Sewing – Stays

Last year, I made my first corset. All my previous sewing experience had been with modern of costumy garments, mostly a lot of simple skirts, so it was a challenge. Because I’d no idea how well it would turn out and mostly just wanted to try it out, I was hesitant to spend a lot on a commercial pattern. After looking through many online patterns, I settled on the pattern generator of this Danish website:

I have no idea as to how historical the pattern is, but it creates a 18th century type silhouette, which was what I was looking for. The first mock-up didn’t really fit properly, but I think I managed to get it sort of right. I used construction methods learned from youtube, and sort of guessed where to place the boning, as the pattern didn’t say. Everything considered, I’m pretty happy with how well it turned out.

I made it out of left-over fabric of a skirt I made, it’s not very historically correct, but I love the pattern. I had two layers of strong fabric and one outer layer, used spring steel boning and black bias tape.

I didn’t take too many progress photos, but this one is while binding. I had to be very careful to stay away from the pins. It reminded me of a medieval weapon.

20130504_125310_zpskilmtbqg (440x330)


When I started the binding I had 2 meters of bias band and figured that would be plenty. This was the amount I had left at the end. At least now I know that it takes about 2 meters to bind a corset with straps!

20130504_152531_zpsmjqtbnjd (440x587)

The finished corset, lying flat, still without the ribbons or lacing cord:


And on my dressform:

20130702_143207_zpsflu8uaom (440x587)

20130702_143153_zps8fozpm1q (440x587)

20130702_143138_zps62ymtug7 (440x587)

5 thoughts on “Sewing – Stays

  1. What a simply stunning corset!! I have made an 18th century corset myself, and it was no mean feat! What did you use for boning? I used heavy cable ties, but I wonder if they are as good as more traditional methods? I love your blog! It is right up my street, so please would you just take a moment or two to look at mine?
    I would love some advice and feedback, so please follow me!
    Thank you so much!

  2. Amazing first stays! I also would like to know what supportive garments were worn with local traditional dress in the Netherlands other than Marken and Urk. I know that in Marken, a corset called a rijglijf was worn on the outside and in Urk a corset called a mildde, which was always royal blue with vanilla chamois and yellow-orange trim, was worn between the black shirt and the Kraplap. Did they wear any supportive garments at all?

    • Thanks! Yes, both the middel and rijglijf were supportive garments in themselves, and probably evolved from garments similar to stays. I know at least for Marken, at some point women did begin to wear straighter and shorter ones, and just combined them with modern undergarments like bras.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s