Tuesday, February 28, 2017

HSM - Stomachers for Maternity Wear

I've previously blogged about my alterations to my 18th Century wardrobe to make it more maternity-friendly, but as my planned Re-Make, Re-Use, Re-Fashion project did not come about in time, I'm entering my stomachers for this challenge instead.  I made them to go with each of two 18th Century jackets I already owned - the 1785 Block-Printed Jacket and the Green Swallowtail Jacket.

In reality, I made one stomacher and covered it with new fabric to make a "second" one:

I simply made a sleeve of my green fabric and slid the block-printed stomacher inside, then slip-stitched the top closed.  Two for the price of one!  Now either jacket can be worn over my maternity stays.  All I have to do is unpick the top edge of the green fabric and pull out the block-printed one inside!

The Challenge:  Re-Make, Re-Use, Re-Fashion - fulfilled because I created a piece that allows me to continue to wear two jackets that no longer fit over my baby bump.  I'm counting this as a "re-fashion" of the original garments.  Also, piecing scraps together seems like it fits the spirit of the challenge.

Material:  Scraps from two 18th Century jackets I had made previously, interfacing

Pattern:  I used the stomacher pattern piece from the J.P. Ryan Pet-en-l'air pattern

Year:  1770-1785

Notions:  Heavy-duty cable ties for boning

How historically accurate is it?  The stomacher itself is historically accurate, though I'm unsure of whether or not it was ever used in this manner.  I have no documentation for using a stomacher to increase the girth of a jacket for maternity wear, but it made sense to me.

Hours to complete:  The first one took maybe 1.5 hours, but that's because I had to piece my scraps together to get a large enough piece for the front.  The second one took maybe 20 minutes, tops.

First worn:  February 11 for the Mitts, Muffs, & Hoods workshop

Total cost:  Scraps from previous projects - free!  Interfacing - I maybe used $.50 worth.  Cable ties - a package of 50 costs around $15, and I used 3.  So $.90, total of $1.40 approximately


  1. Wonderfully made! I love how ladies back then still stayed fashionable while their babies grew! Just like now! Your interchangeable stomacher is brilliant!

    1. Thanks! I am enjoying doing the historical maternity research. It's a cool way to connect to the past. :)