1780s white stays

Just finished these tonight (and I'm posting now! That's got to be some kind of record) - I needed new stays to wear with my as-yet-unfinished chemise gown for an event this Saturday.

Well, "needed." More like "wanted." You see, chemise gowns are made of thin fabric, and you can see a bit of the color of the stays through them. And I wanted to strictly keep to a blue-and-white color scheme - and my current pair of 1780s stays are mint green. Dear me, that will never do!

 The stays are half-boned, made of four layers: two layers of cotton canvas interlining, between which the boning is sandwiched (cable ties! I love those things! I use them for boning in everything); bone-colored silk on top of that, and ivory linen for the lining. I used the same ivory linen to make the binding for the stays (on the straight of the grain, for added fun!)

The silk is a herringbone weave, which doesn't seem to have been used in the eighteenth century (it existed, of course, just wasn't popular for some reason), but this was strictly a Stash project, and I didn't have much to choose from in terms of white or ivory fabric!

The stays are partially hand-sewn; I sewed the boning channels and sewed the pieces of the stays on the machine, but the eyelets, binding, and attaching the lining was done by hand.

In-progress shots:
Inside view of the interlining; you can see the placement of the boning
Closer shot of the CF piece, with a cable tie. Those notches are how I bend the ties to my will!
Binding sewn round the tabs. I don't like binding tabs!


  1. They look great! And like they fit very well.

  2. Thank you so much! Stays are one of the fiddly bits of costuming that I actually enjoy doing, and I have no idea why, but I'll take it! :)


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