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I've touched before on the nightmare of the unfortunate bride who has the indignity of hoicking up her dress periodically to avoid giving the congregation an eyeful of what should be for the groom's eyes only 
So today I thought I'd show you what goes into a Lychgate bodice to prevent it doing a disappearing act long before the magician booked for the reception does his first trick.  
 
I believe in a belt and braces approach. First I put in boning between the main fabric of the dress and the lining. This can be seen in the image on the right hidden behind the lining, appearing as lines of stiching. You can see that the boning goes around the whole of the bodice. I have been known to put in as many as 48 bones for a larger bust. No way was that bride's bodice sinking unceremoniously! 
 
I then add corset sections to the back of the bodice. These are the rose patterned fabric in the image. In Europe the corset originated in Italy but became popular in the 1500s when Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, introduced it to ladies of the French court. The word 'corset' comes from the french word 'corps' meaning 'body'.  
 
The corset peaked in popularity in Victorian times. Originally the boning in corsets was whalebone or wood (ouch!) and was secured by up to 50 laces, which a groom was required to unlace on the wedding night. This was meant to be an exercise in restraint! 
 
 
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