Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Past Patterns Gestational Stays 705 and Simplicity 2890

I was kind of hesitant to post these on my blog--so risqué!  But ah well, I was annoyed when trying to find reviews of the stays that I couldn't find any reviews with pictures of pregnant women actually wearing them, which would have helped me know how to fit them better myself.  So for anyone looking to make these, this is for you.
As far as Simplicity 2890--I really liked this chemise pattern.  I considered just drafting my own using Elizabeth Stewart Clark's The Dressmaker's Guide instructions, it would have been more historically accurate for the 1840's, but honestly I wanted something a little fancier.  So this is more of 1850's-60's chemise pattern.  I read a comment from Kay Gnagey, the designer of this pattern for Simplicity that the actual chemise  pattern was based on extant garment from 1863 (I think--my memory isn't so exact, but it was early 1860's anyway.)  I didn't think it through very well though, because the chemise is off the shoulders, and I didn't want mine off so much.  So while I made size 22 in body of the chemise and in the sleeves, I made the yoke a size 16 (my normal Simplicity top size).  The yoke ended up huge.  And so after pinning and comparing, I made a size 12 yoke top.  This fit exactly perfect like the picture on the pattern envelope.  But then I widened the shoulders, and took in a couple of tucks, so that the chemise wouldn't sit off my shoulders.  All in all, I really love how it turned out.  I thought the underarm facings were great, especially since I used a very light-weight cotton lawn.  And I had no problem with the instructions.

The gestational stays were an entirely different story though.  I hate how the bust turned out.  Too flattened in the bottom and too loose in the top.  I messed with those gussets forever trying to get them to fit right, and I'm still not happy with it.  The rest of it is surprisingly comfortable and supportive though kind of like a pregnancy belt/cradle.  I posted on a Facebook group I belong to early in the process of making it, and Ms Elizabeth Stewart Clark herself answered and suggested I add steel boning to the back.  Can't really refuse good advice from an expert, so I added six flat steel boning pieces to the back.  However I had no idea how to measure for the length of boning--I had my husband measure but then I still went a little shorter than that.  I think it actually turned out a good length. I cut off an extra 4.5 inches or more on the back though--just tapered it up from the front.  It was way too long.  And then I added cording under the armpits and on the sides and on the nursing flaps.  You can't really see it in my pictures though.  And then with the nursing flaps, it needs another button on the bottom because it's not supportive otherwise and makes your bust all weird looking.  
I wish I could just wear it around everywhere honestly (like I said it's comfortable and supportive) but you couldn't really wear it with modern clothes.  Even wearing a hoodie over it, it looked weird.  But The pattern I would recommend with the knowledge that you're going to have to make a lot of modifications

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