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.
My inspiration were antique paintings of similar black wool stays: Victorian black wool stays, black stays with spiral lacing and back view of black stays.
Related: Edwardian Haymaking With The Scythe
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.
Paintings Of Victorian Working Women
You’ll find more paintings and photos of Victorian and Edwardian working women on my pinterest board ‘Victorian And Edwardian Working Class Clothes‘.
Related: History Of Haymaking – How To Make Hay With A Scythe
4 thoughts on “Victorian Working Woman Black Wool Stays”
The nekcline change is a definite improvement! Love this!
Thank you so much! 😀
I really love this outfit!
Have you drafted the pattern for the stays yourself or is it based on an existing pattern?
Do you have any tips or directions for me if I want to attempt to make one myself?
Thank you very much!
Thank you so much! 😀 I drafted the pattern myself based on extant stays and Victorian paintings. The pattern is similar to a dirndl bodice pattern. Or you could adapt a Victorian bodice or corset pattern. Hope this helps! 🙂