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Object Record

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Object Name BODICE
Catalog Number 0985.13.01061
Date ca. 1860
Description Adult bodice outer garment fabric is a plain, tightly woven cotton with a bold print in variations of brown, red, blue, and white. The print has two alternating patterns. One pattern is a vertical stripe 2.375" wide with a dark brown background and a vertically running floral motif. Blossoms are abstracted and are about 2.375" X 1.875" in shades of red with light beige centers. The leaves are about 2.625" long is shades of brown, blue, and red. The second pattern is of hard, regular squares, 2.75" X 2.625,"" running vertically. The squares alternate in shades of brown and blue with an abstracted leaf design which fills three-fourths of the square. The squares are separated by horizontal stripes, 2.75" X 0.75," with an abstracted leaf pattern in light beige, dark brown, and maroon. The underlining has a mainbody of white, twill weave cotton; the sleeve underlining fabric is of a lighter weight plain weave white cotton. Pieces of this fabric are used to cover the stays. The neckline has a deep "V" opening in front. The neckline is round from the shoulder seams to the back center opening and is piped around the back as well as half-way down the front. The "V" is top-stitched, and the edge is turned under 0.375" and slip-stitched. The shoulder seams are back 1" from the natural shoulder top. They are piped and sewn with a running stitch, edges not finished. The side seams are about 1" back of the side fold. They are backstitched with unfinished edges. The bodice type is "Y" shaped; the fabric falls from each shoulder in diagonal folds to pleats at the waist front (1). The gathers are from the shoulder seams down to the front waist. They are loose at the shoulder and tighten as they go down. The lower third is in straight pleats. These pleats are sewn in place by three strips of fabric 0.25" X 5.5". The ends of the strips are decorated with buttons. The strips are attached with a running stitch. The right side has a seam from shoulder to pleats, hidden in the folds. The left side does not have this seam. The buttons are round, 0.375" in diameter, and appear to be bone. Only a small area of the buttons is visible. They are covered with matching fabric. The sleeves are straight, full-length, ending in 1.25" cuffs, which are closed by two hooks and thread eyes. There is a diagonal armscye sewn in backstitch with edges overcast. The underarm seam runs from armscye down to a 2.5" placket. The underarm seam is sewn in a running stitch with unfinished edges. Piping is around the armscye, cuff top and bottom, placket, and along underarm seam. The waistline falls at the natural waist and is pointed at the front, overlapping the skirt. The waistline is straight and horizontal in the back. It has a three-eighths-inch hem with unfinished edges and piping on the lower edge. The center back opening runs from neck to waist. It is closed by hooks and eyes. The right edge is turned under 1.875," left 1.25," and slip stitched in place. The hooks and eyes are two hooks on cuffs with thread eyes. There are eleven hooks and eyes on a center-back opening. They are made of brass painted black. The hooks are double-wire, and the eyes are "C" shaped, indicating Civil War period (2). The eyes are on the right side with the hooks on the left. The hooks extend out from the edge and face up. The eyes are recessed. This is unusual since hooks are normally recessed and facing downward (3). A heavy cotton thread is used to attach hooks and eyes. The sleeves are fully underlined. The underlining is sewn into the seams. A backstitch is used on the armscye seam, with edges overcast. The main body underlining is sewn into all seams except the "V" front neckline, where it is loose. The underlining front has a center front seam extending from the waistline up a deep "V." The seam is backstitched with unfinished edges. The lower half of the center front seam has a stay covered with a one-inch wide strip of cotton fabric, attached with a running stitch. A dart extends upward from the waist to within 5" of the shoulder seam on each side of the center front seam. The darts are sewn in backstitch with unfinished edges. The darts are boned and covered with a one-inch wide strip of cotton fabric, attached with a running stitch. The front neckline has a quarter-inch hem, rolled and slip-stitched. The "V" neckline has a half-inch hem, turned under and slip-stitched. The garment was entirely hand-stitched.
Dimensions L-19.5 inches
Owned Gooch family
Provenance Bodice belonging to the Gooch family of Louisa County, Virginia. It may have originally Mary Evelina Toler Gooch (b. 1834), or her sisters, Martha "Mattie" F. Gooch Vaughan (b. 1837) or Elizabeth "Bettie" Pollard Gooch (b. 1839). Or it may have belonged to their mother Martha Susan Toler Gooch (1807-1868).

The paper label on the back of the bodice reads, "Mrs. George K. Anderson / 115 Allegheny / Clifton Forge / Virginia."
People Gooch family
Subjects women
Clothing & dress