My favorite vendor had this bodice. I about died when I saw it. I know it's been hacked up but I just loved it. The fabric is a thick, deep black silk with a lovely sheen, and it's in incredibly good condition. Just a couple of tears on the front of the bodice. It's lined with black polished cotton (I think), and the boning is secured with black petersham ribbon. Fastens with hooks on the back. Without further ado...
|Bodice spread out, looking at it from the |
There is a lot of hand sewing in this bodice, but there also appears to be machine stitching too. For instance, the sleeves were pieced. When I looked inside the sleeves, they appeared to have originally been machine stitched, and then the fullness was taken in at some point, and that was done by hand.
|Exterior of pieced sleeves. God, fluorescent lighting is awful. The color of the fabric is nothing like this.|
|Inside of the pieced sleeves. Do you see the stitching at the bottom, which is machine stitching, and the stitching at the top where the sleeve was taken in is obviously hand stitching.|
|Machine and hand stitching.|
|This is the inside of the undersleeve. This is machine stitching, right?|
Construction of the bodice wasn't as meticulous as I'd thought it would be! But that makes me happy, because then I don't have to be so critical of my own craftsmanship. Although that doesn't mean I don't continuously try to improve.
But look at the way this lace was attached at the back shoulder--it was too long, so the maker folded the excess underneath and basted it down.
|Look how this excess trim was dealt with. I wonder if this trim came from another gown, and that's why it was too long for this?|
|Oops, the neckline was too wide. I love that little tuck to take it in. I have to do stuff like that a lot.|
I really wish the neckline trim was still there. What are the hooks on the back of the bodice neckline for? What are the hooks on the inside back of the bodice for?
ETA: No, my guess was not correct! It was off by several decades! Isabella from All the Pretty Dresses kindly educated me and provided lots of links in her comment that helped me see what she was seeing.
And then I saw this picture from the Barrington House web page and it makes me think my bodice must have looked very much like this one:
|I can just picture my bodice with fitted lower sleeves like this and flounces down the front.|