era: c1840

material: cotton with padded front

found: 2004

I am fabiliar with padding being used in some later gowns- mainly areound the front of the armscye to help reduce wrinkles, but this is quite different. Also effective! This era is post romantic stays with the long rigid busk that pushed the bust upwards, and the start of the opening busk and slightly lowered bust that came with it. This padding helps maintain raised bust, or creates one.

Other construction notes are to follow the pattern direction- the waist is on the grain, only diverting in the front point. this helps stabilise the waist.

While this is a cotton bodice, the lightness of the construction can be seen across most garments from this era and beyond. all the support of skirt shapes and body line is created in undergarments.