Friday, January 16, 2015

Day Dress (1865-1868)


Day dress, 1865-1868; CHM 1990.56.1 (pattern available at link)
It's been a little while since I've shown a patterned garment from the Chapman, so I thought I would give you another. This one also goes very well with my previous post From Hoop to Bustle, as it comes from the years when women wore the elliptical hoop at its widest: as you can see in the pattern, the skirt panels are quite flared. I might have made the date range a little wide - 1865 is a little early. The center back is cartridge pleated, which is characteristic of the end of the 1860s; earlier gored skirts (1860-1865) were more usually pleated all the way around. At the end of the 1860s dresses most usually had a short overskirt, but as you can see in the wonderful comparandum plate below, this was not a requirement.

Fashion plate, probably from Peterson's Magazine, 1868; NYPL 803083
The thing I love about this dress is that it strikes me as an attempt to get at a princess-cut gown, which was beginning to appear at this time (see plate above): it's made with the more common construction of a separately-cut skirt and bodice, but they're fully sewn together at the waist and the trim was applied in one piece (later sliced open), which would have helped the illusion of a princess cut.

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