Strapless Fully-Boned Stays 2.0

Like with any women's undergarment, there's always wear and tear and the occasional body fluxuations that make you want groan but have to bite the bullet and make a new pair or shopping for a new set. The corset and stays are no exception. After remaking my first pair of fully boned stays 2016 and a pair of half-boned in 2019, it was time for me to make a 3rd pair (this time switching back to the full-boned).

Using my favorite pattern from J.P. Ryan, I made this new pair of stays out of cotton tweed fabric. I also elongated the front and sides of the stays by 3 inches, as the original pattern I used to make my first pair of fully-boned stays were a bit too short for my torso.

Compared to my last two pairs of stays, where I used metal boning (which definitely retained a lot of heat) and zipties (flexible, but not enough rigidity), this was the very first time I used reed canes for boning. I was a bit hesitant to use them at first, as the bones were so lightweight and brittle, that everytime I inserted them into the channels, they would break. Thankfully, a friend of mine gave me a perfect option of doubling up the bones by inserting two into one channel for better durability. After sanding the backs and sides with some fine sandpaper and then coating them with beeswax, I was able to see a positive difference. Still, I feel that I must treat these pair of stays with extra care when wearing and maneuvering around them, as I feel as I could still end up breaking a bone or two.

Testing out my new stays while wearing a wooden busk in the front; to my surprise, it was very comfortable and continued to hold the desired shape. 

After covering the entire edges of the stays with bias tape, I then focused on the final portion of the project: making the eyelets. Like I did with my last pair, I used embroidery thread which worked very well, and weaved in 3 yards of small parachute cords that I picked up at Michael's for the strings.

Overall this pair of stays fared pretty well and feel more comfortable. On Wednesday, I wore them for most the day while doing an Ona Judge program, and after wearing them for 4 hours, I didn't feel overheated (since I switched to reed bones) and most importantly, feel the stays slipping down. The weightless feeling is something that I will have to get used to, and given how breathable it is, I will more than likely enjoy it as the Summer months approach.


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