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Table at the Bostonian Society, infant stays to the lower right.

Table at the Bostonian Society, infant stays to the lower right. Photo courtesy Sew 18th Century

Several weeks ago now, Sew 18th Century and I went up to Boston to be part of the People of 1763 event at the Bostonian Society. I hope she knows how grateful I was and am to her for her help and thoughtfulness in preparing an excellent table of examples. The infant’s stays were, by far, the most interesting thing people found all day. (While Sew 18th Century ate her lunch, I did hear about how a woman from California was appalled there were not more Boston terriers in Boston, and when I suggested that perhaps the financial district wasn’t where you’d find dogs, in general, but that the Common and the Garden might have more dogs and terriers in particular, I got to see cellphone pictures of her Boston terriers. I’m still intrigued by this conversation.)

Too big, and destined for re-making

Before total failure. Photo courtesy Sew 18th Century.

But all day I fought with my gown, which proves you should not wear something in public until you have fully tested it at home. Finally, packing out, the fronts and the straps separated with a flourish of leaping pins, and all decorum was lost. I began to wonder about exactly what had prompted earlier male compliments on the gown, especially when I discovered the loose stay lace at the top of my stays…and then found the lace had come untied and was unlacing itself from the bottom up! And of course, while outside looking for my husband (reportedly carried off by bears), my hat and cap blew off, and since the gown was coming undone, they were all the harder to catch, adding to the wardrobe mayhem and my discomfiture.

I have since re-looped and double-knotted the stay lace, so I hope it will not come undone again at the base (and of course I had no bodkin handy that day). But still, there were other, “bigger,” issues, to be explored tomorrow.