Interior Finishing

In the course of sorting out some period garments for Tombstone, we happened across one of the bodices in our collection and after looking at it, it struck me that this demonstrates some of the key elements in period seam finishing. First, the seam allowances have been finished off with an overcast stitch. Also, note the use of boning to add structure to the bodice- this didn’t replace the corset but rather aided in helping to define the bodice shape.

Also, we want to note that this bodice employs flat-lining- this is where a reinforcing piece of fabric is attached to the interior side of the fashion fabric to add stability. This is especially useful when dealing with lighter fabrics and especially silks (polished cotton was frequently used).

Finally, we note that hooks and eyes are used, all the hooks one side, the eyes on the other. You will see an alternating pattern with some bodices but either way is good and both were used.

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Just In At The Atelier

Christmas came early at the Atelier with the arrival of the new and updated edition of “Patterns of Fashion 2” by Janet Arnold. This book has been a staple in period dress for years but the new edition takes it even further with detailed diagrams, color pictures, and an improved layout. If you’re interested in the construction of late 19th Century garments, this is definitely the book to get. It can be ordered HERE.

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Some Gilded Age Inspiration

HBO’s new series The Gilded Age has been on our minds lately, especially since it’s returning for a second season,  and this circa 1880-1882 dinner dress captures that feeling for us:

Dinner Dress, c. 1880-1882; Metropolitan Museum of Art (C.I.63.23.2)

In terms of general style, this is almost identical to our gold brocade & blush pink dress shown above and it only shows that the dividing line between “evening dress” and “dinner dress” or “reception dress” is pretty thin. Of course, the dress could have simply been mislabeled (it happens more than one would think) but still…in the end, it can be pretty subjective and we by no means profess to have the answers, it is though-provoking.

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