Need help! Pattern Piece Weirdness…

April 1, 2009

I have a Pictorial Review pattern from the 20s or 30s that has a piece called a “stay”. The instructions call to “dart stay creasing” and adjust under skirt, but for the life of me I can’t tell where the heck it is supposed to attach to the skirt. The pattern envelope is extremely worn and some of the instructions are broken off.

  1. It’s possible. The back has a “plait”. I wish I could get my hands on a complete set of instructions.

  2. If it’s from the 20s or 30s, my guess would be this is NOT right, but sometimes a “Stay” piece is used to hold gathers or pleats in place.

    Perhaps more likely, could it be meant to form something like a corset or foundation under the dress?

  3. A “stay” adds stability to an area of a garment that may have additional stress or where there is shirring, gathers or pleats. I believe the direction “dart stay creasing” could me that during or after stitching the dart, you would then reinforce that dart by adding the “stay” to the crease part (or folded section) of the dart, to avoid the dart pulling or stressing. Does that make sense? If you need further direction you can email me directly at thehemline at eoni dot com. I might be able to draw a picture and email it to you!


  4. Thanks Carol! When I double checked the date on the pattern, it’s from ca. 1914. I can NOT believe that it’s almost 100 years old and still pristine. The website you sent me to explained EXACTLY what the stay was and how it ingtegrated into the dress. You ROCK! To anyone wondering, basically, the stay is the invisible waistband. It makes perfect sense when you read the website Carol posted. Major lightbulb over head moment!

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