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.