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Unread 04-14-2011, 05:12 PM   #1
Brsis
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Jumps vs Stays? Plus! More 18th C Underwear Questions Than Anyone Really Needs

I'm working on a 1780's caraco (My love of Patterns of Fashion was re-sparked...) - and eventually the rest of the outfit to go with it - but I'm undecided on the underpinnings, and really I need to tailor the coat over the under bodice so if I'm sensible I'll do that first.

I'm not intending this to be an especially opulent outfit and jackets were usually classed as 'undress' which makes me lean away from fully boned stays - which is what I have most of my experience with - unless someone convinces me otherwise. The main question right now is - half boned stays, or jumps? I don't have the kind of figure that needs much marshalling (I usually ditch the bodice altogether 1795-1820 because I'm naturally Regency shaped) and I do plan to make this out of a really pretty embroidered fabric so it can double for earlier 18th C undress wear later, which makes me lean towards jumps. On the other hand, I'm worried the jumps will wrinkle and spoil the pattern on the fabric or simply fail to give me the right shape for the jacket - which is after all a close fronted 'outdoor day-to-day middle class' kind of jacket rather than a strictly 'at home with the wealthy girls' undress kind of jacket. Half boned might just be safer. Decisions!

Otherwise, I've never made EITHER before, so I'm musing over what cut and style I want, and there's not so many existing ones I can work off. Do the more casual styles of 18th C bodice still have that effect of rolling back your shoulders? Are straps optional or mandatory? Tabs or no tabs?

Also I need to be able to get in and out of it myself, which gives me lacing issues (Compared to the fully boned stays that I made, which were always designed so that someone else had to lace me into them) - a centre front lacing is more accessible but also potentially messes up the design at the front. A centre front fastening would be mandatory if I was going to do an accurate single-lace, but if I use more modern double lacing I can fasten up the back alone. I'm dubious of how well this is going to work with this style of bodice - does anyone have any experience of converting a stays or jumps pattern to double lacing?

Thanks!
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Last edited by Brsis : 04-15-2011 at 07:23 AM. Reason: Damn my spelling
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Unread 04-18-2011, 02:42 AM   #2
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*Crickets*

... nobody? Nobody here does 18th Century? At all?

P.S. I've found a lot of people don't even bother with coutil for half-boned stays (Including, apparently, the original staymakers of the 18th Century), so what do you reckon my chances with upholstery weight cotton velvet are?
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Unread 04-18-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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I've only done one 18th century dress, and did back-lacing half-boned stays. Can't really offer much advice...
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Unread 04-18-2011, 09:02 PM   #4
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I don't do much with women's wear, so I am not of much use.

But from what I do know, I would say...

Yes, straps. The overwhelming majority of garments I've seen up to the Regency period did have straps. A personal bias of mine is that no straps on corsets of this era make me think someone didn't do much research and has no idea what they're making. Sorry. Worked at Renaissance Festival, have seen so many terrible things. >.>

Yes, tabs. Since they existed by this time and were used, I would. They're much more comfortable than without. They are also much more flattering - even a skinny person (one thin enough to count ribs) is going to bulge and pinch without them since it's going to hit right where even the most lean person is squishy and internal-organsy.

I'm not sure about the posture, but I think you would just need wide-placed straps and a bit of willpower. Boning in the back would help, and a higher back will help create better posture, as well as having the straps positioned to most economically distribute force. However, you will probably end up with sore and tired shoulders if you're not used to it.

CF opening shouldn't mess up the design - just take it into consideration when you layout the pattern on fabric. Also, I've done spiral lacing up the back completely by myself. It's possible and I think it's actually easier than modern lacing up the back. But making it CF would be easier, anyway. I really wouldn't make the lacing modern. There's nothing fancy involved, but I just wouldn't since if you're going through all this trouble, why not do the neater-looking lacing ?

CF spiral lacing with a flat ribbon/tape won't add much bulk, either.

Jumps shouldn't wrinkle with a few pieces of boning used, as well as if you quilt-interline or lightly bone the bodice that goes over it.
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Unread 04-19-2011, 04:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcasm-hime View Post
I've only done one 18th century dress, and did back-lacing half-boned stays. Can't really offer much advice...
Oooh, well that's a start! How were they? Narrow across the back? What kind of lacing did you use at the back, and was it easy to get in and out of yourself or did you need help? Did you try the thing of having bones criss-crossing each other? (I'm seeing it on a lot - if not most - half-boned stays patterns I'm coming across and none of them with good directions for how to do it)

The only one I've found so far with no straps I'm now pretty sure has been modified later on and is not true to period (Oh, museums, you can be so unhelpful when you feel like it...) but I'm still uncertain of the shoulders issue, it's so hard to compare garments made for different sized and shaped people. I have very, very broad shoulders so stays patterns are always massively too narrow between the shoulder blades, but I'm not sure what posture I should be aiming for when I adjust - 'ideally' with fully boned stays your shoulder blades are supposed to touch, which is simply never going to happen on me, but obviously jumps don't have the pulling power to do that and I don't know whether half-boned stays do, or if they aim for somewhere in between... I might just have to go with the middle ground for now and see how it works out, since I'm sure to do another set SOMETIME.

The embroidered fabric I'm planning to use has a pattern that makes a very nice 'centre piece' which simply isn't going to work with a centre front lacing, but also all that embroidery just makes boning channels awkward full stop. On the other hand, if I make them up as just jumps (Which have no bones at all) I can see me bending down or slouching for a bit and then finding I've got dreadful wrinkles (In 100% upholstery-weight cotton... with SILK embroidery. How the hell do you even iron that???) that's going to mess up the pretty pattern even worse than a centre front lacing would! I think I may just have to choose another fabric...
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Unread 04-19-2011, 10:54 AM   #6
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I did have the front bones crossing each other, and am pretty happy with it. I used JP Ryan's pattern. Basically you sew up to the crossing point but not PAST it, so the crossing point is unsewn in both directions allowing the bones to slide in.

The shoulders pull back a bit, but not painfully. I did spiral lacing, and can get into the stays myself, but it takes a bit of wriggling. I tend to swing them around to the front and lace as far as I can in front, then turn them around, wrestle myself into the armholes, and then finish the lacing behind my neck (I have long arms so it's not too difficult, YMMV).

You *could* do center-lacing and then have a separate stomacher...? It would smooth out any bumps from the lacing and show off the pattern.
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Unread 04-21-2011, 09:53 AM   #7
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Now that IS interesting - and it sounds less bulky than the other option I was looking at, which involved 'pockets'. I shall give it a go ^.^

I shall also give the 'lace up in front and twist it round' approach a go, can't believe I didn't think of that! Especially since I can quite happily leave the straps free and tie them down in front afterwards - I think if I was lacing top to bottom loosely, swivelling it round and then tightening it I could manage that with no significant problems (A quick check reveals I can still walk my fingers up my own spine to the nape of my neck, so being creepy bendy DOES come in handy sometimes) since it's really only being able to see what I'm doing with all those tiny hand-done eyelets.
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