For all the corset and bodies I’ve made, the 18th c. version, called “stays,” is new to me. I picked up a Butterick (B4484) pattern some years ago and have finally gotten around to putting it together.
And for all the corset and bodies I’ve made, I couldn’t leave well enough alone, and after some research and reasoning, completely threw out the boning instructions included in the pattern, and decided to do it my own way. I did this primarily because I had read reviews of the pattern noting the trouble with the horizontal, curved boning at the bust truncating in on itself. I did not need nor want a solid front curve, as seen in the image at left, so I opted for straight, vertical boning, like this one from the Silly Sisters:
The stays are not yet finished. I have hand sewn half the bias binding onto the top neck edges and around the armyscyes. The boning is in – WAY too many zipties – and the bottom tabs are ready to be bound as well.
The corset is a dream to wear! It does wonders for the chest as well as posture (which is my WORST asset!), and the tabs keep it from pinching into the waist. I have made mine reversible, with yellow/white stripes on one side, and the pretty floral on the other. The corset is interlined with canvas, and features adjustable straps that will be tied with delicious, fat, pink satin ribbons.
While this underpinning will not be worn under the 1795 chemise gown, it is an absolute essential to the 18th c. ladies wardrobe.