Embroidered Stomachers of the early 18th Century

Oct 3, 2014 10 comments
Every once in awhile I do some handiwork that I'm then very proud of later, and always glad I took on. Last time, it was an embroidered 18th century pocket, and this time it shall be an embroidered 18th century stomacher, to go with my 1740s Highland jacket.

Here are some inspiration images:

1730s, English, from Vintage Textile, but via 
MFA, 18th century
V and A, English, 18th century - this photo via 
The above three stomachers are all rather similar. They have lovely floral motifs, with the grounds filled in with vermicular designs. The top two I've confirmed use metallic threads for a little shiny shiny. The tabs on the sides are for pinning to the stays.

V and A, 1730 - 50, English
The Met, first quarter of 18th c., English
MFA, 1730-40
V and A, c. 1740, English
These stomachers are also similar, with the criss-crossing metallic decoration, tabs at the waist, and much more complex embroidery. These are more formal, and higher class than my OL ensemble is meant to be, so while I *love* them, I will be going with the simpler design.

Here's my design drawn out just roughly:

I've already started the embroidery, but I don't have much to show yet! I'm using linen for the ground, and muted colors of green and purple for the thistle design. Here's hoping it doesn't take me a year to finish it!


  1. Ooo I can't wait to see the finished piece! Don't you just love Claire's little jackets and awesome knit stuff?

    1. I do! I don't knit, but I might have to find something that'll work on Etsy...or learn how to knit, haha

  2. How fun! I love the thistles on yours. I'm working on an embroidered stomacher too, although I've gotten derailed with other embroidery projects and have abandoned it for a bit.

    1. Your embroidery is *awesome* ! I can't wait to see!

  3. I just read this post now, Lauren. Pure eye candy! May I show you mine? I would love to see your finished stomacher.

  4. Do you know what they would have used in the 18th c to pin the side tabs to the stays?

  5. Im trying to create one similar for my gown. What type of material do i use? I understand they are pretty stiff.

  6. is your embroidery pattern free to use? i would like to use it for simplicity 6181 ^^

  7. Any WIP photos of this?


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