Monday, April 20, 2015

Pink Caraco and Skirt

From the seller:

Fantastic ' poult de soie " ( silk ) having a texture much like a natural raw silk. The color is a cool pink not a warm one...wonderful! It has what is know as an open zone front, typical of the late 1780's to 1790's. The front has hand needle worked holes for lacing....bones of wood?? present. The top has a minor loose weave here and there near top of shoulder and under an arm...not bad at all for its age. The loose tie skirt has pleats stitched as well as both side having a free casing to adjust ties that need some attention as well as a small area at seam needing re-stitching ( see photos ) I found one tiny less than a penny stain at back bottom of skirt also in pics. The lace at cuffs and neckline may have been added later as well as the ric rac although that too is very early so may have been re-stitched? The garment retains much of its early hand 1 I am not well versed in this area of dress so ask all question as there is no refund due to the nature and age of the garment as well as recent increase of buyers remorse.

The price is very low for a garment of this age, it was purchased from Paris, France and with proper slight restoration in the areas mention above will be a fantastic addition to your collection. Garments with matching tops and bottoms are getting harder to find, and thanks to the thicker weave of silk it is a survivor. The top is lined in a linen and take note of all that early tiny tiny hand stitching! Skirt is unlined as the usually were.

The mannequin, undergarments, pannier, bow, belt and buckle as well as the fichu are not included.

Top of bodice measures approx. 22" at waist, bust is approx. 27"

waist of skirt is adjustable, hips are free

length of skirt is 35 1/2" flat not on dummy

From Me:

A few notes: I don't think it was pink originally. I think it was more of a lavender. Colonial Williamsburg has a pink robe a l'anglaise in it's collection that is a very similar color to this. It has been tested and, originally, it was a light purplish color.

Based on the measurements, I believe this was for a teenager.

This was originally a robe a l'anglaise that got taken apart. You can tell by the patch job in the back. I have a bodice from this era with a similar situation - it was common to rip the skirt off and use that fabric for other things. In this case, just to make it into a caraco and skirt.

I don't believe the ricrack is original. That might be a Victorian addition.


  1. I was going to save this photo for some ideas of trimming a caraco and I know it's been hacked up a bit, but I just couldn't hit the save button. It just kept feeling so wrong.

    1. The self trim is original to the garment. It's just that ricrack - which seems to first appear in the 1880's- that is not original. My guess is this was taken apart and used as a fancy dress by the Victorians/Edwardians.