Monday, April 23, 2012

1860s White Shirred Bodice

A new-favorite 1860s item - delicate white shirred bodices. My first attempt at doing all-over shirring, and my first accurate 1860s white bodice. A bit scary at first, but it turned out well!

This piece was comissioned for a display at a museum house:

Representing what  the wealthy lady of the house might have worn.

The main inspiration - vertical shirred bodice, with some type of lacy trim at each shirring line.

More inspiration and research.

A preliminary sketch, once the basic style had been decided. A slightly more open neckline, plain but full bishop sleeves.

The finished product:

The lovely creamy-white barred sheer cotton voile and the delicate lace trim were both provided by the curator of the museum. Both were just perfect for the project!

The only major thing I changed up from the original sketch was putting hidden hooks and eyes at the front of the dress instead of buttons. I just worked better with the lining up of the vertical rows.
The white cotton lining is dart-fitted, and then the (much longer) sheer bodice piece was gathered in rows and then pulled up to fit. It took some fiddling and adjusting to get all the rows to line up even going over the shoulders and such, but all in all was much easier than I had anticipated.....


The bodice is shown paired with a plaid silk skirt and black velvet ribbon belt. When it is on display, it will be shown with a lovely rosy-pink silk taffeta skirt. (making that next...)

I'm thinking about making a sheer-shirred bodice for myself along the same lines at some point. I think a correct bodice/skirt combination would be a refreshing change at a reenactment event, and a fun alternative at 1860s dances and get-togethers, don't you?


Lilac Bud Gal said...

Ooh! Pretty! I think I would have been terrified to have done that!!! Yikes! :)
but, you did an amazing job! I'm thinking that this kind of bodice would be pretty for a wedding dress, too. ;)
I can't wait to see it with the pink skirt!!! :)

Nuranar said...

That is SUPER! I've never seen a repro shirred bodice I liked, but this one is amazing. Go you!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous! 2 questions: Is the short sleeve under the bishop sleeve part of your shift or part of the underbodice? And did you use any particular instructions for the shirring? I'm just getting into this sort of sewing and am not very certain about shirring/smocking/etc.

Chip said...

Atlanta! That is simply beautiful. You did a fabulous job, and I agree that it looks a bit intimidating. But sometimes you don't know until you jump into something. :D

Naomi said...

Wow Atlanta!! it is absolutely gorgeous!! (: I LOVE it!! (:

Robin's Egg Bleu said...

Delicate, gorgeous!

melissamary said...

This is gorgeous! I was just commenting that I'd like to do a Russian body bodice which has shirring like this one. Well done!

Samantha said...

this is really, REALLY lovely!!

Atlanta said...

Thank you! :)

The sleeve you are seeing underneath is my chemise. With this blouse it might have been better to wear my sleeveless one, but I wasn't thinking about that. :)

The shirring itself was fairly simple, just a bodice piece much longer and somewhat wider than the lining, then stitching even rows of gathering stitches, and pulling up/arranging to fit.


Emily said...

Uh, wow. That is GORGEOUS!

Jennifer Rosbrugh said...

Your sheer bodice is stunning! Very well done. Really. And it goes with your fantastic plaid skirt so wonderfully for a 1860s look.

Adventures in Dressmaking said...

Beautiful! My mom made me something very similar when I was a teenager and it's so nice for summer. I'm getting too old to wear the blouse/skirt look now but it is a beautiful piece and I may have to make a jacket ensemble to go with it!


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