Irma G. Bowen Historic Clothing Collection


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Date Created

c. 1865


Costume; Clothing; Main garments; Dresses




c. 1865. Brown wool challis one-piece dress, printed with pink and orange flowers and brown and green leaves, closing in front, with full-length curved-seam sleeves, sewn-in engageantes, and floor-length skirt pleated to the bodice with slightly more fullness to the back.

The bodice is made of three pieces: two front panels with two boned darts each and one piece of boning at the right opening edge, and a single center-back panel with curved tucks at side back. It opens in front with fourteen concealed hooks and eyes. The neck has a 1.9 cm / 0.75 in. high standing band collar and the waistline is round. The bodice is flat lined with brown cotton.

The shoulders are dropped and the sleeves are full-length, with a curved two-seam construction first introduced between 1884-1868. They are smoothly inserted into the scye with no gathers, bell toward the elbow, and narrow back down at the wrist. White cotton mull engageantes, or under-sleeves, with a drawstring at their top edge and a ruffled cuff embroidered with whitework flowers and vines have been attached to the dress cuffs with large basting stitches. These are done with a dark green thread which goes through the outside of the cuffs with no attempt to hide them.

The skirt is floor-length and full, slightly longer in back than in front, and has slightly more fullness in back than in front. The skirt is made of seven straight 59.7 cm / 23.5 in. wide panels sewn selvedge to selvedge, and is pleated directly to the bodice in a pattern of five wide double-stacked box pleats. It has one hook at eye at the waist and is lined at the hem only, with polished brown cotton 19.1 cm / 7.5 in. high.

There is piping at the scyes and at the waist. Double rows of brown plain woven silk ribbon are stitched in parallel at the bicep and at the cuff. Hand-sewn.


Bust: 85.1 cm / 33.5 in.
Waist: 62.2 cm / 24.5 in.
Sleeve: 55.9 cm / 22 in.
Shoulder seam: 24.1 cm / 9.5 in.
Hem: 417.8 cm / 164.5 in.
Length (skirt front): 101.6 cm / 40 in.
Length (skirt back): 109.2 cm / 43 in.


Gift of Mrs. F.W. Cutting

Museum Number



University of New Hampshire Library


Astrida Schaeffer, photographer/curator

Date Digitized


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License


The Irma G. Bowen Historic Clothing Collection digital catalog was produced by the UNH Library Digital Collection Initiative, supported in part by a grant from the Mooseplate program and New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. Additional funding provided by the E. Ruth Buxton Stephenson Memorial Fund.
Photography copyright, Astrida Schaeffer.


Dresses, c. 1865, One-piece dresses, Wool challis, Brown (color), Printed, Flowers, Pink (color), Orange (color), Leaves, Green (color), Boned darts, Tucks, Hooks and eyes, Standing band collar, Cotton lining, Dropped shoulders, Full-length sleeves, Engageantes, Cotton mull, White (color), Drawstring, Ruffled cuff, Embroidery, Whitework, Vines, Dark green (color), Round waistline, Floor-length skirt, Full skirt, Polished cotton lining, Silk ribbon, Piping, Hand-sewn, Cutting (donor)