Corsetry for the Romantic Era: Making a Bespoke 1820s-30s Corset with Redthreaded

Friday afternoon, March 1st - Sunday, March 3rd, 2024
Registration opens on Wednesday, December 27th at 12:30 pm EST

As the fashionable shape evolved from the mid 1820s through the early 1840s, so did the necessary foundation garments. Stays (or corsets, as they were also called by this point) generally retained similar shapes and seaming as styles of the previous decade, but with a shift towards a curvier, hourglass silhouette and less extreme push-up shape.

The focus for this workshop is achieving a well-fit foundation garment for 1820s-30s, so we will be using a modern pattern adapted from extant sources, supported with a mix of synthetic whalebone and steel boning, as well as utilizing sewing machines in the interest of time. 

During this 2 ½ day workshop with Cynthia Settje of Redthreaded participants will:

  • Discuss and learn about corsetry of this time period.
  • Follow step-by-step instructions on machine-sewn assembly, fitting and finishing to make a single layer stays in a white softened English cotton coutil, utilizing Redthreaded’s 1830s Stays pattern.
  • Create complete or nearly complete 1820-30s stays/corset by the end of the weekend.

Redthreaded fit sample stays will be provided so that we can skip the mockup sewing stage and get right to the real thing. Participants must choose their pattern size pack after registration (A or B). We will bring extra patterns, so don’t worry if you happen to fall between size packs.

Note: Students should bring their own sewing machine - this must be a STURDY machine, capable of easily sewing through several layers of bulky fabrics like denim and/or canvas. We will only be using the straight stitch function, so no fancy stitches required. 

This is an Advanced Level 3 Workshop, but since this is a machine-sewn project, the criteria are a little different. You must have solid machine sewing skills, including accurate stitching to within 1/16” of an inch. Familiarity with general machined garment construction and machine sewing terminology is also a must. Some hand basting may be required. Please be prepared for possible “homework” on both Friday and Saturday nights, although this will be less rigorous than hand sewing workshops.

Workshop cost of $390 includes: 2 1/2 day workshop, complete supply kit, and pattern.
Class size will be limited to 12 Participants