Saturday, July 7, 2012

1860's Super Cute Bodice and Skirt

From the seller:

This great Victorian dress most likely dates from the mid to late 1860's. It could date from the Civil War era judging by the dropped shoulders on the bodice with short sleeves and the slightly tear drop shape of the skirt.

The bodice with short sleeves has 8 stays: one in the center of the back, one on each side, and 5 across the front.

The bodice with shoulder straps has 7 stays: one on each side and 5 across the middle of the back.

The skirt has a pocket on the right side, and it also has a little watch pocket on the left side at the waist. On the underside of the skirt there is an 8" wide band of stiffened muslin all around the circumference of the hem. The skirt is also lined with a brown glazed cotton.

The dress is actually in good shape for a silk garment that is close to 150 years old. I will list the blemishes by each piece in the ensemble:


As you can see in the photos, there are tears in the seam between waistband and the material on the skirt. They are both situated under the fasteners on each side of the opening in the skirt.
There are more of the greenish water stains along the edge of the hem. There are apprx. 3 to 4 dozen spots spread the circumference of the hem that range in size from 1/8" to 4" in size.
There are two other large areas of damage on the back of the skirt at the hem. The first is a brown stain that is about 13" long with varying heights between 4" to 1". Next to this brown stain is a 6" by 4" area with 8 to 10 holes that range in size from a pinhole to 1/2".
There is a 2" long horizontal split in the middle of the right side of the skirt.

Bodice with Shoulder Straps

As you can see in the photos, there are water stains 5/8" and 3/8" in size.
The hooks and eyes both have rust on them.
There are dark rust stains on the lining next to the eyes.
I'm not sure what they are, but there are several dozen pinsized black spots on the lining in the middle of the back. They do not show through to the silk fabric.
As you can see in the photo of the bodice, a 3" section of the green fringe appears to be missing on the front. It is actually hanging loose on the inside of the bodice.
There don't appear to be any perspiration stains in the armpits.

Bodice with Short Sleeves

It has deep armpit stains. The left armpit has 3 to 4 1/4" long splits in it.

The buttons are just showing some shattering, but they are still intact.
On the front of the bodice at the edge of the waist, there are tiny little holes where the points of the stays are starting to poke through.
On the right shoulder next to the neck, there is a 1 1/4" long split or hole. The material just below the neckline is also starting to shatter. All of the holes and shattering go through the brown lining.
There is a 4" long split in the brown lining on the right side of the bodice.
Belt It is in very good shape. There aren't any noticeable stains or shattering.

Although this dress does appear to have a lot of damage, most of it is situated in high stress areas such as the armpits, waist, and hem. The body of the fabric is actually stable and in fairly good condition.

The dress doesn't have a standard size so I have taken some measurements to help determine a proper fit.

Skirt: The waist measures 20". The length of the front of the skirt is 39". The length of the back of the skirt is 54"

Bodice with Short Sleeves: The flat bust measurement is 14". The waist is 18". The length of the front from the neckline to the waist is 15".

Bodice with Shoulder Straps: The flat bust measurement is 15". The waist is 18". The length from the top of the shoulder strap to the waist is 13".

From Me:

Scarlett O'Hara? Eat your heart out.

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