Friday, October 24, 2014

Post American Civil War Era 1860's Dress

From the seller:

This outfit was spectacular when worn in 1867. Unfortunately, it has not survived in that same spectacular condition. It is suitable as a study garment or for making a pattern of, although it could easily be mended and displayed with its flaws. It is an unusual one-of-a-kind garment, and definitely worthy of preservation and study.

All hand-sewn of a light silver-gray silk(?) fabric with tiny black dots overall. On the reverse side, the fabric is a dark gray with light gray dots. Both the dress and the separate matching coat display copious amounts of rich blue silk trim and edging, with the lower edges of both the coat and dress having a bastion shape that flutters in the wind or when walking. The bottom five inches of the dress is lined with horsehair to give it more body. There are eight fabric-covered buttons down the bodice of the dress in front, and 19 fabric-covered buttons down the front of the coat opening, those on the coat having the addition of a sewn on star and netting design in blue silk thread. The buttonholes on both dress and coat are edged with a yellow ochre colored silk thread. The skirt of the dress is gathered on each side in a little 'puff' and a large three-layered star, or flower, all trimmed in the blue silk trim, is near the bottom center back of the coat. There may have been more of these 'stars' that are now missing (?).

CONDITION: Some of the trim has come loose and needs to be re-attached. There are misc. stains scattered about, including a half-inch ink(?) stain on the front of the dress skirt, and a larger area of very light yellow staining in the lower back. The fabric along the top of the shoulders of the coat, and to a lesser degree, at the elbows on the coat, is worn and has lost the silvery finish allowing the darker under-fabric to show through. There are several other areas of this type of wear to the silver finish to the fabric. The shiny/silver finish on the fabric of many of the buttons is worn, and the sewn-on blue star & netting on many of the coat buttons are worn or have damage. Much of the black silk lining of the coat is missing, and some of the tan lining of the dress is damaged. There are perspiration stains under the arms of the dress.

While I have tried to accurately describe the condition of this unique garment, I may have missed some things. I sell it primarily as a garment to study or to make a pattern of.

Question & Answer Answered On
Q: Measurements: Bust, waist, hip, length Thanks Aug-12-14
A: As with most dresses of this period, it is of a smaller size. The overall length from shoulder at neck to bottom of dress is 54 inches. The waist is 24 inches. The skirt length from bottom of waistband to bottom edge of dress is 38 inches.

From Me:

*giggles* I'm sorry, I can't get over the swords design on this dress. I'm so figuring out a way now to do this to a medieval outfit. Just because.


  1. Swords and knives and dagges, oh my!

    Do you suppose this might have been a fancy dress? It seems odd for everyday wear.

    1. I doubt that it was for Fancy Dress. You see a lot of daggin in the late 1860's with some fairly odd embroidery/trim placements.