Friday, March 24, 2017

Bernhardt Stays, Round #2, part 2

In my last post, I tried on my 3-year-old mockup of the Bernhardt stays, and they did NOT quite fit. 

I had originally planned on just altering my old pattern to accommodate the new fit issues. However, the more I thought about it, the more I thought that just holistically scaling up the pattern might be a better plan. 

So, I remeasured myself. 25.2 cm from front of shoulder to center back, measured as indicated in Sabine's original post. Divided by 7, this turns into 3.6cm. Last time, I enlarged to 3.25cm. The difference seemed so small that I wasn't sure that I would get much of a change in the overall pattern size, but I was definitely wrong! 

3.25cm pattern laid over 3.6cm pattern
This actually made me a bit nervous that the new pattern would be too large, but I just cut right against the top and bottom edges (removing any seam allowance to reduce overall body length), and stitched it up. 

It wasn't too big! This really is an excellent pattern, it scales so well. The underarm (which gains the most length via the size increase) fit pretty much exactly - any bigger and it would have been too big. The bust gussets were almost PERFECT this time around. 

This fit was overall much more comfortable than the old mockup. Look, no wrinkles! And it didn't feel too tight.

Lift and separate! 

The shoulder straps aren't placed accurately, as I had to pin them onto myself while wearing the stays. Still torn between crossed straps vs. straight...
I'm going to make just a few adjustments (moving the back gusset 1/4" from its neighbor, adding an extra 1" to each side of the back) but this is pretty satisfactory! Moving on to the final stays from here. 


Coming soon: embroidered garters! With springs - my Wilesco Z80 springs are on the way! 


  1. Excellent! It makes me smile all over that you're so happy with the pattern, I'm sure J.S. Bernhardt would love to hear this :)
    After gathering some bits on his biography on my trip to Dresden last year, I've now started to assemble another (slightly earlier) pair of stays from Bernhardt, I hope there's more to share about another study this spring/early summer.


    1. Ooh, now I am looking forward to seeing what this new pair of Bernhardt stays will look like!! Your research is always a joy to read, I am so grateful that you share it with us all. :)