Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mid 1860's Plaid Dress

From the seller:

A fetching 1860’s Civil War era bronze plaid silk dress. The bishop styled sleeves are trimmed with pleated black silk. The bodice is lined with cotton and has a front hook and eye closure. Some of the hooks and eyes are missing. The neck and armscyes are piped. The skirt is attached to the waist with flat pleating. The skirt is fully lined with cotton. The dress is in good display condition. There are sections of missing fabric under each arm. (See photo.) There are a few scattered small stress marks in the fabric mostly around the neck and shoulder area. There is a 2 ½ inc split near the skirt hemline. The black silk trim is loose in some places and will need minor re-stitching. Bust 32 Waist 26 Skirt length 42 Width at hemline 135.

From Me:

1865 Fashion Plate

Although the blue dress on the far left is way more decorated than the plaid extant dress above, the trim placement on the sleeves is the same. Putting trim or other decoration on the back of the sleeve became a thing around late 1864 and stayed into the early Bustle Era. Based on the waistline of this dress, I'm thinking it's just post American Civil War - 1865/1866.

1920's Pink and Gold Party Dress

From the seller:

Antique & french evening gown.
Depression era
Pink silk and blond lace
In good condition Several stitches to sew,

From Me:

So the seller tells us...nothing.

Things I noticed: The pleated pink ribbon down the skirt. I haven't seen that before on a 1920's dress and find it interesting it's only on the skirt. The gold lace overlay - pretty obvious but notice how it's "baggy" with the spaghetti string slip beneath it. It makes me think that the pink slip beneath is just a modern replacement because they didn't really have those back then. This would also explain why the pink pleated ribbon doesn't match the underlying pink layer.

1924 Fashion Plate
Notice on the purple party dress in the fashion plate the baggy bodice section?  I'm pretty sure this gold dress is from about the same time period.   (Which is pre-depression era, btw)   I'm also pretty sure the pink underliner isn't original to the dress.  It may be but it just isn't the same shade of pink as the accents on the dress - which is odd in itself- and the spaghetti strap thing make me pretty sure it's modern.  (They did have thin strapped underdresses but not quite like this.)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Edwardian Day Dress with Swirly Print

From the seller:

A beautiful late 19th century or early 20th century Victorian or Belle Epoque blue and white silk evening gown with lace and velvet trim and train. I have included an illustration of two 1890s Belle Epoque Paris evening gowns that have many similarities with this dress. The dress consists of a front hook and eye fastening, tightly fitted bodice with low front square neckline edged with black velvet and a wide gathered lace collar. The velvet that edges the neckline continues down each side of the front bodice. The 3/4 length sleeves are ruched and gathered and drape slightly over the wide cuff which is edged with the same velvet and lace as the neckline. The bodice is lined with natural polished cotton with a few short stays, and thick underarm pads. The stays are interesting as they appear to be made of strips of whale baleen rather than bone or metal. The skirt has a thin waistband, a hidden opening at the back with hook and eye closure, and is slightly gathered at the center back for fullness and possibly for a very small bustle. There appear to be gatherings on each side in the photos, but this is where I have the skirt pinned in to fit the dress form. The skirt fits flat across the hips with only slight gathering at the point of closure at center back. More likely, this skirt was intended to be worn with an S-shaped corset characteristically worn in the Belle Epoque which made the derriere stick out. The skirt has the wider black velvet trim than the bodice, which starts at a low point in the front, sweeps up over each side of the skirt and then drops down onto the back train where it crosses over. The skirt is further adorned with pleats on either side which are stitched down as far as the velvet and then open below the velvet. The skirt is also lined with same polished cotton as the bodice but in the form of a trained petticoat, the edge of which has a small attached ruffle. The fabric of the dress is lovely - a light weight fine silk with a lovely sheen and a swirling pattern of china blue and white dots on white or china blue ground. The wide lace is exquisite with floral elements and a dragons tooth edge, and looks hand made to me. The dress is designed to be worn with a corset, and has a tiny waist. The detailed approximate measurements of the dress are as follows:


waist 23"
bust (pit to pit) 44"
center back neckline to waist 14"
shoulder to shoulder across the back 12"
length of sleeves 14" including 7" of lace trim

waist 27"
hips 44"
waist to hem 38 1/2" front 51" back
length of train 12.5"
The dress is pinned in significantly on my size 4-6 Victorian mannequin - I think the garment is about a size 8 but the waist is tiny and the bodice is small across the back - probably due to corsetting. The garment was designed for a petite woman of about 4.5' in height - there is about a 4" hem in the skirt that could be let down if desired. However, the roomy bust and hips indicate that the woman that this gown was made for was quite voluptuous, but the gown would look fine on someone with smaller bust and hips than the maximum afforded by the dress, as shown on my model. The garment appears clean, although I did not launder it. The underarm pads appear to have been unused. The silk is strong and soft with no sign of shattering and no stains that I could find. There are no hook and eyes to attach the bodice over the waistband of the skirt, and no sign that there ever were any. As can be expected with a garment that is 140 years old or more so there are some minor signs of age and wear including the following:

