1863. Two-piece dress of cream cotton mull printed with paisley and floral motifs, constructed with a fan-front bodice opening in front and a separate floor-length three-tiered skirt. The fabric is a ..
1863. Two-piece dress of cream cotton mull printed with paisley and floral motifs, constructed with a fan-front bodice opening in front and a separate floor-length three-tiered skirt. The fabric is a cream cotton mull, very fine, printed with turkey red, purple, brown, and green with small paisleys and flowers scattered over all and with large paisley and floral motifs printed in wide bands along the weft. These bands are used on the dress as border elements, but are not printed as borders along the selvedges. There are also narrow bands of quatrefoils alternating red and purple, with flowers, printed with the same colors as used on the rest of the garment. The bodice is lined in the torso with white cotton to provide support for the delicate sheer mull fashion fabric, but has a wide scooped neckline. The lining has three fitted pieces: two front panels shaped with two boned darts on each side, and one back panel with a center back stay of whalebone. It closes at center front with hooks and eyes. The mull layer has three panels: one each in front, and one center-back panel. Each front panel is pleated to the entire length of its shoulder seam. A diagonal line of running stitches secures the close fit of each front panel from the front of the arm to the waist, and all the fullness from the shoulder pleats drapes over the bust creating a V shape before being gathered toward center front with four rows of horizontal stitches, fan-front style. The fabric is smooth at the sides and in back at the shoulders, and is gathered to center back at the waist by three horizontal gathering stitches placed between two curved running stitch lines at side back. The waistline is evenly round at the natural level. A 3.8 cm / 1.5 in. wide waistband has been added, covering the bottom rows of gathering stitches at the waist. The shoulders are dropped. A two-tier ruched puff holds the fabric snugly against the upper arm, and beneath this a section of the wide band motif is gathered to make a draped pagoda sleeve wide at the hem. The skirt is evenly gathered into a plain cotton waistband. Three tiers of ruffles or flounces made with the wide band motifs cover the majority of the skirt. These flounces are constructed out of 47 cm / 18.5 in. wide panels sewn selvedge to selvedge. The two top flounces are 30.2 cm / 11.875 in. deep while the bottom flounce is 27.9 cm / 11 in. deep. After the top row, the fabric to which the flounces are sewn is plain unprinted cotton mull. While the skirt has the same length front and back, a tuck has been taken up at center front to shorten the skirt by 7 cm / 2.75 in. to make walking easier. There is piping at the top of each skirt flounce, and at the scyes, bottom of the sleeve puff, and along the shoulder seams. The narrow band quatrefoil motif fabric is used as trim for the waistband and neckline; at the waistband it is edged top and bottom with piping, and at the neckline it is lightly pleated to fit the curve of the neck and its edges are stitched to make a scalloped finish. Hand-sewn.
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..
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.