My first pair of stays were beginning to show some major signs of wear, but I work too often to do any repairs to them. Solution? Make a second pair! I decided to make this pair out of a lovely teal worsted wool, not only to show off all that channel stitching but to co-ordinate with the Robe a la Polonaise I was currently making. They're still based on the same original stays that my white pair is. The fit was just so comfortable I couldn't argue against using it again!
As always, I hand-stitch EVERYTHING. I used a heavy, bleached linen thread for all of it. Channels are all back-stitched except for the ones next to the center back which have a spaced back-stitch. I usually end up with around 10 stitches per inch, a little on the tiny side. Seams are butted and whipped together. The center front is "open" part way down, but the laces keep it shut. The eyelets are created using an awl, finished with double thread (the only other place double is used is on the seams).
The un-lined inside looks a bit rough. You can see the heavy linen used for the structure and boning channels; two layers covered with the wool on the exterior. The seams are whipped down before lining. The leather binding is stitched with running or back-stitches to the outside then flipped in and whipped down. The heavy linen is cut to the finished edge, but the wool is left about 1/2 longer and whipped down before binding. It helps to stitch the leather to an edge which isn't fraying. You can also see the connecting thread between the eyelets, which will get hidden by the lining.
The linings purpose is to take all of the sweat, friction, and smell of the body. It's easy to remove and has as few seams as possible (none in my case!). The tabs are done separately, which I can vouch is much easier than trying to work around those curves with one piece. It also means that you may not have to replace tab linings each time.
Notice how the leather binding curves over the ends just slightly. Adds more durability to that corner so no fraying edges sneak out. I'm thinking about adding leather strips around the eyelet holes as well to keep the lacing from wearing them down.