Saturday, December 20, 2014

Natural Form Dress

From the seller:

This is a gorgeous one piece formal gown or perhaps a wedding dress. The dress is made with a very light sage green silk with an ecru lace trim - very elaborate. It has a train and a bustle. This dress has a hook and eye closure and small buttons with 6 stays at the waist.

The measurements are as follows:

13" across the shoulders

63" from the neck edge to the floor.

23" waist

This dress is very old and the fabric has started to disintegrate as you can see in the pictures.

Thanks for looking!

From Me:

Despite the splitting silk, you can tell this was quite the stunner in its day. To me, it doesn't look like it has a bustle - it looks like it was supposed to lay flat as your bum can get in the back but with the sides pulled back. This is pretty common in natural form era dresses.

Early Edwardian Crazy Print Shirtwaist

From the seller:

A gorgeous antique 1800s bodice but it's in poor condition. When shown on the mannequin you just don't see the damage but when you look closely, there's several holes along the front of the waist where it may have been belted and when looking on the underside of the silk fabric, there's several places with mending tape. Also, there's a tear above one of the cuffs but it could be easily mended. The blouse has a large cape collar with wide honey comb lace and lace on the over the hand cuffs. There's an under blouse with button closures and the sleeves are lined.
VINTAGE ~ ~ 1800s


FABRIC ~~ Silk print with a satin stripe.

MEASUREMENTS ~ ~~ 23" length in front, 21 1/2" length on the sides, 19" length in back, 35" bust, 15" across the shoulder seams, 22 1/2" sleeve length not counting the 3 1/2" wide lace on the cuffs.

CONDITION ~ ~ Poor condition but would be great for display as the damage doesn't really show unless you look closely.

From Me:

Woah. This is completely amazing. I want to recreate it and wear a bright pink skirt with it. It has the pigeon front and the collar is more 1900's than late 1890's - as are the sleeves. I love that it has my favorite colors (aqua!!!!!), shiny stripes, and a completely insane print.

1870's Hoop

From the seller:

This Civil War era hoop skirt is made from wires, it has a great shape that curves out at the bottom and is more oval than round. The webbing is all in good condition, just one small place it was replaced below the waist in back, the wires were wrapped with fabric and some of the fabric has worn away, but this is very minor. It has a heavier hoop at the bottom. It measures for a 22 and 23 1/4 inch waist, it's 29 1/4 inches long in front and dips longer in back and it's 115 inches around the bottom circumference.

From Me:

I'm not sure why the seller believes this is from the Civil War era. Based on how narrow it looks, I'm curious if it's actually Natural Form rather than first Bustle. (They would have worn a separate bustle with it.)  It's about mid 1870's either way - right around the change from Bustle to Natural form.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Regency Era Striped Dress

From the seller:

A rare and early 1820’s Regency period dress. The dress is made of ivory textured and ribbon silk fabric. The bodice has short sleeves and a drawstring neckline. The dress has a high Empire waistline. The bodice is partly lined with cotton and the dress has a back button closure. There are scattered ½ inch to 2 inch splits in the fabric mostly in the skirt. Most of the splits are within the ribbon stripe fabric. There are a couple of nickel size age spots. (See photos.) The dress is a small size and for Display ONLY. Bust 29 Empire waist 24 Skirt length 40.

From Me:

Based on the lack of volume in the skirt, the bodice height and style, and the shape of the sleeves, I'm thinking this is a good 20 years older than what the seller believes. By the early 1820's, the bodice dropped about an inch (from the underbust to the lower ribs) and the skirts were much fuller that this.

Interesting to note - the front bodice of this dress isn't lined. I've noticed this in several extant garments from this era. It doesn't seem to be an "all the time" thing - but it does seem to be more common in fancier dresses.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Late 1780's/Early 1790's Dress

From the seller:

This is a late 18th or early 19th century fine silk dress. The bodice has drawstring ties at the neck, the sleeves taper below the elbow, have a "split" at the wrist. The bodice is lined with fine linen, the sleeves with brown cotton. The skirt is pleated, has two brown silk ties, which I believe would come around to the front and help to keep the overlapping bodice in place. The mannequin's waist is too long for me to show this. The pleated skirt is partially attached now to the bodice, and would need to be reattached, as you can see in the pictures. The skirt is unlined, except for a 3" brown cotton hem.
In good overall condition, with underarm discoloration. There are two faded areas on the skirt, which should be visible in the pictures above. There is also some more subtle color change/fading to the sleeves. There are 3 small tears to one upper sleeve. The skirt needs to be folded over and reattached, as mentioned previously. The bodice is finished at the bottom edge, the hem, along with the rest of the form, neckline, waist, and sleeves, look to be original and unaltered, making this a rare transitional gown of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Color is a muted green.

International bidders might be charged additional customs or postal fees once the package has entered their country, which are in addition to my own shipping charges. Please contact your local post or customs office if you have questions about these fees.

From Me:

Late 1780's/early 1790's - you can tell this was originally a very different style dress (the faded areas) that was redone to fit the new revolutionary style.

Click on the fashion plate above for a wealth of late 18th C/first part of the 19th C Fashion plates. The fashion plate I posted is similar to how this dress would have been worn around the late 1780's.

Late 1860's Blue Dress

From the seller:


This is an attractive ball gown of the 1860's period, that a mid to upper class woman would wear. A regal 1860's - 1868 blue silk moire 2 PIECE bustled ball gown de-accessioned from the Rochester historical museum in New York state. The gown still retains it's original Museum ID catalog tag, inside as well as string tags.

The bodice is lined with brown cotton and still retains all its original front metal hook and loop closures, and has 6 whale bone baleen stays. The front silk underarms have started to shred and are heavy discoloration and needs to be replaced with gussets. The sleeves have flared pagoda sleeves. The bodice has been altered at some point in its life letting out seams at sides.

I find only a few minor problems with the skirt. The skirt closes by hooks and eyes at the side and gathers with pleats in the back for a nice fall. The rear puff enhances the outfit nicely. The skirt is lined with brown polish cotton. The skirt has an area of staining in front as seen in photos. Very few pin holes. Waist band needs to be attached as well as some pleating that has separated at waist, an easy fix. Wear holes at back hem line.

BODICE: Bust 33", Waist 30", Sleeve Length 21".
Shoulder to waist 15",
Across shoulder 13"

SKIRT: Front skirt length 43" Back length 63", waist 31" Circumference 179" .

Condition: The SKIRT is in fair condition, the BODICE is in poor condition.

A truly grand display dress/gown or for study or for display.

From Me:

It's not a ball gown - this would have been more like those nice jeans and that wonderful sweater that you only wear when you are going to a friends' party? Like that.
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