Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pink and White Striped 1840's Dress Using 18th C fabric

From the seller:

A very pretty Victorian silk dress made up of 18th century floral gown silk. It dates to about 1845, the silk to about 1770.

This dress has been very well made, and is lined throughout with fine beige cotton - all hand worked of course.
There is not much wrong with the dress, except the "piecing" of the top of the front bodice. I think this was done to save material, but also I assume there would have been a lace or silk frill covering this. The sleeves are pretty with an unusual trim.
The silk is of a good quality - robust and crisp. The hooks at the back could be slightly later, and there is also slight marking to the under-arms. Nothing too bad, as on display this does not show.

There is a great deal of lovely 18th century silk in this dress, and the skirt panels are of an 18th century width. Therefore, if one wanted to dismantle this dress, and use the fabric, there is plenty there. 18th century dress silk is very expensive, if one buying simply a sample length of it! In this dress, there are several lengths from waist to hem.

Measurements: Length shoulder to hem 53". Approximate waist 23". Bust 31"

From Me:

The next time one of my friends complains about not being able to match the pattern "like they did back then", I'm so whipping out this dress as evidence that they didn't always match either. And sometimes, it's so off you wonder what the heck was going on....

Very much 18th C fabric but the cut of this dress is all 1840's.


  1. "If one wanted to dismantle the dress". Almost made me choke, that did. Great dress, fabric, style, upcycling and all.

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  3. Maybe there wasn't enough fabric to construct the bodice without piecing together?

    1. If that were the case, most of the time, you just make the skirt a gored skirt (or at least the front of it) and use the fabric you took out of the skirt to help piece the bodice in a pretty fashion. She still clearly has a lot of fabric around the waistline of the skirt so...I'm guessing a very ancient UFO.

  4. Yeah, it was a stretch - it is a weird look though.

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