Augusta Stays 1775-1789
Sizes 30-52 in 3 size packs:
The Augusta Stays are the perfect foundation to any late 18th century wardrobe. They use a pattern based on numerous extant late 18th century stays and a sophisticated boning layout to achieve the fashionable silhouette of the late 1770s and 1780s.
Choose between detailed instructions on how to make the stays with period accurate materials and construction methods, or equally detailed instructions on making a simplified version using coutil and methods taken from modern theater and film costume construction. Or mix and match the two methods to get a historically look with less hand-sewing.
View A, the historically accurate pattern, features adjustable partial front lacing, full back lacing, three layers of construction fabrics, and tape binding. They can include an optional loose lining and optional taped seam finishes. View B, the simplified modern 'Theatrical' version, features a solid front piece, two layers of construction fabrics, metal lacing grommets, and bias binding, and an optional decorative outer layer. Both versions are spiral laced and use synthetic whalebone (German plastic boning).
In order to make fitting as easy as possible, the Augusta Stays come in two bust-to-waist ratio size sets. The ‘Straight’ size set has a 10” difference between un-corseted bust and corseted waist, and is best for those with less bust-to-waist difference, or those desiring less waist compression. The ‘Curvy’ size set has a 12” difference between un-corseted bust and corseted waist, and is best for those with more bust-to-waist difference, or those desiring more waist compression.
The Historical version works well in with outer layers in tightly woven linen, worsted wool, and silk; support layers in midweight linen and linen buckram, and linings in lighter weight linens (including stripes and checks) and period accurate cotton prints.
The Theatrical version works well with an optional outer layer in midweight silk or decorative cottons, and support layers in midweight, very tightly woven, extremely stable, natural-fiber fabrics with no stretch or give, such as heavy poplin, cotton sateen, coutil, satin or brocaded coutil, ticking, mid-heavyweight linen, etc.
The View B: Theatrical stays are shown in Size 38 Curvy in vintage polished cotton chintz with layers in tightly woven midweight cotton and cotton coutil. They are bound in silk dupion.
Cait is wearing View A: Historical in Size 46 Curvy in black wool twill. Her stays have been shortened 1". Her stays have additional tape reinforcing the lacings (instructions not included). Her cap is available by custom order from Virgil's Fine Goods. Her shift is available from Willoughby & Rose.
Leimomi is wearing View A: Historical in Size 38 Straight in gilt linen.
About your PDF:
This pattern is a digital download. Once you complete your purchase you’ll be sent an email with a link to download a zip file containing your printable files. You’ll need to open it on a computer: the zip file will not open on phones and tablets.
The Augusta Stays zip contains the following files:
- Full Historical Instructions: 26 pages
- Full Theatrical Instructions: 14 pages
- Print-At-Home Pattern: 18 pages
- Print-At-Home Boning Layouts: 10-14 pages (depending on size)
- Copyshop Pattern: 1 A0 page
- Copyshop Boning Layouts: 1 A) Page
- Printing Instructions: 5-8 pages (depending on size)
- Fitting Guide: 1 page
A paper version of the Augusta Stays pattern is available through Virgil's Fine Goods on etsy.
Tutorials & Pattern Hacks
How to shorten an 18th century stays pattern (video)
How to lengthen an 18th century stays pattern (video)
How to adjust boning channel layouts (video)
Making Linen Buckram: Gum Tragacanth vs Xanthan Gum (blog)
- Troubleshooting fit in 1780s stays (blog)
Additional Historical Information:
All about the stays and how they came to be (video)
Where to buy materials for the Augusta Stays (blog)
Surveying 1780s stays: the elements that inspired the Augusta Stays (by Leimomi at thedreamstress.com) (blog)
Regarding 1780s stays: the elements that inspired the Augusta Stays (by Amber at Lady of the Wilderness (blog)
Answering questions about the Augusta Stays: Can you wear them for other decades? Can they be made fully front laced? Can you bone them with cane, cable ties, or steel? Can you make them strapless? What was the inspiration for the Theatrical Version? (blog)
Tester makes (blog)