A Bustle Bodice

c. 1880


The bodice, shown over my nearly completed Truly Victorian bustle and one of my 1860s petticoats.  Not exactly the proper petticoat, but it still gives the idea of what the the bodice would have looked like on.  The bodice is fitted with two darts on each side.  The darts start at the bottom edge (above the tabs, of course), and stop at the bustline.  It is also shaped at the side seam.  As was not uncommon with Victorian clothing, there is evidence that the bodice has been altered.  The side seam allowances, which are actually darts used to simulate seams to update the cut of the bodice, are extremely narrow, about 1/8 of an inch, and the original stitch markings (suggesting that it took more than one try to get the fit right) can been seen on the side seams, starting at waist level and going to the underarm.  There is an extention of the same velvet to the front opening (visible from both the right and wrong sides of the fabric).  It is unlined.  The buttons were moved, old stitch marks are visible about 1/2 an inch away from their present location.  The buttons are sewn directly to what would be the edge of the bodice without the extention.  Since the velvets match, I'd imagine the alterations were done by the same seamstress.   



The back view.  Koshka is supervising on the left.  The back has a center seam, with three pieces on either side.


Page Two, The Outside (without bustle and petticoat)
Page Three, The Inside

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