This morning I finished my folk costume bodice. The style is very typical for the south-west corner of the county Skåne, in the very south of Sweden, with its deep front opening (to be laced with a chain through the buckles), the narrow back and shoulder straps and the padded roll to support the skirt. It’s made of silk, lined with unbleached linen. The visible stitching is made with silk threads pulled from the fabric (just because I didn’t have the money to buy silk thread at the time), and the lining and roll are sewn with unbleached linen thread. All thread has been waxed for strength. The buckles are also sewn on with the linen thread. The bodice is based on a pattern drafted from an extant bodice.
The bodice could (for the ones who had money enough) be made of silk brocade and trimmed with silk ribbons, but I will as usual keep a lower profile. The buckles might have been made in pewter or silver, sometimes even gilded, all according to wealth. I bought mine second hand, and I’m not sure what they’re made of – they each have two stamped marks on the back, but I have not found any that match them – the fact that I have a problem seeing what the stamps say doesn’t make it easier. Anyway, they do the job.
The stuffed roll at the bottom is sewn in plain in front, gathered at the sides, and again plain in the back, where a seam makes it very small. Not sure why it should be like that, but the original was made that way, so nothing else to be done. When the skirt is worn over the roll, it makes the silhouette very much like the fashionable late 16th century ladies’. It also looks similar to period pictures (1830s) from the area the costume’s from, so I suppose I made it right.
A seam is sewn a little bit from the edges, to keep the lining from pulling, just like all the originals I have seen. At the lower front the bodice is closed with three pairs of hooks and eyes that I made from brass wire. The point in front is worn inside the skirt.
The skirt, too, is finished (I think), but it’s too dark now to take pictures of it, so some other day.