles and considering how long I want to busk to be. I’ve marked my bust point in pink on this mockup as well as a vertical line running through it. I’ll reposition the gussets so that they run parallel to this line



I’m also going to eliminate the extra curve at the bottom edge of the centre front. The darker line in the middle is where I’m considering ending my busk. My main problem with my other set of stays was that the boning in the centre front dug into my middle when I was doing anything other than standing or sitting straight up. This line marks the shorted busk I’d feel comfortable with. In order for it to function properly with this pattern, it has to be long enough to be held in place by the ties in the front. As well as certain length is necessary in order to support the bust. On the other hand, too long and it will dig in and not be comfortable. I’m planning on playing around a lot with the length of my busk. I’ll hopefully persuade my Dad to make one for me that’s on the long side and shorten it after wearing the stays around and trying out each new length.

I’ve copied most of the pieces of the pattern in order to keep the original intact and have added my changes to the copied pieces. I think I’ll do one last mockup and then I should be ready to start on the final version. But before I can begin I need to answer a few of my own questions…

I want to handsew this since I’m trying to keep as much of my reenactor gear handsewn as I possibly can. However the pattern is designed for machine construction with bag lining and such whereas I usually flatline my handsewn garments. I am also undecided as to what kinds of fabric I want to use. My last set was made out of an ordinary plain weave linen and I really enjoyed the feel of them. The example I’ve seen was made of two layers of cotton twill. this feels a bit heavy to me. However I’m not certain the slightly loose weave of the linen would hold up well to any cording I might choose to add. I’ll have to go through my stash and see what is available. Hopefully I’ll find something that will satisfy me.

I find when I’m doing patterning like this that I want to just work on it for several hours in a row. I don’t like to spread it over several days because I inevitably loose momentum. It is, however, nearly 2am so I should head to bed.



2 thoughts on “The Daffodown Dilly Stays : Part 2

  1. I got this pattern and want to try it out, so I’m really interested in how your process goes.
    As far as fabric… no idea if this is period or not, but I used cotton sateen on my past patterns stays, because it’s strong like a twill but not as heavy. I wanted cotton because it tends to stretch less than linen.

  2. I used the pattern and loved it. I chose unbleached denim for the outer fabric. Next – long stays with back lacings. Thanks for posting about your experience

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