Challenge 1: Foundations Regency Underpinnings

Sophia here! So for the first HSM challenge of the year I decided to tackle Regency underpinnings. So I have always been very inspired by post revolutionary France and the dramatic impact that it had on fashion. I needed these foundations to build on for the War and Peace challenge later this year. I shot the photos on my lovely friend Victoria.

2009-03-08 19.31.10 copy

The research:


While I was researching I found such a wide variety from this era. It was a major transition from the hard boned stays of the 1700s to the soft corded stays of the early 1800s. I tried to keep these short stays historically plausible but I also wanted them to fit my body type and have decorative corded elements. I would like to change the stays to fan lacing when I can figure it out. (tips anyone?)

The Process:


To start with I made an inner layer out of a light weight cotton it hold the plastic bones in place to be corded around. Then I stitched it to the upper layer starting from the center and working my way outwards. To cord I used 3 strands of light weight cotton yarn used for crocheting.


The gussets in the lining are machine stitched a big no no considering I hand stitched the rest.


I made the busk out of a paint stir stick.


The eyelets were stitched over metal washers to insure security.

The Results:

2009-03-08 19.31.10 copy

2009-03-08 19.32.16 copy

2009-03-08 19.36.12 copy

2009-03-08 19.38.36 copy


The Details
Fabric: Stays: 100% cotton jean outside, 100% cotton broadcloth lining, 100% cotton interlining Chamise: 100% cotton bleached muslin
Pattern: Both pieces were self drafted.
Year: 1800-1815
Notions: Both pieces were sewn with cotton thread and have cotton draw strings. The stays are corded with cotton cording and have a small amount of plastic boning. The busk was made from a wooden paint stirrer stick. I did use metal washers to reenforce the eyelets.
How historically accurate is it? Stays: 90% all visible stitching is hand done. The design is a combination of several examples from the Met. The metal washers and plastic boning take it down a few points. Chamise: 60% they are machine sewn and too short I want to lengthen them with another panel. The pattern is correct.
Hours to complete: Stays: So many that it makes my head spin. Chamise: One afternoon.
First worn: To shoot photos on my model. I’ll probably wear them for the war and peace challenge.
Total cost:Under 50$ some notions were stash and the yardage was under 10$ yrd.

Historical Sew Monthly January Progress

Sophia here! So I have been making slow but fruitful progress on my regency stays. I also plan on making a chamise and stockings based on The Dreamstress’ wonderful pattern. So here are few pictures of my progress. Look forward to my complete post later this month.


The pattern which has been ever changing since I started sewing.


The bust gussets turned out to be really fun to make.


The start of the body, unfortunately my had sewing precision is lacking but this is my first hand sewn period garment.