Dating antique cotton dress

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion Q & A' started by acceber, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. acceber

    acceber Registered Guest

    Just looking for a date for this dress. Those crazy big sleeves are cut very high. Would this possibly be a nightgown?...or maybe an underdress? It’s an extremely tiny dress. It’s on my size 4 dress form and it’s miles from closing in the back. The only closures are hook and eyes at the back. Thank you.

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  2. acceber

    acceber Registered Guest

    Those sleeves really are rather enormous.

  3. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

  4. Vinclothes

    Vinclothes Alumni +

    And I would like to know more about the fabric(s). Weight, textures, if any. Handwork?
  5. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    Yes, if it is 1830s it would have to be completely hand sewn. I adore the dress.
  6. acceber

    acceber Registered Guest

    There is a lot about this dress that makes me think Edwardian era. I’m starting to wonder if it’s supposed to sit down off the shoulders a little. It’s a combination of machine and hand sewing. The fabric is cotton lawn. It’s the same fabric as a few other white Edwardian dresses I have. The sleeve holes are SO tiny!

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  7. acceber

    acceber Registered Guest

    Also, if it helps, it measures 51” from shoulder to hem and it has a 22” waist, which makes me think this is a pre-teen dress. I’m 5’5” and this dress barely comes to my shoulder holding it on a hanger so the hem rests on the floor.
  8. Lady Scarletts

    Lady Scarletts Trade Member

    Yes, 1830's. And FABULOUS!!
  9. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

  10. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    Something about the bobbinette makes me think that maybe that part was added later. I am not sure of course as I cannot handle it. I might be totally wrong! Regardless of its age, the dress is fabulous.
  11. I see a mix of eras. A Teens white with an new style bodice and Regency costume style sleeves added later .

    It looks like a costume piece to me, but as others say, without handling it, it is hard to tell
  12. Midge

    Midge Trade Member

    The silhouette looks 1830s to me, but as far as I know, the fine white cotton dresses of the earlier Regency period weren't a thing anymore then... so yes, maybe a later costume?
  13. acceber

    acceber Registered Guest

    There is a dress for sale on Etsy by a seller named “marybethhale,” an “Antique Georgian Regency 1830s Dress.” It’s so similar to mine, it makes me think it could have been made by the same person. The sleeves are a bit different as is the bottom of the dress, but aside from that they are nearly identical. Same white cotton. Same stitching, same seams. Same hook and eyes at the back. I’m wondering what the odds of this are? My dress came from a rack at a local antique store where they sell off prior museum pieces. I bought a fantastic 1920s mourning dress from them just last week. I’m just surprised to see another dress so similar to this one, of such an age.

  14. pastperfect2

    pastperfect2 Trade Member

    To be 1830s, it must be completely hand sewn. That said, some hand sewing is fine enough you need a magnifying glass to tell it by hand. I find the metal loops a surprise. The dresses of the era I have handled all had hand worked eyelets. The hooks - are they brass? Do they have the small bump inside to keep them hooked?

    It may indeed be a high quality reproduction. Hard to say without handling it.
    The Vintage Merchant likes this.
  15. acceber

    acceber Registered Guest

    I put it on my oldest dress form. I have tissue paper in the sleeves. It’s maddening trying to see how this thing was actually sewn together. All the stitching is hidden or so similar to the fabric that it’s hard for me to see. I got a better picture of the hooks. The top hook is in the opposite direction as the rest, to keep it from being more secure, I believe.

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    I suppose I will have to resign myself to being unsure about this one!
  16. pastperfect2

    pastperfect2 Trade Member

    Those are older hooks and may be brass. You mentioned machine sewing - where is it in the dress?
  17. Older hooks may have been used for a quality reproduction.
    I am not convinced it is Regency and I am suspect about the other being sold.
    acceber likes this.
  18. Midge

    Midge Trade Member

    Just a tiny thing but... 1830s is not Regency :). The actual regency of the Prince of Wales for his father dured from 1811-1820, and George IV. ruled in his own right until 1830 if you want to stretch the term. IMHO, anything later I wouldn't call Regency. Sorry, I'm a nerd...
  19. acceber

    acceber Registered Guest

    My first thought when seeing that dress on Etsy is that the odds of finding two similar dresses of such an age (supposedly) seem astronomical to me. It makes me suspect both of them too.
  20. acceber

    acceber Registered Guest

    I tried getting better pics of the seams. I do believe they are machine sewn and a very close stitch, and French so it was hard to tell but I got some good examples and there is also hand stitching too. I do believe the hook and eyes are brass, for what it’s worth.

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