Friday, June 7, 2013

A 1790s Brocade Bodice

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The end of the 18th century brought about dramatic changes in fashion. Dresses evolved from the structured dresses of earlier in the century, to the high-waisted, delicate dresses of the early 19th century. The 1790s were a transitional decade where dresses often blended details of the past with what was to come. One of the most striking differences was the waistline, which crept up as the decade progressed. In the early part of the decade, many dresses, such as the bodice in my collection, retained the straight front and structured lines of earlier dresses.

I have a fascination with 18th century construction techniques. They’re so different than today’s, and really quite practical. They create strong seams and a neat interior, yet are not difficult to take apart in case the dress needs to be remodeled. This bodice showcases a variety of different techniques, as each seam and edge is finished differently.

This article originally appeared on Your Wardrobe Unlock'd. It has been updated with new information about the side back seam technique.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Pink Evening Bodice from the 1880s

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One bodice in my collection is an evening bodice from the 1880s. It has a V neck, points at both the front and back waists, and the back is cut to accommodate a bustle. The bodice has four pieces—front, side front, side back, and back—on each side, for a total of eight pieces. This allows for a very smooth fit.

For more and full size pictures of this bodice, here's the Flickr set on the new (sigh) Flickr!

This article originally appeared on Your Wardrobe Unlockd and I presented it at Costume College.