Apr 152011
 

Janet Arnold describes in Patterns of Fashion that…

“Under (the overdress) was (at the point when the tomb was opened in 1857) another of (…) crimson velvet (…). (…) There is no trace of a skirt (now) for the crimson velvet bodice (…).
The velvet bodice fastens at the front with hooks and eyes (…). It would have been lined with linen (…).
It is not certain if this was a ‘pair of bodies’ or corset (…) or a ‘petticoat bodies’ to support a petticoat, or under-skirt (…).
There are stitch holes at the waist but no trace of any velvet skirt (now), although the description of 1857 would seem to indicate that there was one originally (…).”

While this description is very vague, it also allows me to practically sew anything in red velvet as an undergarment 🙂

I have decided to make boned stays in red velvet. I still have some garnet red silk velvet left from a former sewing project and I will happily use this, as I like the color very much. I would have liked to make a petticoat of that material as well, but I don’t have enough of that particular color, so I’ll just go go the stays.
I can wear my red-golden ‘Pelican gown’ farthingale with the gown, so in case I should lift the overskirt up there will still be a nice red undergarment visible.
I will also make the front opening which closes with hooks and eyes; I think that’s a very practical method for closing stays. The stays will also lace on the backside.
As I would like to bone the stays with reed, I will also have to insert four steel bones to each back- and front left and right side, to stabilize the front closure and lacings.

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