Portfolio: 1770s Red Cotton and Linen Stays

The Idea and Inspiration:

A pair of simple, everyday stays from the 1770s, when cotton first became common as a fabric in Europe

The stays were based on the 1750s stay pattern from Jill Salen’s Corsets: Historical Patterns and Techniques.

I took some inspiration from this pair of 1760s-1770s stays from the Kyoto Costume Insitute:

Fabric and Materials:

Heavy cotton fabric in muted red, tea-dyed trim, plastic whalebone (cable ties) and german plastic boning.

The Dress Diary:

The toile and cutting the fabric.

A review and discussion on dating the stays.

Problems with boning.

Boning the stays.

The first try on.

A review of the stays.

The finished stays!

The stays over a shift.

Wearing the stays under a robe a la francaise.


Salen, Jill.   Corsets: Historical Patterns and Techniques.

Stay silhouettes


  1. […] https://thedreamstress.com/costume-portfolio/portfolio-1770s-red-cotton-and-linen-stays/   – the dreamstress is great in general, but she has a nice walk-through here of her progress on the stays; note where the shoulder straps tie together (especially under the “toile and cutting the fabric” page with historical references) […]

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The comment’s server IP ( doesn’t match the comment’s URL host IP ( and so is spam.

  2. noobcostumer says

    The links to the Dress Diary don’t seem to work; they’re redirecting me to unrelated pages 🙁 is there any way the links can be fixed / any way I can access these pages, short of individually googling for them?

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