A Late 1860s Sheer Bodice

A sheer bodice from the late 1860s. The bodice has the typical dropped shoulders (which sadly don't look very nice on my modern dressform!) and band collar of the time. It's made of a somewhat loosely woven white cotton with a thicker thread every 1/8 inch which forms a windowpane checked pattern. The collar is edged with lace, and the cuffs are edged with two rows of lace. It closes with a hook and thread eye at the collar, four buttons and two hooks and thread eyes at the waistband. The shoulder seams are piped with 1/16 inch cording. The bodice appears to be entirely handsewn.

The bodice measures 36 inch bust, 23 1/2 inch waist, 13 inch center front, 15 inch, center back, 7 inch underarm, 19 inch sleeve and 14 inch collar and 6 inch cuff.

The three-quarter views show the angle of the sleeve seam quite clearly. The shoulder seams are reinforced with a 1/4 inch plain weave cotton tape. This is sewn on with a rather large running stitch.

Another three-quarter view. Though not as fitted as a darted bodice, the bodice still has a rather smooth fit. The gathers don't blouse over the waistband. When worn with a very full 1860s skirt, that would have made the wearer look almost as if she didn't have a waist. Instead, the gathers sit rather close to the body, providing the proper silhouette of the period.

The sleeve and underarm. Though the bodice is unlined, the underarm is reinforced with a piece of the sheer fabric. Since the bodice would have been worn over a white corset cover, this would have been practially invisible.

Page Two-Details
Page Three-Overall Views of the Inside and Details
Page Four-Details of the Inside

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