Make Your Own “Augusta” Stays

Register Here

Date: TBA
Time: 9:30AM to 4:30PM 
Location: Woodlawn Manor House, 16501 Norwood Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860

Amber Mendenhall in her Augusta stays. Photo Credit: Scroop Patterns

UPDATE on DATES:While we have hopes that the Public Health crisis will be over by June, the March 30, 2020 order of the Governor of Maryland is still in effect ( banning gatherings of more than 10 people. 
Out of respect for our host site and concern for our students and teacher, Lara and I have decided to postpone our “Augusta” stays class. 
We do not know when we will be able to reschedule it. As soon as we have a new date, we will reopen the course and make an announcement on this page.

Stays are an essential foundation garment for every woman interested in wearing 18th century dress. This two-day workshop will teach students how to fit and construct an 18th Century pair of stays using the Scroop and Virgil’s Fine Goods Augusta Stays Pattern. Attendees will learn the details on altering a pattern, fitting, and stitching their own pair of stays for the perfect 1775-1790 silhouette customized to their figure. 

The Augusta Stays are the perfect foundation to any late 18th century wardrobe. They use a pattern based on numerous extant late 18th century stays and a sophisticated boning layout to achieve the fashionable silhouette of the late 1770s and 1780s.

In this class you will:

  • Learn the ideal seam line placements for a 1775-1790 pair of stays
  • Learn how to adjust a stays pattern to the figure to achieve the correct silhouette
  • Practice skills for completing the construction of a pair of stays

Level:  Students who have mastered basic hand stitches and can create a garment using a paper pattern will make the most progress in this class. Remember, stays are a good first “historic” project. 

Students can expect to leave this class with a customized pattern, a well-fitted and partially complete pair of stays, and the understanding of how to finish their stays on their own. 

We will address techniques for constructing the stays with period accurate materials and construction methods.  Making a “theatrical” version using coutil and methods taken from modern theater and film costume construction will also be covered. 

Instructor: Amber Mendenhall of Virgil’s Fine Goods 

Amber Mendenhall (@ladyofthewilderness) graduated with a B.S.S. in Historic Costume Construction and American History with a minor in Music in 2013 and interned at the Colonial WIlliamsburg Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop for Summer of 2011. She is the proprietor of Virgil’s Fine Goods (@virgilsfinegoods) where she offers handmade, readymade, and bespoke historical clothing and accessories for the 18th and 19th centuries. In 2019, she collaborated with Scroop Patterns to develop and publish the Augusta Stays sewing pattern and is looking forward to producing more historically accurate patterns with the company. 

Register Here

This class is limited to 12 registrations of $350/ seat. 

Materials List

Students should bring: 

  • A shift
  • Outer fabric (fashion fabric)
  • Boning, cane, or zip ties
  • Binding or bias binding
  • Lacing cord
  • Tapered sewing awl
  • Basic sewing kit
    • hand needles
    • 60/2 linen thread or quilter’s cotton thread
    • Beeswax
    • Thimble or a pair of hemostats
    • Bodkin for lacing
    • Heavy shears for cutting boning
    • Fabric shears or a rotary cutter and a cutting mat
    • Paper scissors
    • A fabric pencil, chalk, or fabric marking pen
  • Sewing machine (optional)

Please refer to the descriptions posted here for yardage and materials recommendations. 

If you have questions about sourcing materials, please contact us at

We will provide: 

  • Fabric for mockups and interior construction
  • Printed Augusta Stays Pattern
  • Sand paper

Woodlawn Manor House and Trunk Show

Woodlawn Manor House was constructed in the early 1800s.  Dr. William Palmer and his son Benjamin were the longest property owners from the early 1800s to early 1900s. Francis Scott Key was a visitor when the home also served as a boarding school. In the late 1970s Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission purchased the property from the McKeever family establishing Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park.

The building has handicap-permit-reserved parking, an accessible building entrance, and ADA compliant bathrooms on the ground floor. We will be using the ground floor for all of our activities.

There is one step down into the original kitchen, where we will have curtains hung for a semi-private changing space. Private, accessible changing space will also be available. Please contact us ahead of time at if you have questions about the accommodations.

Tours of the museum and the other areas of the site will be available for individual purchase during our lunch breaks.

For more information, please visit:

We will have a cafe room where our students may take their meals and breaks away from their sewing materials. 

The cafe room will include a small trunk show for browsing throughout the day.  Details are TBA.

Lunch and Beverages

Lunch will not be provided. Participants will have access to a refrigerator and microwave in our host site.  In addition, there are many restaurants nearby. Please contact us at if you have questions about what will be available or special dietary needs. 

A selection of teas and instant coffee will be available all day at no charge. 

Transportation and Parking

The red line Twinbrook metro stop is a 20 minute drive to our location. 

Surface parking is free in the attached parking lot.