Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Victorian Fancy Dress

From the seller:

Beautiful Civil War Era / Victorian Silk Floral Ball Gown Dress b-37

This Victorian /Civil War era gown is made from a heavy silk satin with a Beautiful pale pink rose print on a cream background. The bodice is lined in cotton, it has bones in the seams, the center front is a deep point, it hooks down the front. The sleeves come below the elbow, they have wide cuffs that are shirred along the inside seam and a wide lace ruffle. THere are 3 darts on each side in front in a fanned out, the top is opened to make a pleat and give fullness for bust. There's hand sewn tucks on the corner of the neckline to take make the neck higher, easily released, the seam binding at the back of the neck is worn (inside doesn't show), underarm seam is pulled and needs to be stitched, the cotton lining has a 3 inch tear along the front edge by the hooks, underarms have light stains, a few hooks are missing. It measures It measures 37 inches around the bust, waist is 27 1/4 inches, across the back shoulder is 15 inches, and from mid shoulder to bottom of center front point it 19 1/2 inches and a light stain on the bottom, but very minor and blends in with the leaves. The skirt is attached to the waistband with little cartridge pleats, it's lined in a tan polished cotton and has a hook and eye in back. The waistband is a little frayed in places and needs to be stitched about 2 inches to the skirt at the center back but doesn't need to be replaced. It measures 27 inches around the waistband, sweep at bottom is 158 and it's 44 1/4 inches long in front and 48 inches long in back. Excellent vintage condition.

From Me:

I think this is a much later dress than 1860's and it looks like it might have gotten reworked a time or two. It looks like it's a Victorian Fancy Dress done in an Rococo esque style. However, the rounded neckline is something seen in the 1860's but the pleated front that got let out looks 1840's and the waist tape and the way the bones are placed inside the bodice? That all looks late Victorian/early Edwardian! So.... feel free to take a stab at this one because I'm thinking 1880's for now...


  1. Very hard to tell with the flash reflecting, but that fabric looks like the sort of printed satin with a silk surface and cotton back that was used as a furnishing fabric in the late 1890's and early 1900's. We tend to overlook clothing that was made specifically as stage costume. It was often beautifully made, and of good fabric but it's confusing because the style, fabric and construction just don't add up. Right now, I'm dealing with costumes in the style of the 1860's that were made in 1915. Definitely "Star" quality. One of them has a "Callot Soeurs" label. This satin number looks like a stage design from the turn of the century to me.

    1. It might be. :-) What got me was the neckline and the extra fabric positioned in the back. It looks like the dress, particularly in the side view, just needs a bustle. However, it might be poor draping and it just needs the s-curve corset instead.