Purple Wool Bodies

I made these purple wool bodies (and the orange linen petticoat) because I wanted a more working class outfit for days when I wanted comfort and something that I didn’t mind working in. The bodies are made of purple wool and lined with fustian. It’s boned with reeds. The channels are all hand worked and it is fully topstitched by hand with yellow cotton thread to add a little decoration. To make it more comfortable to working in it is cut flat at the waist and boned fully in front but on an angle like the Dorthea bodies in Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion. They are completely hand finished and have no visible machine stitches.

The petticoat was made of 3 yards of orange linen that is cartridge pleated to the waist band and guarded with a 1 inch wide red linen guard.

What I love most about these bodies is that they allow nearly complete freedom of movement at the waist which is necessary when one is working but not generally found with bodies that are more pointed in the front.

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