17th century, Bodies and Stays, reconstruction, Research, Seventeenth-century fashion, Stuart

Sittingbourne Bodies Pattern, c. 1630-50

To celebrate the upcoming release of Shaping Femininity I’ve decided the post the pattern that I made of the garment when I examined it in 2017.

A pattern for this garment has since been published by the School of Historical Dress in 2018’s Patterns of Fashion 5. The School’s pattern is much more detailed than mine. So I highly suggest that anyone who wants to make this garment check out their instructions too.

Still, I figured that since I drew this pattern as part of my study notes after examining the garment myself (first in 2015 and again in 2017), and there are no patterns in own book, I might as well share it with you all!

Although I have written c. 1620-50 on the pattern, these bodies are more suitable for the 1630s, 40s and 50s. So ideal for any English civil war re-enactors out there.

I hope some of you find it useful!

Sittingbourne Bodies pattern civil war stays pattern corset stuart corset

Click here to download a Sittingbourne Bodies doc.

Make sure to keep an eye out for my book which will contain detail photographs of the bodies too – and a discussion of their possible owner.

3 thoughts on “Sittingbourne Bodies Pattern, c. 1630-50”

  1. I made a mockup of these using the pattern in Patterns of Fashion 5, and the shoulder straps seem weirdly short. Do you think the shoulder straps could have been altered? I haven’t been able to find a good enough photo of the original to tell.

    1. Hi Deidre! Yes I also found the shoulder straps to be quite short. If you look at images of this garment in my reconstruction gallery on this website or in my book, you’ll see that I need long points/ribbon to join the straps to the front of the garment (I didn’t adjust this as I made these in the exact size/dimensions of the original for research purposes).
      I would suggest lengthening to straps if making your own version so that it fits correctly. From my examinations of the garment and others (ie. PoF5) there isn’t any evidence that the straps have been altered. It is possible that the original owner was abnormally narrow in the shoulders and so they fit her fine. In my book I do discuss evidence that subsequent owners may not have worn it with shoulder straps attached for these reasons and I also have high resolution images of the garment. I hope that helps! Sarah

      1. Thanks for the reply. I will make the straps longer. I’m going to have to make alterations anyway. These bodies were definitely not meant to fit a woman with my 29 inch waist.

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