Wool, trimmed with silk braid
This bodice has been made from a harsh textured wool fabric printed with a simple design in green and two shades of dull mauve, and is lined in calico; its hand stitching is rough, although care has been taken with the piped seams at centre front and on each side of the back, and with the border to the collar. Probably of humble origin, it nevertheless shows some regard for fashion in its two part sleeves and deep braid-trimmed collar; the horizontal waistband lags behind in style by a few years. Beneath the collar, and above each of the two front darts a slightly sloping incision, approximately 4 in or 10 cm in length, has been made, and, on the right side the edges have been turned in and under and hemmed in mauve thread, and on the left side turned back once and sewn down roughly with pale thread (see Additional Images). Initially, these were assumed to be for breast feeding (examples of mid 19th Century dresses with slits over the breasts for this purpose survive) but their position slightly above the breasts makes this questionable, and their use remains uncertain.