The first dress is finally cut out and ready to go. However, before I could begin construction I had to take account of a very important feature of 1840s dress.
It was customary at this period for most of the bodice seams to be decorated with piping. Piping is when a narrow cord inside a tube of fabric is sandwiched into the seam. This creates a decorative cord along the seam line on the outside of the garment. This is most commonly used to today to finish the edges of cushions.
|An example of cushions with piped seams (from here)|
In the 1840s, piping was used to add definition and emphasise the seam lines of garments.
|V&A_T.32-1940_Day Dress 1836-1840 - This cotton day dress has green contrast piping on all of the bodice seams, with a thicker double piping used to finish the bottom of the bodice.|
|From left to right: unfolded bias strip, folded bias, blind cord|
|With the cord sewn in to create the piping|
|All ready to be applied to the bodice|
The next step will be to apply this to all the seams of the bodice prior to construction.