1790s Transitional Stays

Based on a Set of Stays from the Kent State University Museum


To make the pattern for the stays, I althered the JP Ryan strapless stays based on the inspiration Kent State stays. I put the pattern pieces together, traced them and added new lines. For the front, I started with a rectangle of fabric and adjusted it until it fit.

I then cut each piece of cotton sateen and linen canvas and sewed them together.

The same step shown from the right side.

Next, I made the lacing holes so I could make any adjustments before I got too far.

Then, I added the cups. I used a bra as a very rough guideline for the spaces the cups are in. Then I cut a piece of fabric about twice the size and gathered it to fit. To gather the tops, I tried the corset on and pulled in the gathering stitches to fit.

The boning channels are sewn in at this point as well.

Next, I added the straps. I sewed them so they were about half an inch from the top edge so they wouldn't interfere with the binding.

A detail of the strap placement.

Next, I added the lining. The lining is of cotton batiste and sewn to match the outer layers. I turned the center front edges in and whipstitched it in place and folded it down over the straps. The top and bottom edges are bound to the outer layers.

I used a bias strip to cover the cup's raw edge. Then I bound the corset. I avoided sewing the straps in the binding--they start just below it.

The Stays

My Costumes
The Regency and the Rest of the High-Waisted Era

I'd like to go home!