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Help needed on dating antique dress

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by BrookeNault, Oct 12, 2020.

  1. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    Hi - I'd love to pinpoint an era for this antique dress set. It's a patterned polished cotton with cotton velvet.

    The floor length skirt has tight gathers below the waistband - possibly the addition of the brown cotton fabric was due to prior damage to the patterned fabric. The skirt has a pleated hem and is unlined with exception of the short straight under hem tier. It has one hook/eye at center back and three snaps below the skirt opening - quite possibly an addition.

    The bodice jacket has cotton lining, however, it is not boned at the inner seams. The jacket has contrasting cotton velvet at collared neck and down center. It closes down center with cut steel buttons.

    At first look, I would have sworn she is Victorian, however, with no inner boning and no lining for the skirt, I would appreciate any information.

    Attached Files:

    poppysvintageclothing likes this.
  2. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    Looks 1880s to me. I have come across Bustle Era dresses without boning.
    BrookeNault likes this.
  3. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    Thank you Barbara!
  4. Avantbo

    Avantbo Registered Guest


    She is lovely, just lovely and Victorian in design and likely era.

    I am not sure if the velvet shoulder and rear bodice inserts are contemporary but no reason why not.

    7th button up on the left of the bodice, it there an extra seam?
    BrookeNault likes this.
  5. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    Thank you! Here are some more pictures on both sides of the bodice near that 7th button. As you can see the velvet inset isn’t an absolute perfect fit.

    Attached Files:

  6. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    That is not unusual for a dress of that era. That top back section was sometimes not covered in the more delicate or fancy dress fabric, but purposely made of a more sturdier fabric such as cotton sateen, polished cotton, etc. Since the dress was worn with a bustle, that was often where the bustle was placed/tied, and the plain cotton fabric would stand up better to wear in the area.
    BrookeNault likes this.
  7. Blondzai

    Blondzai Registered Guest

    wow....this is absolutely gorgeous!
  8. Avantbo

    Avantbo Registered Guest

    Hello Barbara

    Ahhh, that make more sense to my way of thinking.

    I had wondered if a section had been removed at top of skirt to facilitate a repair to the bodice?
  9. Avantbo

    Avantbo Registered Guest


    I thought I would tackle the material, the pattern last night, not for dating reasons, she is what she is but history, it got the old detective juices on the go.

    I came up zilch but left me wondering if costume was a find or an heirloom?

    I'm wondering if the material was purchased in England. With a huge amount of anticipated red face trepidation,-------Turkish----maybe?

    It's not that we didn't produce fantastic material and pattern designs,---it's more--0h I dunno.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
    BrookeNault likes this.
  10. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    The fabric print is done in an 'orientalist' style, so its supposed to look exotic, but patterns like that were being printed in the U.S. at the time.
    BrookeNault likes this.
  11. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    I’m also wondering if the fabric is more cotton sateen than polished. The outside has a sheen and a silkier look and feel whereas the interior definitely has a standard cotton feel. Does polished cotton or cotton sateen replicate this?
  12. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

  13. Avantbo

    Avantbo Registered Guest

    Hello Jonathan

    I would love to see some examples.

    Any chance of a link or two please?
  14. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    Both have a sheen.
    BrookeNault likes this.
  15. I cant pin point the date, but I want to say how beautifully photographed your pieces are.
    Can you share your method?
    denisebrain and BrookeNault like this.
  16. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    Thank you so much! I don’t use any flash on my camera but I do have two large bright spotlights set up in my photography area with a gray paper backdrop. The backdrop unfortunately shows every wrinkle so I mainly only have to edit out the wrinkles from the backdrop.
  17. BrookeNault

    BrookeNault Registered Guest

    It's been quite a long process trying to figure out best lighting, etc. I look back at my pics 5 years ago and I'm surprised I didn't notice the huge shadow lines at the time.

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