Overview: The black bodice, made from china silk, silk georgette, and velvet is dated approximately 1902-07. It has been altered with applique and velvet ribbon applied to both the bodice and the corresponding skirt. These additions are not sewn in the same careful manner of the initial garment and cover much of the original pin tucks and shirring that was originally used as decoration.
Construction: The bodice has long sleeves and a 2" standing collar that closes with hooks at center back. There may be a missing placket at back. The waist of the bodice is boned and is deteriorating. There are underarm pads and a small pad at center front in the interior. Between the surface and the lining there is a layer of brown cotton. Black lace has been appliqued onto the yoke, lower sleeves, and front waist. The sleeves are very full and gathered at the upper arms, blousing at the elbows and controlled with tucks at the lower arms. Velvet bands decorate the collar, the yoke, ends of sleeves, and the belt at the waist which closes at back with hooks and loops. The bodice opens center back (closures do not match).
The skirt is attached to a 1" waistband. The bottom of the underskirt has an attached pleated band of with a ruffle at the end. The skirt has a train; there are 3 horizontal gathered tucks at the waist of the over skirt. Black lace is appliqued to the lower waist and on the top edges of a series of uneven ruffled scallops at the bottom of the skirt. The skirt closes at center back with hooks and loops (there are snaps and extra loops that don't match anything).
See supplemental pages for more detailed information.
Trim: The fullness is controlled with shirring which is decorative as well as functional. The applique and velvet bands are not original. See supplemental pages for additional information.
Provenance: Found in costume storage in the Department of Dramatic Art. Both the bodice and matching skirt are in the Costar Collection.
Damage: The alterations obscure some of the original garment. The outside is in fair shape although the georgette is brittle. There is a long vertical tear along the left side of the bodice front at the bustline. The underarms are discolored. Some patching has been done with black cotton.
Printer friendly garment information from the Costar collection.