Victorian working women often wore black wool stays instead of corsets. A while ago, I sewed black wool stays for a Victorian working woman outfit but I didn’t like the shape of the stays anymore.
So I changed the neckline of the stays: Here you can see how the stays looked before. Now the stays fit better.
Here are antique paintings of similar black wool stays: Victorian black wool stays, black stays with spiral lacing and back view of black stays.
My stays are made from one layer of black wool or wool-blend fabric from my stash. The stays are unboned, but the thick fabric gives enough support.
The eyelets are handsewn. And I made a DIY corset lacing needle with silver wire.
Here you’ll find my pinterest board with paintings and pictures of Victorian and Edwardian working women.