Summer Gown 1850

Cotton print fan-front two-piece day dress from 1850s or perhaps 1860s.

This gown currently consists of a separate bodice and skirt but it is clear upon examination that it was originally all one piece. This is evidenced by the unpicked threads and some small cuts in the fabric along the piping at the waist of the bodice where the skirt was removed; this has left the cotton cording exposed in a few spots.

With the exception of the brown polished cotton waistband which was added to the skirt, both pieces are entirely hand sewn. The fabric used in construction is a very lightweight cotton between a brown and a burgundy with cream color clovers and dots. The bodice is lined with cream color cotton which is both darted and stayed and uses hook and eyes for closure.

The outer fabric is pleated at the waist both front and back into a fan shape. There is narrow self fabric piping at the armscyes, neck and waist. The full, bishop style sleeves are unlined and close at the cuff with brown and white china buttons. The sleeve caps or jockeys are trimmed with a ruched ruffle. The unlined skirt is full and is gathered to the added waistband.

Bodice: Bust 34, Waist 29, Length 12, note the high waist. Skirt: Waist 32, Length 39 and Hem Circumference 140.

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