Stays and Corsets : Historical Patterns Translated for the Modern Body book cover
1st Edition

Stays and Corsets
Historical Patterns Translated for the Modern Body

ISBN 9781138018235
Published December 18, 2015 by Routledge
280 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
SAVE $10.59
was $52.95
USD $42.36

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Stays and Corsets: Historical Patterns Translated for the Modern Body goes a step beyond traditional historical costuming texts by not only providing you with historical pattern diagrams and information, but by showing you how to adapt these patterns to the contemporary body shape. Using her original pattern-drafting system, author Mandy Barrington will show you how to draft a historical pattern for a modern body shape, while still retaining an accurate historical silhouette.

Each pattern has been generated from an original stay, corset, or pattern taken from a historical garment. The instructions to follow these new patterns are designed to accommodate any size of female figure, allowing you to avoid extremely difficult, time consuming, and inaccurate historical pattern re-sizing Requiring only basic prior knowledge of pattern drafting, all calculations have been worked out for the costume maker and are provided in simple tables accompanied by easy-to-read, step-by-step diagrams that clearly show how the historical pattern is plotted onto the female basic block, coupled with photographs of the constructed stays and corsets.

Table of Contents



  1. How to use this book
  2. Guidance on the pattern drafting process

    A guide to finding the measurements for your historical pattern

  3. Pattern Drafting Tools
  4. Female Measurements
  5. Taking Accurate Measurements

    Female Measurement Form

    Female Measurements Guide

    Standard Female Measurements

  6. The Female Basic Block Pattern
  7. Female Basic Block Instructions

    Preparing the Female Basic Block for your Historic Pattern

  8. Historical Patterns


1735-50 Fully-boned Corset Bodice

1776 Half-boned Stays

1785-88 Half-boned Stays

1793 Fully-boned Short Stays

1820 White Cotton Corset

1860 Closed Front Corset

1875 Corded and Quilted Corset

1890 Riding Corset

1890 Wasp-waist Corset


Costume collections


Further Reading




View More



Mandy Barrington is a Senior Lecturer in Costume at the Arts University Bournemouth with a first class honours degree in Costume design and a Masters in Costume. Mandy has worked professionally making costumes for shows such as My Fair Lady at the National Theatre, London, the hit West End show Wicked, and Sleeping Beauty at The Royal Opera House.