Copyright 1998-2000, The Costume Gallery

 Rose's Dressing Gown

Bodice Closeup

All photos on this web page are courtesy of Sense and Sensibility and Paramount Pictures (Paramount Theme Parks).

The bodice is what most of people view in the film "Titanic". Upon close observation, notice some features of this gown that you probably view on the silver screen. First, the gown does have the characteristic silhouette of the period, an empire waist. The waistline arrives beneath the bust. A two-inch wide matching silk ribbon is underneath the waistline seam. The only appearance of the ribbon is in this front bodice view in a 2 1/2" to 3" span on each side (shown in the above example halfway between her elbow and wrist).

Another interesting feature of this bodice view is the split sleeves. The separation of the sleeve begins at the shoulder seam of the bodice. This would make what would normally be the top of the sleeve cap open to the edge of the armhole. It would be safe to conclude that the armhole must have been bound to prevent exposure of the raw edges.

The sleeve is slightly gathered into the armhole. The sleeve's fabric is pin tucked seven parallel times to the center split. The pin tucking occurs twice from the front view. Once from the joining location at the shoulder seam and again at the 4 o'clock position on the armhole. Pin tucking of type was very common during this period of fashion.

The sleeve was edged with a 2 1/2" to 3" wide lace. Angela Thompson, well known lace author, was asked to comment on the lace on Rose's Dressing Gown. The following are her comments about the sleeve lace:

" The frill falling onto the arm, left hand side of picture is either Leavers machine lace, or Pusher machine lace needle run. I believe the Leavers lace is more likely as the Pusher lace is a diagonal construction and not so easy to cut up. I am judging by the picot edging that was always added later on the Leavers machine lace. "

Center Right Side View

Center Left Side View

 The chemise (the under gown) has a u-shaped neckline arriving at the top of the breast. The neckline is drawn by a 1/4" silk ribbon that weaves throughout the lace's edge. The ribbon ties in a bow at center chest.

The robe's neckline is more V-shaped also tying in the front with a silk ribbon. The ribbon bow arrives slightly beneath the bust-line. The neckline is enhanced with flounced lace.

According to Angela, part of the front view frill is the same as on the train's edging, the Brussels application. The top layer appears slightly different although this image is not clear enough to identify 100%. It is most likely hand lace. It has a look of the older Flanders lace because of the flower motif being large.

Angela analyzed the embroidery on the bodice at my request. I questioned whether the embroidery was applied or hand worked onto the costume. Suspicion of application technique was due to the fact that part of the embroidery lays on the ruffle of the neckline. Angela states that the embroidery is an applied piece that could have been made by machine, and was sold by the yard. The ribbon type embroidery might be an additional applied section, rather than ribbon embroidery worked through the fabric.

Note the ten rows of pin tucks that are visible in the right view. These pin tucks run the length of the skirt. For more details of the skirt, follow the link below.


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