Rennaissance Fair Costume (Courtesy of : Traditionally, a "bodice" is a garment worn by women that covers the upper torso from about the chest level to the waist. The bodice typically is made out of two pieces (or two "bodies", hence the term "bodice") that are laced together, originally both in the front and the back, that is worn over another garment (blouse or shirt), like a vest. Historically, bodices were often low cut and worn by peasants. In contemporary language, the term "bodice" is used to describe the top part of a dress (distinct from the skirt).
Subtypes : Types of modern bodice - straight bodice, empire bodice, adjusted bodice, ascending point bodice, semi-adjusted bodice, blouse bodice, gathered bodice, descending point empire, princess bodice, double-breasted buttoning bodice, tubular bodice, sun-top bodice, strapless bodice, straight buttoned bodice, asymetrical adjusted bodice, yoke bodice, camisole bodice, pleated bodice, draped bodice, wrap-over bodice, flounced bodice, country-style bodice
Parts : Left and right side pieces, lacing, boning (optional), grommets (optional)
Preferred fabrics : Cotton or linen
Construction : Bodices are sometimes boned (reinforced with stiff slats) and this presents particular difficulties to the beginner. In general, however, bodices were developed when clothes were less sophisticated and many historical patterns for bodices present no great challenge.
Example creations : "Map" bodice, Green bodice, Victorian bodice, Bodice muslin, Costume bodice,
Example patterns : Bodice with bolero front 1896 (free), Elizabethan bodice (free), Simple bodice (free),
Uses worldwide : Variations on the historical bodice are found in many cultures throughout the world.
Origins and history : The bodice emerged from the evolving skill in clothes-making and the shift from the use of simple rectangular-shaped fabrics to more form-fitting clothes. In the fifteenth century, this resulted in the development of "separates", tops that were distinct from skirts. At the time, binding clothes was still largely a matter of lacing. The bodice consists of two "bodies" of fabric laced together, originally both in the front and the back. Over time, the back lacing was lost, but the historical garment is still generally understood as being laced at the front. Bodices appeared in a variety of forms all across Europe, and trace their origins to garments worn by the Cretians and others in the antique world.
Alternate names : "Corsage" was the term originally used for the bodice of a dress
Related or similar garments : The difference between the historical bodice and the corset is not always obvious, although the corset evolved into a garment with a different function than the bodice.
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