How to Fix Funky Points on 18th Century Stays


See those points on the front edges of the stays, at the bust?

If you’ve got a pair of 18th century stays that lace at the center front, either fully or partially, you may have noticed those funky points that curve upwards at the bust.

They’re weird and annoying – they show their funky pointy selves when you wear the laces anything other than fully closed.

Luckily, though, theses are very easy to fix.

Many pairs of extant stays don’t actually have a straight-across neckline. This is particularly visible in this pair:

The Met, 1740-60 – you can see here how and extra piece was added in at the upper center front, and the neckline is in quite a deep curve, almost a V.

When the pattern is flat, it makes sense to draw the neckline straight, but our bodies are curved, and depending on one’s bust size, that convex curve can be quite arced.

So here’s how to fix it – just cut them off. When flat, this will look like a slight “V” but when worn, the neckline will straighten out.

If you’re unsure how much to slice off, put your stays on, lace the center front to where it’s comfortable, and draw a line right where the points need to be reduced.

Bye, Felicia

If you’ve already bound your stays, unpick the binding and peel it back. Cut those points off, and re-stitch the binding. You shouldn’t need to add any additional binding.


This little weirdness happens particularly on the Simplicity 8162 and the Scroop Augusta Stays View A, but worry not! Now you know how to fix it for that perfect pair of stays.


  • Anonymous

    December 3, 2020 at 8:27 PM

    This is so cool. Thanks for pointing out this detail! I don't know how many times I've looked at that Met pair of stays and just interpreted the neckline curve as pouter-pigeon level 'thrustiness'.
    Does the size/shape/depth of the curve change based on things like how much bosomage the stays need to support?
    -M The Awkward Introvert 🙂

    • Lauren Stowell

      December 4, 2020 at 6:02 PM

      Yes, when the stays are worn on the body they were made for, that "V" shape straightens out and looks normal. You're exactly right – it depends on the bosomage 😉

  • Ruki

    December 19, 2020 at 5:38 PM

    Oh my god! Thank you! This little issue has been killing me trying to figure it out. My stay edges are poking out like I have a dagger in my cleavage!!


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