Edyth's Brown Dress

The amazing thing about the internet is that I have friends I've never met. :-) Edyth O'Neill is such a friend - she sent me a box of stuff a couple of weeks ago, and in the box was an antique dress for me to study and make a pattern from and then return to her. This was challenging to do as I didn't want to use any pins. Edyth also sent me a similar dress to keep and an antique paper doll, and a lovely pottery frame to put a picture of my Queen Anne painting in. Edyth's doll Ursula had been wearing the brown dress.

The opportunity to look at this old dress was so fun for me. As I usually do, I took loads of pictures so that I could refer to them later when I make the dress up. If you are an antique clothing buff/expert, I welcome any feedback you have about the dress and it's age. It is a fairly basic princess seamed dress style. My guess after looking at the online collections at Wisconsin History.org is that it's from the 1870's. The brown dress seems to be constructed by machine, but there is also a lot of hand sewing in it's construction. The seams have a kind of twill tape which was attached at the time the seams were sewn. I'm assuming this was done to give stability to the curved seams.

The twill tape was basted to the outer part
of both sections jointed together
and then pressed to the side.

The charm of the dress
is the simple style,
and it shows how applied trim
can transform a basic dress.
There are bias tape bands
sewn at the hem
of the skirt and the sleeves.

There is shark's tooth trim at the neck,
and the buttonholes are done by hand.

I welcome any feedback you have
about the dress and it's age.


Robin's Egg Bleu said...

I'm gonna place this dress post Civil War. It looks late 1860's through 1870's. For a toddler/baby dress, perhaps as late as 1880?

Rachael Kinnison said...

HI Dixie~
Yes, 1870s is a good estimate~ the collar and trim, and the lines of the style, to me, suggest a late 1870s, early 1880s date. Childrens plain everyday gowns, such as this, are hard to date exactly, as country children would wear this style~ simple A-line dress, clear up to the 1890s.
xoxoxo rachael

Atticbabys said...

HOw lovely and how very generous of dear Edyth! I love that trim! What a ton of handwork detail in one little dress!
Thanks for sharing Dixie and to Robyn and Rachael for the added info!

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden