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Purple brocade ensemble with two bodices


by: Amy Page

It was challenging to find acceptable fabric for the reproduction of the bodice.  The scale of the motifs was an important consideration.   Acceptable velvet brocade was swatched in New York City but matching the color was not possible. 

Reproduction Front Reproduction Back

The application of trim on the original appeared to be an afterthought so it  was not added to the reproduction.  In order to aid in the correct silhouette, garment was draped over a corset.  The original would have been worn over a corset, so the reproduction was made to do the same.   In order to achieve an appropriate fit, a fisheye dart was added to the front of the garment at the waist from the dart leg to the side seam.  Tails were added with pleats stacked at center back and side back.     

Neckline Detail Center Back Detail

The pattern on the original bodice is very complex and much trouble was taken to match wherever possible.  The same is true with the reproduction.  The bottom edge of the original bodice in the back was cut leaving a raw edge, perhaps to obtain the fabric used in the pleat.  Period sources were useful to help decide what it would have looked like.

Original Fabric Detail Reproduction Fabric Detail

© Amy Page, 2010