January - September 2005

Renaissance Stays

Mantua Maker's "1550-1630 Quilted Pair of Bodies." Above, in cream colored silk, flat-lined on one layer of coutil. A wooden busk is sewn into the center front. The front four grommets are covered in embroidery floss, and I added a fancy cotton and metallic trim. The strapless version below is in off-white silk taffeta, with a removable busk and linen lining. Each channel on these corsets is filled with a 1/4" steel stay. They are bound with self-fabric bias tape, and the backs are spiral laced through size 00 eyelets.

I've only ever used these as the base for draping or patterning bodices. If I were to wear them under a costume however, I'd want to replace the steel with something much lighter (caning, cording or cable ties).