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Repair question and dating

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Vintagiality, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality Trade Member

    Hi all,

    I am trying to figure out how to fix this dress. The bow (if it could be called that or does it have another name?) was torn off from the dress at the waist seam and now I am not sure how to positioning it correctly. It's probably hard to tell from the photos but it consists of of four parts almost like a four leaf clover with a gathered center seam. Is it supposed to be sewn in the way I have it in the picture and are the top two parts supposed to hang over the bottom two or are they to be stitched up?

    Would you recommend that I do that or simply remove it completely and close the seam? It's literally hanging by a thread.

    Finally, the dress came from an estate sale where everything was much older, including many Victorian style bodices but this one at least initially seemed newer to me, maybe late 60s, although it has a side metal zipper and the bodice style and construction doesn't really strike me as correct.

    IMG_7481-cutout.jpg IMG_7483-cutout.jpg IMG_7484-cutout.jpg IMG_7485-cutout.jpg
    Thank you
    GemGem likes this.
  2. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    I'm finding it a bit hard to see what's going on in your photos, but it strikes me as a bustle (not exactly a true bustle in the Victorian sense, but a bustle-like feature), which means the four parts should hang down. Here's some sewing pattern examples similar to what I think I'm seeing:



    It's a nice feature so if you can fix it easily, I'd go for it.

    As for dating, I can't really see the silhouette to be sure, but from what I can see, and the side zipper, I suspect the dress is around the late 40s / early 50s?
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
  3. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality Trade Member

    Thank you so much Ruth! That’s exactly what it looks like and the more I look at it, the more I think it’s an earlier dress. I will post photos on a mannequin once I fixed it (hopefully!)
  4. Midge

    Midge Trade Member

  5. GemGem

    GemGem Registered Guest

    I'd love to see this on a mannequin! It looks gorgeous! I can't help being reminded of some of the more svelte costumes in Gone With The Wind.
    Retro Ruth likes this.
  6. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    Yes, love to see it om a dress form. Great color!
    Retro Ruth likes this.
  7. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    I think if you can steam this out it will be much more apparant how it's supposed to sit.
  8. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality Trade Member

    Thanks Melanie. I was afraid I would alter it by steaming it the "wrong" way but I think based on what Ruth posted I have a better understanding of what it's supposed to look like. My sewing skills are at best rudimentary so I am having a hard time figuring out how to sew it back into the seam. There is so much fabric. I may take it to a nearby seamstress and have her repair it if the cost isn't prohibitive.
  9. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality Trade Member

    Since some of you said you would like to see it on a mannequin, here it is after I had the bustle like feature repaired.
    IMG_8215-cutout.jpg IMG_8216-cutout.jpg IMG_8221-cutout.jpg IMG_8222-cutout.jpg IMG_8223-cutout.jpg IMG_8224-cutout.jpg IMG_8225-cutout.jpg IMG_8242-cutout.jpg IMG_8243-cutout.jpg IMG_8245-cutout.jpg IMG_8246-cutout.jpg IMG_8247-cutout.jpg IMG_8249-cutout.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  10. It's lovely and now you can see that it's definitely not 60s, but as Ruth said, from the late 40s-early 50s. Great find and BTW, your photos are very nice, too!
    Vintagiality and Vinclothes like this.
  11. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    The fuller sleeve, train, that dipped front seam and the fuchsia colour look more late 30s to me - that Victorian revival stuff was popularised by Schiaparelli in 1939, and this looks like it might be a knock-off of a knock-off of a Schiaparelli to me. Victorian revival hangs around and is revived at the end of the war as well - picks up where it left off in 1939, but trains are unusual on anything but wedding dresses in the late 40s, and the sleeves seem too puffy to me for postwar. I would also expect a more sculpted or open neckline for the late 40s. This is SChiap in 1939 doing a high version of this look:
  12. Midge

    Midge Trade Member

  13. Vintagiality

    Vintagiality Trade Member

    Thank you Jonathan! Very interesting. I had originally not realized that there is a train until I actually put it on a mannequin. I love the back. Is there a name for the “wings” of fabric on the bodice?
  14. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    Amazing dress! Well done
    Vintagiality likes this.
  15. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

  16. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    Teschnically, probably a flange, but thats not very pretty. I think I'd call them fins. Got to say, seeing it on a mannequin now, I think that's my favourite feature!
    Vintagiality likes this.
  17. claireshaeffer

    claireshaeffer Trade Member

    I would describe them as double flounces. By definition a flounce is flared, but if you don't think your reader knows that I would add flared flounce. A good place to look for these is on the Worth gowns. You can see about 50 with descriptions at MCNY.org. Go to online exhibitions.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
    Vintagiality likes this.

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