there is some wear of the silk satin waistband where the skirt fastens - this could be reenforced from the inside and would not show on the outside. It does not currently show because it is under the waistband of the bodice.
there is a band of eyes on the left side of the bodice, but the band from the right side with the hooks is not attached to the lining of the bodice and has a couple of hooks missing - I am including a few matching hooks and eyes to use on the restoration of the dress
there are some loose threads and a few small breaks in the brides of the lace, but these are not noticeable in the fullness of the gathering
there may be some pinholes in the silk, but I did not find any. If there were any they would be hidden in the pattern and folds of the dress and by the underlining.
the velvet ribbon on the skirt where it ends at the back is cut diagonally on one end and straight across on the other - I do not know if this was intended or an oversight. The ribbon also needs a few stitches to attach it to the skirt on one small area.
the lace on the bodice front is slightly longer on one side than the other (where it meets at the front). Lace from these types of dresses was usually removed for laundering and may have been reapplied with this slight irregularity. The lace could be easily shortened with a couple of stitches in place.
there is some organic spotting and discoloration of the natural polished cotton lining on both bodice and skirt, but this looks like age rather than staining and the complete lack of staining of the underarm pads and the lack of wear on the bottom edge of the petticoat supports this.
there is a small amount of color fading which can be seen by comparing to the silk showing on the inside seams or inside the closed pleats on the lower skirt, but this is minor. The blue color is still rich and vibrant, but just a little lighter than it was originally.
None of these minor issues detracts from the elegance of this Belle Epoque evening gown, which is in an wonderful state of preservation for its age. A lack of wear on the bottom hem edging and the underarm pads indicates that this garment did not have much wear. Perhaps this was a wedding dress, or perhaps a special occasion dress. It is absolutely gorgeous, petite and elegant, and what a great showpiece for decorating a Belle Epoque or Victorian bedroom. Perfect for display, this gown is strong enough to be wearable with only a few stitches of restoration required, if one were of petit stature. This is NOT a reproduction. This is an original, late 19th century Belle Epoque or Victorian, blue and white silk evening gown with train and lace and velvet trim, only from Antiquarius Antiques. Scroll down to see more pictures of this lovely dress, as the pictures are part of the description.

From Me:

1908 Fashion Plate

Although the fabric might be late Victorian, the dress itself is Edwardian. The straight waist, the puff, pleated, and 3/4 sleeves all indicated the Edwardian construction.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Baby Blue 1920's Dress

From the seller:

Beautiful vintage 1920s flapper dress, composed of a sheer blue silk chiffon. Lovely ruffled floral lace accents at collar, cuffs and waist. Drop waist with tiered, bias cut skirt. Blue silk covered buttons down chest. Snap button closures at cuffs.
Some spots or areas of slight wear. Some separation in seams. I have not laundered this dress-- it should clean up nicely. Please see photos for condition and details and message with any questions.

Approximate measurements:
Bust: 36"
Waist: 40"
Length: 48"
Sleeve length: 19"

From Me:

It is impossible to take this dress seriously with that muff ruffle there. That is all.

1840's White Summer Dress

From the seller:

This antique Victorian era white muslin hoop skirt wedding gown dress dates from the 1840s. It is made of a light weight woven fine sheer white muslin fabric. This early bridal wedding gown dress has long layered tiered tapered sleeves with a flared laced cuff under sleeve, a triangle shape bodice top with gathered cartridge pleats V point fitted waist, long full hoop skirt (hoop not included underneath), brass hook closures down the back and only the top is lined. The dress measures 57 inches long, with a 26 inch waist, 34 inch bust and 24 inch long sleeves. It is in good as-is condition, with a patched mended repair under one arm, a few small frayed holes and repairs on the skirt (see close-ups). This would be perfect for display or design and is truly a rare and wonderful piece of early bridal Victoriana textile art!

From Me:

Dearest Seller,

White does not mean bridal!  Queen Victorian only started that tradition maybe a decade, if that, before this dress was fashionable.  In Catholicism, blue was still being worn or any nice silk dress.  It's the reason we still say "something blue" for the wedding - it's in honor of the Virgin Mary.

No love,

This fan front summer dress is just a nice 1840's dress.

1845 Fashion Plate