Or, my first full 18th c wardrobe commission.
This is my friend Courtney, who asked me to make an 18th century gown and underpinnings for the upcoming home school week at Colonial Williamsburg in September. Last week we met up at the fabric store and plotted out exactly what she wanted! I'm making stays, pockets, a shift, a petticoat and a robe a la anglaise with a stomacher for her. I'm very excited because this is the largest commission I've done so far!
Starting with the stays seemed like the most logical course of action, as they are absolutely necessary before I can take proper measurements for the gown. Courtney asked for back-lacing, half-boned, strapless stays with horizontal boning across the front, similar to the Period Impressions pattern here. In my humble personal opinion, I have found this style of stays to provide a bit more flexibility, which is what Courtney wanted! She chose a thick, natural cotton duck for her stays, and I'll be binding the edges with a blue cotton blend I have in my stash. The pattern was custom drafted to fit her measurements, leaving a gap of 3-4 inches in the back after she laces in. I expect the stays to be finished, except for binding the edges, by Tuesday, and I'll take pictures then so you all can see what I've been working on!