First, let me apologize for missing two days of posting. I’ve been swept up in holiday preparations, and haven’t had the chance to sit down.

Today’s garment is mainly for construction details, as there is not much left to it. I hesitated to put it on the blog, but, as the goal of this project is to get everything documented and photographed, went ahead with it. I also want to let you know that yes, I do own full dresses as well, I am just working through a stack of bodices and other short things!


The fabric is a shot silk, and thus a bit tricky to photograph. The sleeves have (obviously) been removed. The bodice is fitted with 6 front darts (I would love to perfect this fit on myself. I have a hard time getting those 2 extra darts in there.) The darts are boned, as well as a narrow boned channel next to the eyes. There are thread spots from where the bodice had decorative buttons, but it closes with hooks and eyes.


The bodice is almost entirely machine-stitched, including the top-stitching on the tuck for the three-piece back. (While some bodices are true three-pieces, having a false seam that makes it appear to be three pieces is fairly common as well.) The bodice is piped at neck, waist, and shoulder seam. The armsyce was likely piped as well, as that is almost universal on 1860s bodices.



The inside is lined with a twill-weave polished cotton. Examining the stitches on the inside shows they were chain-stitched, not lock stitched. A cotton loop remains attached to the waistband, likely for hanging the garment for storage. A hook also appears mid-waist, likely used in the fitting/close of the complete dress.


Among what is hand-sewn includes the bone casings, the overcast finish on the piping, an overcast edge to the seam edges, and the attachment of the hooks, eyes, and buttons.

The bodice has a 26″ waist.