This is the start of a new fashion era that will last pretty well until the end of the 19th century: the bodice is now quite tight and pointed bodices have (once again – they were firmly ensconced in the pre-revolutionary 18th century) taken hold of the female figure. Everything leads like an arrow towards the center front of the female torso, enhancing a tiny waist. If nature didn’t endow the lady with such a waist, metal-stiffened corsets will soon be worn; they are not common as yet but will be an integral part of the female attire from about 1850 to the end of the century. After a lot of research, I find that there are 3 main design features: bretelles that pass over the shoulder and diminish towards the center back and front, often continuing outwards from the waist to the hem (I show 4 different versions of this design, dress-1, 2, 3 and dress-4), a gathered front widening at the shoulders (as in dress 5) and a bodice adorned with wide and tight berthas (dress 6 and 7):
Dress-1, a dark blue floral dress with contrasting embroidered silk satin panels,
Dress-2, virtually the same as Dress-1 (this was my test dress), but with embroidered panels in self-fabric,
Dress- 3, from check teal silk with red piping and a pleated as well as gathered skirt attached to the piped bodice.
The patterns for the embroidered panels are in the pattern sheet and can be embroidered by hand, or the panels can be cut straight and trimmed with braid and fringes. You can also purchase the ready-embroidered panels either in the fabric shown here or in a fabric of your choice.
Dress-4 is a sumptuous magenta-orange-green and black opera or dinner gown with matching fringes and black
Dress-5 has a tightly gathered front panel with wide shoulders made from fine patterned cotton with a "fake" chemisette and a flounced skirt attached to the peaked bodice. It is a typical dress with this very popular bodice design feature.
The third popular design feature would be berthas. these would be quite snug around the shoulders, either open in front or closed, trimming either a plain day bodice or, as was opten the case, a festive gown.
Dress-6 is a simple, well-fitting, deeply bointed bodice with separate double box pleated skirt. this is a great basic design and will be popular until the end of the century. Trims and decorations would often be interchanged, either sewin on lightly or just pinned on. this bodice comes with 3 different, very simple but effective berthas. I left the skirt untrimmed but it can be trimmed as well. The outfit is made from silk satin.
Dress-7 is a stunning ball gown with separate bodice, double piped along the waist and darts, and a layered skirt edged with lace and trimmed with hand-made bouquets.
Mantelet - an authentic mantelet from 1843 trimmed with braid, fringes and covered wood beads - all dyed to look more antique.
A NEW FEATURE IS INTRODUCED: there will be a "degree of Expertise" from 1-3, and I have presented simple and easy dresses as well as challenging ones.