Today’s bodice dates from 1825-1835. It is made of white silk, and closes in the back with lacing. It has very puffy short sleeves and self-fabric fringed trim. The waist is about 23″ fully laced. It was likely an evening dress.
The original lace is present, both to close the back of the bodice, and in the neck casing. Both are made of cotton cord, and the back lacing is finished with 3/4″ aglets.
The sleeves are cut on the bias, and both are made of two pieces (used to have enough fabric, not a style element). The underarm sleeve seam is slightly pleated/gathered to increase pouf.
The bodice is in remarkably sturdy condition, so I have been able to turn it inside out to get a full view of the construction. There are five whalebones used in the front of the bodice, and the back opening is strengthened with reed. The waist and the armsyce are finished with piping, and the neck edge is finished with a narrow casing.
The sleeves are fully lined in cotton net. Please note, the cotton band at the bottom of the sleeve is not original to the garment. Sadly, this bodice had been used sometime in the 20th century as a costume. This is the only alteration I couldn’t safely undo, as they had caught fringe bits in their stitches.
The edges of the fabric at both center front and back are folded unevenly, to give a better fit.
There are also darts taken in the back of the bodice to get a closer fit.