Completed: 18th Century Stays

Yes, I have been working on these forever. I did maybe half the stitching by hand, which didn't help matters. I worked on them twice while crossing state lines in the back of the car, and literally every other time I was sitting. I even bought a lap desk - it was that serious. 

Funny thing is, now that I'm done, I see about ten thousand things I'm going to do differently next time around. I hand stitched the binding on the cheater way, where you just squash it all together and stitch it once, instead of sewing on the wrong side, flipping and whip-stitching it down. I'll do it the right way next time. My hand stitching isn't the best in the world, but it'll do for the event I'm attending in January. I used store bough bias tape and silk thread to finish the edges. I also got two different dye lots on my bias tape, but didn't realize until I had already applied almost all of it to the stays. While not completely horrible, I can't wait to take my time to make a way more awesome pair next time. 



  • Fabric: lining-cotton shirting, interfacings- cotton drill, outer fabric- seersucker)
  • Pattern: Butterick 4844 (discontinued) 
  • Notions: Gray silk thread, rigilene boning, metal eylets, and ribbon

What did I change?

  • Changed lacing pattern to historically accurate spiral lacing.
  • added five inches to length.
  • tweaked the boning pattern.
  • took two inches off front and back pattern pieces. 

Here are some photos of it actually on, holy boobs batman. Also after I took these photos I found it it's much more historically accurate to have the lacing gap in the back, and not the front. But I'd already taken pictures so you'll have to wait until the rest of my 18th century underwear is done before you see it correctly. My winter laziness has set in. 

Hopefully I'll start Brian's clothing this weekend, menswear is so much easier for me to sew. But hey! I finally finished these, yay me?