Sunday, May 3, 2015

1870's Bustle Era Dress Created from an 1860's Dress

From the seller:

This auction is for a most exquisite antique dress, circa 1868 to around 1874. Three pieces comprise this ensemble...bodice jacket, underskirt and overskirt. The jacket is fully lined in polished cotton and features widely scalloped sleeves. There are 4 corset stays sewn within the basque. Button holes on jacket right with missing buttons on left. Left front seam needs restitching. You can actually see the black corset stay within this seam. It will only take a few neatly placed stitches to reclose the seam and tuck the stay inside. There is a water spot jacket left....this is the only stain found on this 3 piece dress. The underskirt features a wide pleated lower skirt with beautiful ruched panel front. Big bustle poof in rear...puffs it quite nicely as you can see. Hook and eye closure in back. This underskirt does need some restitching. The waistband needs retacking and some side seams need resewing. It appears complete. The skirt is beautifully lined and quite heavy. The lower dress hemline was protected from wear by a silk dust ruffle sewn on the skirt underside. The hemline is fine, but the dust ruffle shows wear. The third piece is the beautiful over-skirt with fine black lace hemline trim. Fully lined in polished cotton. There are buttonholes along inner waist, but I can fine no corresponding buttons on the dress. This is in pristine condition. I see no wear or tears in the silk...thank goodness for the expert lining job. With a bit of skilled sewing and some buttons, this late Civil War , early Victorian dress most certainly can be worn. It is your typical extra small size...the jacket would not close on my dressform. This exquisite piece of 1800's fashion history measures as follows:
Bust: 30 inches
Waist: 23 inches
Underarm side seam: 8.5 inches
Underarm to sleeve end: 15 inches
Waist: 24 inches
Hips: full bustle back
Side seam: 40 inches

Just a most majestic antique dress for serious collectors of fine 1800's clothing.

From Me:

The skirt is too narrow for the late 1860's. This is very much an 1870's dress. It doesn't have a basque waist (I have no idea what the seller is talking about. It looks like they used words they didn't understand the meaning of) but the bodice looks like every single 1860's bodice ever. The skirt is probably remade from an 1860's skirt - there would be enough fabric. It's also not "corset stay", it's black whalebone stays most likely. A corset is a garment that uses stays to keep everything in place. Also, by the time this dress would have been worn in this style, the Civil War had been over for about a decade, Queen Victorian had been on the throne 30 years, and I have no idea why lining would keep silk from tearing.

Given the coloring, I think this might have been one of those bright blues or purples earlier in it's life. Those dyes faded quickly but the pink waistband and the black lace would look smashing against either the purple (lavender) or blue.

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