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Corsets and Crinolines - unique vintage clothing

Pagoda sleeve bodice

Pagoda sleeve bodice
C.1855. Blue pagoda sleeve bodice made out of royal blue silk brocade.
The bodice is lined in white cotton drill, and is boned with 3 short bones at center back and one at each side of the front opening. Fastens down the front with brass hook 'n eyes. The waist is pointed at the back and front as was common with bodices from the 1840's to the early 1860's (would be become popular again at the end of the 1870's to 1890).
The bodice would have fit tightly showing off an hourglass shape and would have been worn possibly with a bell shaped skirt which required a horsehair or linen crinoline. It sports modified pagoda sleeves. These became fashionable at the end of the 1840's but were worn until the mid 1850's when larger Pagoda sleeves worn with puffed undersleeves became the style. These sleeves might have been worn as is, or with simple undersleeves.
Every single seam is piped and the bodice is amazingly entirely handsewn with minute even stitiches which at first, I mistook for machine stitches. The bodice would have been worn by someone of about 5'5"- 5'7". She would have been quite curvey as the bust measures 40", waist 29". The shoulders measure 19", but these are dropped measurements. Her shoulders probably would have been about 15".
This photo, although taken a little later in the 1850's (about 1858- 1859), shows a young Italian pre teen wearing a very similar style bodice with modified pagoda sleeves with simple undersleeves worn underneath. The front of her bodice is pointed as well.
(Formerly L. Hidic)