The Cuirasse Bodice and Bustle Skirt: A Historic Reconstruction
Timmer, Brian J.
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I decided to focus my SIP on sewing, specifically, sewing a reproduction of a historical garment. This decision relieved the pressure of designing and, at the same time, offered me a model to emulate. Choosing the garment was a task in itself. I looked for possibilities in every period in history. Ancient Greece and its many variations on the tunic did not offer great challenges. Elizabethan England was a possibility, but after sewing for Othello, there wasn't much challenge. Finally I came to rest in the nineteenth century. Here, early in the century, the clothes were free and flowing, a retro-Greek flair. They passed through the large hoop skirts of Mary Todd Lincoln in midcentury, and continued to constrict and reshape the human body, with the aid of corsets and whale bones, until the bustle period of the last quarter of the century. It is the bustle period that I found fascinating and felt offered the best models for an attempt at recreation.