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Corsets and Crinolines - unique vintage clothing

C. 1879 Girl's Dress

C. 1879 Girl
This dress dates from the end of the 1870's and could have been worn right up to about 1881. With the improvement of sewing machines in the late 1860's/ early 1870's, dresses became more elaborate. The main feature of this dress is the smocking on the front of the dress which would have been too time consuming to do before. The dress is also cut in the "Princess Style", that is, with no separate skirt or bodice. This style of dress was very fashionable in the late 1870's with the temporary demise of the large bustle. This dress would have been worn by a toddler from the age of about 2 1/2 to about 4 years old. What's unusual about it, is that it is floor length. Girl's skirts were often very short, getting longer as the girl got older. I have a feeling this might have been a fancy dress for a little girl as it has hardly any wear to it. Made out of raspberry silk satin and lined in striped cotton (no boning). The neck, sleeves and dress hem is edged in lace (the lace is basted in, making it easily removable for washing). (Formerly part of the collection of Leila Hidic, modeled by her niece, Courtney, aged in this piccy 2 years, 3 months)