1874 Muslin dress

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1874 Muslin dress
Date 1872-1876
Category Women
Item Dress
Fabric Cotton, printed
Decoration Ribbons, Cotton net
Wearer -
Maker -
Acc. no. HC.D-4.81-6 a,b,c

1872-1876 A printed cotton muslin dress.

The dress mounted


The muslin has a printed à disposition design of blue bows on a black lace edging on the skirt flounces; a smaller version of this is on frills on the cuffs, round the apron, on the edge of the back overskirt, round the neck and down the centre front of the bodice. The belt is covered with the smaller version, and there are little flowers over main dress fabric.

The dress is in two pieces: a bodice with an overskirt attached, and a separate skirt; there is also a separate belt.

The pleated frill round the neck edge is 2" wide and stitched down ½" from its inside edge; a frill of folded white cotton net, 1¼" wide with the fold along the top, is sewn inside the edge. A hook and worked loop are under the bow in front at the ends of the frill.

The bodice is unlined so the wearer's camisole, worn over the corset, is visible through the semi-transparent muslin.

The bow at the neck is of blue silk ribbon, 1⅝" wide, and there is a bow on the belt, and one on the skirt, the three lining up down the centre front. There is also a bow on each cuff.

The sleeve ends have frills of the main dress fabric, ¾" wide at the inner sleeve seam, widening to 3½" at the outer side, with the narrower à disposition print, 2⅞" wide, sewn onto the edge; a second frill above the bow, 2¾" wide, is sewn on along its centre. Inside the sleeves there is another frill of folded white cotton net, 4" deep.

The overskirt is pleated into the 1" wide bodice waistband, and cartridge pleated for 5" at the centre back; a rounded bustle trim, 9" deep, is box-pleated into a width of 6½" at the centre back waist. Four frills of the narrower à disposition print, 3" deep, go round the apron front; the back is longer with one frill round the edge and three pleats into the apron, each side. Inside there are three tapes at the centre back waist to tie to three tapes spaced round, about half way down, and when tied they pull the back skirt up into puffs.

The separate belt fastens at the centre front with a ribbon bow on one end over two pairs of hooks, and one pair of eyes on the other end; it is 1½" wide and has the narrower à disposition print which is also on the self bow at the centre back.

The skirt is pleated into a ⅞" wide cotton tape waistband, and cartridge pleated for 3" each side of the centre back opening; it is fastened with two hooks and eyes. Three of the wider à disposition frills, 5¼" deep, go round the hem.

Contemporary illustrations

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