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Corsets and Crinolines - unique vintage clothing

Princess Dress Wrapper

Princess Dress Wrapper
C.1877. Princess dresses became very popular during the late 1870's as they provided a comfortable alternative to the seperate bodice and skirt dress. They also showed off a fine figure as they were cut in one piece. This gown would have been worn as an everyday dress by a middle class lady. It's made out of grey printed cotton with contrasting bands of burgundy/grey printed cotton. The back of the dress is gathered for a low bustled effect as was popular at the time. There is a pocket at each side of the hip and a small watch pocket as well on the left side. Side pockets were the fashion during the middle/ late 1870's. The collar, sleeve cuffs and pockets are edged with handmade bobbin? lace. The front of the gown fastens with the original chunky buttons which look to be made out of vegetable ivory or bone. The front of the bodice originally had two long darts on each side but were let out, pregnancy? They could easily be sewn back in again. The inside bodice is lined but is not boned. The gathered bustle at the back and the skirt hem, have tight knife pleats. The shoulder seams are slightly dropped and are piped. The dress is strong enough to be worn and is in very good condition. There is evidence of crudely done alterations or repairs at the back princess seams and there has been a small seam added under each armpit (they look like repairs). There are also some small repair seams on the sleeves. The back hem has a repair but is not noticeable as it's covered up by the knife pleating. There is hand and machine sewing. The measurements are: Shoulders 15", Bust 34 1/2", Waist 30 1/2" but if the darts were sewn back in, the waist could be about 4"-6" smaller. Length approx. 50" at the front, the skirt is trained at the back. (Formerly from the collection of Leila Hidic)