Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Yellow mid to late 19th Century Outfit

From the seller:

Ethereal two piece flounce dress circa 1860

Dainty 1860s white dress made of finest cotton muslin embroidered with delicate rose buds. The embroidery is done in creme colored silk thread. The jacket closes in front with 9 crochet buttons, has 10 stays and it is lined in creme silk (hence the color difference). The skirt has five tiers of ruffles and it ties at the waist with a thread tie. It is hand sewn (mostly) and machine sewn.

There are a few period repairs, including a small patch on the upper right chest; overall it is in great shape and amazingly white

Great antique condition

From Me:

Hi New People!!!! *waves*

Sorry I didn't post over the holiday weekend. I was busy catching my pup running around the Ikea parking lot. No, really. Okay, so someone else caught her (Thank you, God!) but still, it was a very...interesting weekend.

Anyway, the dress! I'm not convinced this is 1860's. The bodice styling looks very 1870's to me but the skirt is in keeping with the 1860's if not the 1850's styles. My guess is the bodice was remade in keeping up with the current styles and the skirt was just pinned over the proper hoops or bustle.


  1. That really is a strange one! The bodice is definitely not pre-1870 (or say 1868). It's possible it was remade from an 1850s long basque-style bodice; that would probably have enough material. I'm just not sure why, though. Cotton sheers like this one just don't stand up to being remade like silks and wools, and this was not an easy remake, if it was one. Incredibly time-consuming, with little benefit.

    Perhaps the skirt was worn with a separate skirt bustled over it. Or one of those apron-styled overskirts? (I'm not too knowledgeable about post-1865 - just enough to be dangerous!) The skirt really looks like a ruffled underskirt to me. Even in the 1850s, flounced skirts tended to be flounced all the way up, or within a few inches of the band. It also doesn't seem to be quite big enough around for a true pre-crinoline look. But it would work over a narrower 1870s support.

    1. The ruffles look too around - for lack of a better word- to me for the true bustle look. Perhaps early 1860's? Similar to the green dress in this fashion plate

      Or maybe the original bodice was designed to come to just above the knee? The ruffles seem a bit high to me. Of course, the way it's displayed does not help at all. :-/

    2. It tells me I can edit but it won't let me...hmm..

      Anyway! I realized how better to say what I was trying to earlier - if it was of the bustle era, I'd expect to see some sort of train and the ruffles to not go around, but dip down in the back following the "train". That way, when the bustle was worn, the ruffles would be straight around the lady wearing the skirt. Instead, if a bustle was worn with this skirt, the ruffles would go up in the back which was not a pretty look. Hence the "too around" comment earlier.

      Hopefully that makes more sense now.

    3. I know what you mean - I was going to cite an early 1860s example like that, too, but I didn't want my comment TOO long. :D And I also know what you mean about expecting the flounces - really the whole skirt - to not be *perfectly* round. Maybe it's displayed badly, but it looks like there's virtually no difference in front and back length. And that doesn't really work for anything! Even 1840s and 1850s skirts had more length in the back, to cover the fashionable undergarments. This one looks short in back, whether worn over petticoats and bustle pad, elliptical hoop, or genuine bustle. So this is confusing. :p

      I just noticed the top flounce is shorter than the rest. Another weird thing! Flounced skirts had flounces of equal lengths, or maybe (rarely) increasing in depth all the way down.

      Maybe the original bodice was a long basque that also had flounces. I guess that's remotely possible, although I don't recall seeing an example. I've seen some pretty long basques on 1850s, especially in riding dress. Not knee-length, but mid-thigh.

      Aaah, so confusing!