What's light on one side, dark on the the other and holds the universe together? No, not the Force. Duct tape!
I was hired by a friend to make a 17th century wardrobe for a one woman show on witchcraft. Figuring I needed to stat from the foundation up, I started on a pair of stays that could work for both the 17th and 18th centuries out of natural un-dyed linen. To make a patter, I wrapped her and an old tshirt in duct tape.
This allowed me to get a great approximate shape of her torso and the position and length of the straps without actual pattern drafting skills. After I had the general shape I wanted, I stuck pins in to mark the natural waist and other landmarks, and cut it off of her. I then used this duct tape exoskeleton (combined with a bit of reference from the Simplicity 18th century underpinnings pattern) to make the actual stays.
Visit arachneattire.com/ginny.html for all the pictures!