1820s Bodice

The starting point for this project was based around an original garment that one of my tutors owns. The bodice is an evening dress bodice from around 1822-26. The garment is shell pink taffeta with self-satin spot pattern of single and triple dots. overlaid with black lace crawling leaf and floral pattern. The bodice is backed onto white tabby weave cotton and the bodice is entirely hand stitched. Here are some photos of the original that my project was based on.

For this project we were given three weeks to construct a bodice like the one above from a basic block then adapting the pattern to get the same qualities of the original bodice.

This image below shows the pattern for the over fabric (chinz), the slashing of the pattern allows the chinz over fabric to be more sculptured over the bust with the gathers.

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The slideshow underneath shows the tailored bodice on the lady. I am really pleased with the outcome of the bodice and I have learnt how to make a completely different style bodice to the others I have made in the past. I decided to dye the over fabric (chinz) pale celestial blue after researching other bodices; the colour compliments the delicate soft work of the construction with the gathers at the front over the bust and at the back of the bodice as well as the flared sleeves.

The bodice is fastened at the back with 14 hand worked eyelets in mint green thread and then laced up. This is the first time I’ve used eyelets on a garment; I am very pleased with the outcome of them and I like how I used a different colour thread to the over fabric to make the eyelets a decorative feature.

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