Construction: The outer bodice has a yoke across the top covered with lace, and there is some blouson at center front. The one-piece center back is cut on the fold. There are 5 tucks that are 1/4" wide on each side of the back pressed toward center back. There is an underarm seam and a one-piece front which has two sets of 5 tucks that are 1/4" wide and pressed toward the center-front. At the bottom of the yoke, the tucks span 3" wide but at the waist they are gathered into 1 1/4" creating a blouson effect. There is a shaping dart at the bustline, and the shoulder seams slope slightly toward the back. The yoke, made of cotton lace over a layer of silk crepe, has a large floral pattern. It extends across the front and closes over the left shoulder. Under this lace yoke, the bodice closes below the yoke at center front with 4 hooks and thread bars. The yoke of the bodice is 6" deep at center-front. The edge of the yoke on the front and the back is obscured with a piece of satin ribbon that is 3" wide but has been softly pleated to 1". The 1" standing band collar is made from this same satin ribbon. The waist is covered by a belt of this same satin ribbon loosely pleated; it closes at center-back with one substantial hook and loop. The bodice sleeves are full and gathered into the armhole. There are 4 sets of 5 narrow tucks, 1/4" wide on the sleeves which are both wider and longer than the inner sleeve. The sleeves end in a 1" cuff of self-fabric that have several rows of stitching across them for decoration. The cuffs measure 11" around and have no closure. Mostly machine-made but some hand-stitching. There is a complete inner bodice made from glazed cotton which is fully boned; some bones are bent from use. The inner bodice opens center-front with 16 hooks and loops, and an additional one, which is larger, at the waist. The back portion of the inner bodice is separately made though the front is flat-lined. All seams are French seams except the side seam there the pieces join -- allowing some room for alteration without needing to move any of the bones. A 1 1/4" wide waist-tape is stitched by hand to the bone at center-back. It has no closure but pin holes indicate that it was pinned together. When closed the waist measures 25"; the waistband itself is 27" long to allow for overlap. The bottom edge is hemmed with self-fabric, cut on the bias. There is a full two-piece inner sleeve that fits close to the arm.
Provenance: Donated to the Costar Collection in the Department of Dramatic Art by Elise Guthridge.
Damage: The wool is teasing apart and the silk is fragile. Some places show signs of careful repair. There are also a few stains.