It's so exciting when things like this come my way. I become a detective, along with all my friends in the biz that I show these things to. The mystery of who wore it and what methods of embroidery or construction were used are so intriguing.
These garments were given to me by my friend Peggy, who had them in her family trunk for a long time. She doesn't know the provenance, except someone in her family once wore them.
I date them to 1840 or so. The bodice is silk, opens in the front and back. This indicates to me that it may be a nursing bodice. It is lined in linen and has whale bones on each seam and dart and is entirely hand sewn.
The under sleeves may have been worn with this bodice or not. They are typical of the period and were pinned or basted into open bell sleeves. Sad to say, there are only one of each under sleeve. Why, I don't know.
The one has beautiful hand sewn lace. It's some kind of drawn thread work and knotting combination. Exquisite. The sleeve on the right side has a delicate netting cuff which has cotton flowers embroidered onto it and lace edging added on. The blue silk matched the bodice and may have been worn in colder weather with the bodice.
Don't forget, if you comment on my blog this month, you will be entered in the draw to win a free online class in 1812 doll costuming. It's detailed on my other blog and you can preview the class on my Edwina Dolls site.