Friday, February 10, 2012

1840's Black Silk Bodice

From the seller:

This is a hand made early Victorian evening bodice with a corset back.

Dating to the 1840's or early 50's, this would have been worn in mourning long before the death of Prince Albert.

The bodice is distinguished by a wonderful shape, with fan pleats that go all down the front, seperate to the bodice front so the neck edge has two distinct layers.

Now I know where the designers of the 1950's got their ideas!

With it's little puff sleeves edged in tulle, the tulle is a little the worse for wear but we can forgive this after 170 years!

The bodice has three central bones, one of which goes the entire length of the bodice from waist to breastline. There are then bones to the side seams and has very, very thin bones to the corset back edges.

The original silk ties are present but will not be strong. The holes for the lacings are so small that even I couldn't bear to fasten them properly! Have patience! One of the metal ends of the tie has been lost, and there are a few minute knots that you may be able to undo.

The exterior fabric is lovely moire taffeta, a little faded and with less sheen due to sheer age. But it is still very strong. The lining is fine linen - note the lovely squared off back shaping.

The armholes are a little creased but with no damage. There are touches of armhole staining and other light stains to the linen lining but nothing dramatic.

The only repair needed is to one section of a back seam which has come undone [probably with straining the corset ties]. This section needs to be carefully HAND stitched back in place. This bodice should never be anywhere near a sewing machine!

Very tiny at the back - the bodice measures a good 17" at the front [equivelent to 34" chest] but is very narrow to the back, so the total actual chest is more like 28" without the corset ties.

The waist is approx 22", again without the ties.

Please do take a look in my shop if you have the time!

From Me:

*facepalm* Seriously, non fashion history people, do you really think any time you see lacing, it's a corset? Are your shoes a corset then? Corset =/= eyelet lacing holes. This is simply laced up - as were a lot of garments prior to the invention of the zipper.

This is an 1840's bodice but I'm not sure it's for mourning (death of Prince Albert, really? Because no one else died before or after that?).

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