I had plans for Saturday. It looks like the wet season is as good as over, so I was going to scrub some more mould off the walls and then start on my Easter cooking....but, with a green top next on my list and a St Patrick's function to go to, the lure of the sewing machine was too strong. So I made up Vogue 2970 (Donna Karan). It is a bias-cut camisole with front pleats and a weird collar thing that folds over the top and arm-hole edges. The front was made in a cotton-silk blend woven and the back in a rayon? blend knit, both purchased from Oh Sew! Noosa. It was too windy to take photographs on my verandah, so today you get to see this very artistic corrugated fence in my back yard.
The camisole has widely spaced straps and is quite loose-fitting, so it gaped quite a bit when I wore it. Today, I made a decollete stay, to hold it in place, which worked a treat. The photo below shows the stay on the inside. It is basically a length of boning inside a casing, which is attached to the garment at the top end. The stay tucks inside your bra, so that the camisole doesn't gape when you do all that Irish dancing!
Here are some instructions for making a decollete stay, taken from a special edition of Australian Stitches called "Couture Sewing Secrets", printed in 2000.
You need 7 cm boning, lightweight silk lining and matching thread.
1. Cut a piece of boning 7cm long. Cut the silk 8.5 cm long and twice the width of the boning + 1.5 cm.
2. Begin with the silk wrong side up. At one end, fold 5mm to the wrong side and press.
3. With the right sides together, fold the silk lengthwise. Shorten the stitch length, then machine stitch a 5mm seam at the side and remaining end.
4. Trim the seams to 3mm and turn the tube right side out.
5. Insert the stay and slip-stitch the open end closed.
6. Sew the stay to the facing, just below the finished neckline, with fell stitches to create a hinge effect. (For this project, I attached the stay to the point where the folded-over collar was tacked down.)