Overview: The off-white bodice is probably part of a wedding ensemble from the early 1880s. It has a tight fitting bodice, shaped with darts, common during that time. The bodice has three layers of fabric. The inner most layer, the lining, is a white cotton twill. The outer fashion fabrics are silk broadcloth with a silk organdy overlay. There is no indication that the silk organdy overlay, silk broadcloth, and cotton lining were flatlined in the construction process. It seems that all three layers of fabric in a pattern piece were simply placed together and sewn all at once with no security hand or machine stitches. All seams are sewn with a machine chain stitch.
Construction: See supplemental pages for detailed information.
Trim: See supplemental pages for detailed information.
Provenance: Found in costume storage in the Department of Dramatic Art. The garment is in the Costar Collection.
Damage: The bodice has many external tears and stains. The under arms are sweat and/or makeup stained in side as are the eggs. There is much discoloration in the interior neckline at the back of the bodice, which may have been caused by water. The interior crystal pleated sleeve frill is disintegrating and much of it is gone.
Tags: Has been studied and reproduced by MFA candidate