A few weeks ago I wrote of my plans to attend a Jane Austen festival in Canberra next April, and my preparations for same. Well, I have begun!
I ordered the Regency Underthings Pattern (digital version) from Sense & Sensibility Patterns - a bargain at $9.95 as it includes patterns for a chemise, short stays, and two chemisettes.
I bought 5m of fine white cotton sheeting fabric ($20) and have made my first (of three) chemises, and it is so comfortable I have been wearing it to bed! I have also made both version of the chemisettes (basically under-blouses with no sleeves) in the same fabric - they just need the ribbon draw string inserted at the bottom and perhaps a ribbon to the the frilled neck one - although I am thinking of just using a brooch.
Now tackling the short stay. My first attempt at the stay (a sort of regency bra or short corset) was too large, and I realized I had cut out the wrong size - sizes 8 to 26 are included - but now I think I have the right fit. The stay consists of three layers, and is a bit more fiddly than the other under-things. The instructions recommend to start with the lining, which is what I have done.
|chemise and chemisettes|
|Short stay - lining|
The Oregon Regency Society have some wonderful pointers about short stays -
I particularity love this advice -
"The rule of thumb is this, your gusset cups should not cover much more than the lower half/hemisphere of your breasts. The nipple should be just barely covered by the edge of your binding, or even half-covered. The top half of your breasts should be pillowed in the cups. What keeps them from falling out is the neckline of your shift. "
For some more wonderful advice, illustrations and history I have found these sites helpful and interesting -
Regency Era Short Stays vs Long Stays - Wearing History
A pair of transitional stays, from the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Another example of a cotton Regency corset (c. 1800-1825) – from the National Trust website
Achieving a proper fit with Regency stays – by Oregon Regency Society
Examples and pictures of Regency era underwear – Jessamyn’s Regency Costume Companion
How to set a triangular gusset – Sempstress