Antique Vintage Edwardian c.1905 Velvet Lace Formal Bodice XS
This antique Edwardian
bodice dates to the early 1900s - it's an elegant vintage creation and so nice
that it's not black like so much of the surviving clothing of this era seems to
be! The bodice is full over the bust, fitted and boned below in the pigeon
breasted Gibson Girl style typical of the era. Lace insets are used for the
rounded yoke and standup collar as well as below the bust. The dotted net used
for the bust, sleeves and back is tucked and gently pleated for texture and soft
fullness. Narrow bands of velvet define the waist area lace inset. Ruched and
knotted velvet is used to edge the lace yoke, and wider bands of ruched velvet
set off the waist. The high collar is edged in corded white finely
Measurements reflect the current altered bodice - see Condition report. If you restored it by taking out the alteration, you'd lose about 3" at the waist and bust and about 2" at the shoulders.
The inner bodice is constructed from off white polished cotton with a total of 10 stays, four radiating in a fan shape in front and six in back. The outer bodice is primarily a substantial cotton net with woven-in oval dots, with guipire (I think) lace insets and velvet trim. All of these elements are dark blue. There are also middle layers - lightweight pale gray silk and very lightweight sheer black gossamer silk - you can see the edge of these in one of the closeups.
A homemade tag sewn inside has these words printed in ink "Belonged to Mrs. McQuaid. Worn about 1905".
The bodice closes with 18 metal hooks & eyes down the back. There are three larger hooks that the back bottom edge, most likely used to secure the bodice to the undergarment or skirt.
A former owner enlarged this by adding a 3" strip of dark blue velvet down the full length of the back - it's a little darker than the original velvet and reflects light somewhat differently. They also added a vee-shaped insert to the inner lower sleeve cuffs to make it easier to get hands in and out. The outer fabrics are sturdy and generally intact - no issues noted with the velvet, only a few isolated bridal breaks in the lace. I found a few holes in the dotted net, most of them near seams and either subtle or repairable - see closeup of the largest, which is at the bottom of the left sideseam where it is mostly covered by the velvet waistband. There was originally a layer of sheer gossamer cream silk sewn to the inside of the lace yoke - only remnants remain as seen in closeup, but can be easily removed without affecting wearability. The middle layer of black gossamer has deteriorated inside the sleeves and can be seen looking cloudy through the net in some areas - see closeup. I see a single brown stain visible on the white inner fabric on the upper left side of the chest - see closeup. The inside of bodice has multiple pinpoint brownish spots, mostly near the upper left - they feel like they're on the surface and do not show on the outside of the garment. Underarms are lightly discolored inside, and there is a faint odor if I get my nostrils really close.