As always in historical costuming, first things first: the underwear. There‘s nothing more gruesome as dresses that are supposed to be worn with stays or a corset bunching over a non-corseted belly… so, before the joy there‘s always the duty. A chemise, Diderot-ish stays, several under-petticoats, side-hoops or false rumps, all that needs to be fashioned.

Me in chemise and the stays, covered in some historically incredibly inaccurate but beautiful brocade 🙂

Sidehoops, a hip-roll and a bumpad, for different styles of gowns and different timespans in the 18th century.

The stays, by the way, are already the second attempt. The first one was: Hey, we‘ve got this wonderful pattern and it fits my measurements. I‘ll do a pair of stays sewed entirely by hand! Yay.

The joy ended rather abruptly when I put them on and discovered that the couldn‘t possibly fit anyone. I do have a supershort rump, in most patterns I have to shorten. But this? Aahhh, forget it. It was too short by at least four inches. I have an idea how to salvage the handsewn one, as it is made of much lighter fabric, still, right now it will have to go to the UFO-pile, as something‘s looming on the horizon: Costume College. And that means that whatever I want to be wearing then has absolute top priority. A second pair of 18th century stays doesn‘t.