Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Regency Stays and Wintery Days

Remember the regency stays I made last summer? Well, I finally grew inspired to make my “real” stays from those which, having been made of uncomfortable as well as rather unsuitable materials, were never worn except for try-ons. Inspiration struck for no apparent reason on Saturday, and yesterday I finished up these new stays, which are very comfortable and I am sure will be worn often!

Perhaps my inspiration stemmed, unconsciously, from the series of Jane Austen movies that PBS has recently been playing on Sunday evenings. I have watched almost all of them and again fallen in love with the regency style. My only prick of doubt comes from my husbands opinion of the regency style which he says look like “glorified nightgowns”. I begged and implored him for reasons why he objected to me wearing such styles and at last he told me that it is because when I am “into” an era other than the Civil War, he is afraid I will want to stop reenacting with him! NOW, since we got THAT settled, he seems actually somewhat interested in mens regency fashion and wants me to make him an outfit!! Yay!!! I recently discovered an English Country Dancing group that meets in a nearby city so perhaps we will have occasion to wear these new clothes to an appropriate event, rather than eliciting stares and sometimes comments from people at Wal Mart, where we have been known to wear our Civil War garb when grocery shopping.

These stays were made from white cotton twill, interlined with cotton canvas and lined with the same cotton twill. I only lined and interlined the gussets. I couldn’t figure out how to sew the lining gussets into the lining so they would match up perfectly with the gussets on the outside, so I just left out the gussets in the lining and slip stitched the lining to the gussets at the seams. It works, for now anyway. If I make more I will try to make the lining with gussets. I just hate making gussets so much! LOL

The edges are bound with green/blue silk and the embroidery is done with blue cotton floss. I wanted to try tambour embroidery on these but having no knowledge of that, and no hook, I instead worked the design in chain stitch, which, I have read, looks similar to tambour. I drew the design freehand but now realize I should have used a transfer pattern for a more uniform look. Oh well. I am not the greatest at embroidery and have not done very much of it in the past. I will learn and hopefully get better as I practice more!

It is a frightfully cold morning here. A light sprinkling of snow fell during the night and the sky has that white-ish appearance it gets when it holds even more snow. A few days ago it was almost fifty degrees. This winter has been rather topsy-turvey to say the least! Like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead, when it’s good it’s good, and when it’s bad it’s horrid! At least it is lovely even if it is very cold. The snow is a beautifying veil to the dead barrenness of winter time.

In conclusion, here are some new pictures of my babies! I was greatly saddened the other day because Judah is not wanting to nurse much anymore. He is five months old now and that is the age when I started his brother on formula. However, in that case, it was necessary since I was pregnant and my milk production was slowing down. That is not the case here, it just seems he has little interest in nursing anymore so he has started some formula. So far he gets a bottle between breast feedings but I have a feeling it won’t be long before he has totally weaned himself from me. The first step in letting go of your children. . .Oh it’s a wonderful, although sometimes painful, thing to be a mother! Children are the greatest blessing in the world! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Little David is my sweetheart. (in conjunction with his dear Papa, of course!) Each morning when I go into his room to get him from his crib he is standing there looking at me.



I get to fall in love each day. Am I not the luckiest girl in the world?


  1. I love seeing your babies, they are adorable! I also sew and am corrently working on civil war under garments. But I do like other time periods as well.
    Faith G.

  2. Thank you for the lovely compliment on the babies! I wish you the best of luck with your Civil War undergarments! It's so much fun to have pretty white underclothing to wear! So different than our modern undies. :)

  3. Hello Sarah Jane! I have a little question for you. I tried my hand at making stays... and to put it lightly, it did not turn out well! Yours are quite lovely, and I was wondering if you would possibly consider making a set for me? And if you would consider it, do you know about how much you would charge? I don't want anything fancy... just all white and plain! :) I could pay you through your etsy shop perhaps? I would love to have a set to wear with my Regency dresses, but I have found the limit of my sewing skills. If you don't desire to, please feel free to say no! I just couldn't help but ask! :)

    My email is:


    Thank you !!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!