I’m of the opinion that one can never have too many stomachers. They’re like the statement necklace of the 18th century; interchangeable, drawing the eye to the chest *giggle* and worn in the closure of women’s shirt jackets. And because they’re easy to make and need little fabric (yeah, scraps!), I currently have six…and counting!
My first stomacher was made for made my Claire costume from Outlander (Season 1) with an upholstery fabric and Dritz feather-light boning sewn in. I love this one and it remains my favorite, but because of the coloring, it doesn’t match everything (or even most things).
Wanting a different Claire look for this year at DragonCon (and future Claire options), I made a cream stomacher and a peacock green stomacher but with a cheaper boning (which is rubbish, but usable). Using the JP Ryan’s Ladies Jackets pattern (including stomacher), these little babies take no time to make.
So I just kept making more! After my dogs attacked my prized Pottery Barn duvet cover in the dead center of it (rendering it completely useless as bed clothes), I cut the bottom lining off to use for other projects and saved the decorative top for…whatever may come up. Turns out I have super educated and talented friends who spotted the pattern as Indienne, a fabric pattern popular between 17th and 19th centuries. So I cut down a quarter of the duvet cover for an 18th century jacket (coming soon to the blog) and used some scrappy areas for a lovely stomacher. I also had some grey fabric leftover from my 18th century pockets so I made cuffs and a stomacher from that.
Which one do you like better with the Indienne jacket? Grey or matching floral? I couldn’t decide myself, so I tried on both….and still can’t decide which I prefer. These were also made with the cheap plastic boning…I’m not a fan.
After making 18th century stays, I tried another stomacher but with natural reed boning (doubled). I also had an Outlander handkerchief that begged to be a stomacher instead of its original purpose. And since it was too short for the pattern, I scrap stitched the bottom part of the stomacher and lined up the plaid in the center…hoping it won’t even be noticeable when closed in a jacket and behind lacing. Working with three types of boning so far, I’ve really begun to appreciate and prefer the reed boning for form.