Yesterday we were rainy and overcast for all the daylight hours, which means I missed a day blogging. I have so far been photographing the object the day I post it; mainly so the garments stay in their storage until it’s their time to be handled, and to reduce chaos. Today I pulled out 4 bodices, so I have a few ready for the next rainy day.

Today I present an early 1850s black silk satin bodice. Satin! So delightful! The satin is in very sturdy condition, but the trim, a silk velvet, is in terrible condition. For this reason, she is a delicate-handle bodice, and I was not able to get as many construction images as I would like.


The bodice is fan-front, closing with a combination of hooks and metal eyes and thread eyes in the center front.The bodice waist has a gentle dip at the center front. The sleeves are a very narrow coat-type sleeve, that was popular in the early 1850s.


The pleats, which you can see where they are tacked down, would have originally laid a bit neater than they appear now.

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The back, and yes, it is actually slightly crooked- it’s not just the form and photography. The right shoulder seam and the left do not perfectly align!


Detail of the back fans.


Detail of the front, open. The bottom eyes are metal, while the top are thread. Note the side front seams, crucial for achieving the fit of a fan-front. The waist on this bodice is 27″.


Inside, the best we can get. The lining back is two pieces with a center seam, and only one dart on each side is boned. There are three casings in the lining- one on each side seam and one on the center back line. I do not know what these were for.


Underarm shields!


Under one sleeve in the side seam there is a teeny triangle pieced in.