Tonight I'm taking a break from rest-of-life because I just acquired something AMAZING.
This is a vintage bodice that I bought earlier this week from Via's Vintage in Minneapolis, from her etsy shop (Kellie, the shop owner, is super nice!) I usually stay away from vintage garments that are this old, mostly because I want garments I want to be able to wear, and I worry about 100+-year-old clothes being too fragile. The other reason I stay away, is that I'm simply NOT shaped like a Victorian, and vintage garments from that time from just won't fit me.
This one, however, DOES. In fact, it's even a tad large.
This bodice is composed of a great deal of soutache and cutwork silk applique on mesh (probably cotton), lined with silk.
The exterior is in remarkably good shape.The silk cutwork is shattering in some spots, and bits of the soutache are coming off here and there, but all of the work is almost entirely intact. The lining is another story, and I'll explore the interior in another post.
The sleeves are a little extra long, and end in these wonderful peaked cuffs that extend over the back of the hand.
This is the fun part. The bodice has a long tail, also covered in cutwork and soutache. It was probably also lined once, but as you can see the lining stops short of the waist.
In this batch of photos I have the bodice on over a mid 1870s bustle and an unfinished petticoat I had laying around (yes, I have a lot of random, unfinished bits laying around). In the next post I'll show you what it looks like over other shapes, and I will solicit your opinion on the probable date of this bodice. In the meantime, here are a bunch of gratuitous close ups!
|Side front of the bodice, featuring what looks|
like tatted knotwork, but is really a couched
boullion type of thing (I'll have to look it up)
|Side of the collar, which features a patch|
decorated with chain stitch embroidery. There's a
matching patch on the other side.
|Back of the collar.|
|Close up of the upper sleeve. Both sleeves are |
frayed the same way, and I think this spot is
where the soutache joined.
|Back waistline, with more of the couched "bullion."|
|The unlined tail.|