Historical Sewing Patterns

The Mantua-Maker

No. 1850-1
The Corset di Medici.

Needed for the early Victorian silhouette.
Individualized length, plus bust and hip gussets.
Historical references and decoration ideas.
From 1855 Peterson's Magazines.


1840-1860 Early Victorian Corset Pattern

You will need boning and a wooden or a metal busk to create this garment.

This pattern includes 10 pages of instructions with historical tips, and 1 pattern sheet. It is printed on bond paper, and enclosed in a reclosable plastic bag.

All sizes included, 2 – 30; bust: 30” – 61”, hips: 32” – 63”.

This early Victorian corset pattern is made with hip, stomach, and two types of bust gussets to fit a wide variety of body shapes.

"We give, this month, another pattern for stays, the Corset di Medici, so called because it does not cramp the figure, but keeps it as graceful and healthy as in the Venus di Medici. With the instructions we gave, in February, how to make stays, and this pattern, ladies, by the exercise of proper ingenuity, can fabricate this corset for themselves. The Corset di Medici is delightfully elastic, yielding to every motion, or respiration. It may be made in plain jean or coutil, or silk or satin. Always carefully measure, with a tape-line, across the bosom, from shoulder to shoulder, across the back, round the waist, &c.; and made the corset to fit exactly; for no dress will look well unless this is the case, nor will the wearer feel easy; and without feeling easy there can be no grace, nor even proper respiration.” Peterson’s Magazine, April 1855

My corset is based on a pattern diagram and instructions given in Peterson's Magazine in February and April, 1855. The bust gussets have options for A, B, C, and D cups. Other options include normal bust gores or the 1855 version with long gores (for “proper respiration”).