18th Century Stays
Begun April 2011
Finished June 2011
Up until now I’ve pretty much resisted the 18th century.  Why?  No place to wear any of it unfortunately -- and I’ve grown to really like the Victorian period and of course Regency is my first historical costume love.  However, when Sensibility.com came out with a 1780’s dress pattern with three options, I fell in love with the pattern.  I want to make all three options and definitely have fabric for two of the options.  So….

In order to make this:

Sensibility.com’s 1780’s dress pattern

I need to make the stays:

Butterick 4484
I’m using this pattern because it’s the one I have, though I’ve heard others are far superior.  If I like it as much as I’m thinking I will, I’ll order one of the other patterns and do a redo.  Anyway, I made up the pattern as is to test fit and see what needed changing for my body type.  I found it far too short and decided to fix that and use the next muslin to look at other issues.

I added two inches, though now I think one would have sufficed, plus I added a bit at the bust -- even inexperienced in this era I could see it was far too low and would do nothing but make me spill out all over the place.  I added on a pre-made lacing strip, laid center down where the lacing holes will be in the finished stays, then had my daughter lace me up.  BTW, spiral lacing is made of win!  I love spiral lacing!  It’ll need taking in at the shoulders, about an inch and a half on either side to bring the upper center edge straight with the lower center edge.  I’m still not sure about the waist.  I’m waiting to hear from other costumers and will be doing a bit more research before I continue.  I must say though, thus far, this is the easiest corset I've ever fitted.

Disclaimer:  Pictures are the property of the copyright holder.  This site is non-profit, and is in no way affiliated with any of the copyright holders. No copyright infringement is intended - copyrighted images are being used for costume study.
While the fitting went well and adding the boning as monotonous a task as usual, the part of this i found the most time-consuming to the point of wanting to throw the project across the room was adding the binding.  I despise tabs and binding this was a nightmare.  However, I'm pleased with the end result.