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White Organdy Bodice

Details of Construction

by: Judy Adamson

The bodice consists of two layers. The inside is of off-white, glazed handkerchief linen and the outside is off-white cotton organdy. The inner bodice has a center front bias seam and one under bust dart each side, radiating from one inch from center front to the bust point. All of the sewing on the bodice has been done by hand. The raw edges of the center front seam have been covered with a tape that has also been used as a bone casing for the 8 1/2" bone. The bone is probably whalebone because it is quite brittle. The dart has been trimmed to 3/8" and a channel has been made in the seam allowance to hold a bone.

The outside center front is very full and is controlled with four rows of gathers approximately 1" apart. The gathers are stitched to the under bodice along those rows and the fullness is confined to the area between the bones. The neck edge is corded with self-fabric and then the edge is piped. Remnants of thread at the neck edge indicate that there may have been lace there at one time.

The bottom edge is finished with the glazed linen. The 1" band is self faced and has been mitered to form the point center front. A very small cord, covered in organdy, is sewn in the seam. There are remnants of thread and needle holes on the back side of the band, indicating that it had been attached to a skirt at one time.

The back has no shaping and the organdy layer has been flatlined to the linen and the side seam stitched through all layers. There is a bone tape over the side seam that appears to be an after thought because it extends over the band finishing the bottom edge, while the bone casings at center front are covered by the band. The bodice had also been let out at the waist in the side seams before the band was applied.

The bodice closes right over left at center back with fourteen hooks and loops. There is a row of fine backstitch 1/4" from the edge on both sides to stabilize the closing. There is bone casing sewn behind the loops on the left side, but the bone is missing and may never have been there.

The two layers of the sleeve are backstitched into the corded armhole with minimal ease. Both the linen layer and the organdy layer have one underarm seam and those seams are rotated in the armhole 1 1/2" to the front. The organdy sleeve is cut on the bias and hemmed with a roll hem. The linen sleeve is cut on the straight and its bottom edge is rolled to the outside and covered with lace. The seam allowances have been trimmed to 1/4" and left unfinished.


© Judy Adamson, 2010