I like the patterns from The Mantua-Maker. She details, very well, every step for making the desired garment. The instructions are also sprinkled with historical facts that can help the maker understand the garment they are constructing. I also like that the patterns include all sizes, giving you more bang for your buck, which can help in today’s economy.
(Listed in order by pattern number)
As recommended by the pattern maker, please read all the instructions before touching your fabric. This pattern is very straight forward, and easy to understand, but there does seem to be a few things missing from the pattern, those that are familiar with pattern construction will be able to smoothly get past those points. And, as other costume bloggers have noted, this pattern does tend to run a little small. When cutting my fabric, I did as other bloggers did, and added 2″ to the back pieces. This allowed for an amount of spring back that is period correct. I did construct mine with the front busk. As I did not have the $$$ to order a custom busk, I purchased a 1/4″ think yard stick, cut to measure for my busk pocket and sanded all the sharp edges. As for my boning, I did as the pattern maker suggested not to do, and used plastic feather light boning. As I made my stays from 2 layers of twill, and 1 layer of poly/cotton broadcloth, I did not see the need for heavier boning. I am satisfied with this set of stays, but will be making another set later on, in the traditional white of the period.
1720-1790 Georgian Stays
This is another pattern that I loved using. This was the first set of fully boned stays that I have ever made. I had little, if any, trouble putting these stays together. As always, I enjoyed her directions, with the historical facts peppered in. I used one layer of stiff mattress ticking, two layers of canvas, corduroy for the cover and flannel for the lining. I did skip the shoulder straps on this set of stays, as a personal preference. And, let me just say that these stays were very comfortable, and gave the correct silhouette for the era. I will be using this pattern again.
For more information on the garment in the photo above, please visit the project page for 1720-1790 Georgian Stays.