Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Turn of the Century every day Blouse

From the seller:

This auction is for a Victorian bodice of pink, black and white patterned cotton. It is lined in cream cotton and is structurally sound, however, there is fading and soiling throughout. Some of the pleats at the bust have come undone and black thread is left to show where they were. The measurements are approximate and as follows: Bust 30”, Waist 22”.

From Me:

These are the pieces I truly like to look at. This is what any middle class or even lower class woman would have worn. Think of this like we would wear a T-shirt today.

It's an early Edwardian (note the slight pigeon front) in a rather nice color. The pleats on it were mostly decorative - part of the Belle Epoque look. When the sewing machine came into power, everyone had lace, ruffles, and tucks in their clothing because you suddenly *could* without taking hours to do it. What took a couple of days by hand suddenly took no time at all on the machine.


  1. I love this print! I'm with you, I love to see the "everyday" stuff just as much as the fancy stuff. Do you think this was originally a whole dress, or a skirt and blouse, and the skirt was cut up for something else. It would have made a cute little girl's dress during the Depression, for example. I really can't tell, though. The back looks finished, while the front looks unfinished with the lining showing and threads hanging. Or is that part of the damage the seller mentions?

  2. @nuranar My *guess* is that the seamstress didn't bother to finish the front and figured it would be covered by a belt/front of the skirt. However, I really don't know. It could very well have been a dress that was being refitted into a blouse. I wish there were pictures of the inside to be able to tell a bit better.

    Thank you so much for commenting!

  3. How is it possible that "some of the pleats at the bust have come undone" when the collar is still attached? I can see where there used to be pleats because of the slight color difference, but if they had come undone they would still be pleated right at the collar seam (I hope I made sense lol). Otherwise, a lovely blouse indeed.