With the release of our book, The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking, we’ve given you patterns and instructions for a great many lovely 18th century gowns, accessories, and skirt supports.
…but one thing we did *not* give you in the book were patterns for stays. Stays are a complex subject that warrants an entire how-to book of its own. We knew their absence would be vexing, so to not leave you totally in the lurch for what-stays-when-how-where, here is my list of 18th century stay patterns sorted by time period:
Printed Patterns for 18th Century Stays
1700 – 1770 – Conical Silhouette
- Simplicity 8579 – The American Duchess pattern for closed-front, full-boned stays.
- Redthreaded Georgian Stays – Individually sized printed pattern for half-boned, closed-front stays with straps. Also available as a print-on-demand PDF.
- JP Ryan Stays – Strapless, fully-boned stays.
- Larkin & Smith Stays – Front and back lacing strapless stays with broad stomacher.
- Simplicity EA363501 – (Print on Demand) – full-boned, closed-front stays with high back, spiral lacing, and straps.
1770 – 1790 – Prow Front Stays
- Scroop Patterns “Augusta” Stays – 1775-1789 with a historical and theatrical variation.
- Simplicity 8162 – The American Duchess pattern for half-boned stays lacing front and back.
- JP Ryan Half-Boned Stays – closed-front, half-boned stays with straps.
- Butterick B4254 – Options for closed-front or back and front lacing, with straps.
- Ralph Pink (PDF Print-out) – Half-boned stays with straps. UK size 8 only.
1790s – Transitional Stays
- Past Patterns #030 – Transitional stays with front spiral lacing.
- Past Patterns #038 – Transitional stays with front lacing and bust cups.
- Ralph Pink 1790s Stays (PDF Print-out) – High-waisted front and back lacing stays with straps.
|Tight Lacing, or Fashion Before Ease – Bowles & Carver after John Collet, 1777, The British Museum 1935,0522.1.227|
Books With Patterns for 18th Century Stays
- Patterns of Fashion 5 by Janet Arnold, Jenny Tiramani, and Luca Costigliolo – an entire PoF book with patterns and research for 26 pairs of bodies and stays c. 1595 – 1795
- Corsets and Crinolines by Norah Waugh – six scaled patterns for stays from the entire century, including early period and 1790s transitional.
- Corsets by Jill Salen – gridded patterns stays from the 1750s, 1780s, and 1790s.
- Stays and Corsets by Mandy Barrington – several patterns for stays with drafting instructions.
- Costume Close-up by Linda Baumgarten – one pattern for closed-front, fully-boned stays, 1740-1760.
- Period Costume for Stage and Screen by Jean Hunnisett – gridded patterns for 18th century stays.
Other Resources for 18th Century Stays
- Redthreaded – High-quality ready-made stays for the general 18th century, 1780s, and 1790s.
- Period Corsets – High quality ready-made stays for general 18th century, 1725, 1770s, and 1790s.
- Custom Corset Pattern Generator – Use your measurements to draft a custom pattern. This is originally for Elizabethan bodies but with some ingenuity can be used to made an 18th century pattern. Experiment!
- Kleidung um 1800 – Sabine’s study (and patterns) on 1790s stays. 1, 2