I finished these Regency stays back in May or June of 2020, so this is a catch-up post of sorts!
True to form, I was not patient so I dove right in and decided to make this set of stays a “wearable mock up” (i.e.- an excuse to not make a mock up first). It had been a long time since I had done any form of cording, and I had not made regency stays in probably a good five years or more- my last short stays were transitional and don’t fit my expanded rib cage from pregnancy. My short stays before that are much too small and can be saved for my daughter, and my last long stays are also being saved, and I made one pair before those that have been long gone. So I believe this is actually the fifth time I’ve attempted any sort of Regency stays.
I’m sorry, I’ve been horribly lazy about taking photos of garments actually on me. I hope I get better about that in 2021!
I made these from a thrifted cotton sateen bed sheet. It has a nice, tight weave, and that made these both comfortable and sturdy. I used two layers of the sheet in these stays, which, in theory, is just flat lining the stays in themselves. I used the two layers to cover the rows of cording (it’s sandwiched between the two layers).
For this pattern I chose RedThreaded’s Regency Stays E-pattern. This pattern was an absolute joy to work with and was very well done. I highly recommend it. I can’t remember if I went with the medium or large- but now I hope I chose large because that’s where my current size is ;)
Of course, the cording pattern I made up. The good thing about this pattern is that it leaves a lot of room for your own embellishment. It’s a great base.
I didn’t do any adjustments other than a quick short-waisted adjustment. I planned on doing this as a wearable mock up. In the end, I could take more length out from the torso as I have a bit of a fold at my waistline, but under Regency dresses no one will ever notice. No waistline! So I’m calling it good!
I opted for regular lacing as it will be easier to get in and out of- and instruct my husband how to help me get into them. Since these go on over the head and lace in back, I figured I’d make it as easy as possible.
For the busk I used this beautiful one I purchased from Redthreaded inspired by Persuasion by Jane Austen. Jen Thompson was the artist who designed the busk pattern.
I worked in sections since I was doing cording. These are the back panels. I decided on this pattern after looking at originals on Pinterest. I used a zipper foot when I did my cording, and sandwiched it between the two layers of cotton sateen. Oh, and I forgot to mention these are entirely machine-sewn. I don’t really care if my undergarments are hand-sewn or not, since I don’t really do re-enactment.
Setting in gussets with flat-felled seams.
Finished hip gusset
Cording pattern for the front panel.
View of the bust gussets after they were put in.
Attaching the bias to the top. I really love the shape of these cups.
And a photo of the finished stays again!
This was quite an enjoyable project and I highly recommend Redthreaded patterns. This was my first experience and I enjoyed it. The pattern was very well made and trued, and I found the process very smooth. I don’t think I actually followed the instructions, so I can’t give input on it from that standpoint, but as a stand-alone pattern it was most excellent.
Now, hopefully, I can make more Regency dresses! Perhaps in 2021?
All my love,