wedding dress (1886)

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1993.40.2a-b

Wedding Dress, 1886

Brown silk faille, tan cotton twill, starched net

Scale: 1 box = 1"

The bodice and sleeve are fully flatlined with twill. The bodice is constructed to close at center

front with self-fabric shank buttons, with a small placket on the top half of the right side; this

closure is covered with an unlined, shaped panel with buttons running down both sides. The

panel is sewn over the front dart on the left side, and hooks to thread eyes along the dart on the

right, a hook under each decorative button. A rectangular silk panel is gathered to 2" on top and

bottom with several rows of stitches and sewn behind the shaped panel at dotted line; the top

edge is enclosed in the collar, which is two layers of faille interlined with starched net. The collar

encloses the entire neckline up to the level of the top buttonhole on the right side. The pleated

peplum has a 1.75" deep hem facing of faille. The two-piece sleeves are also flatlined, and are

decorated with an interlined cuff, the upper edge of which is slipstitched to the sleeve. The

shoulder and cuff seams are marked on the sleeve.

The skirt is fully lined with polished cotton; the faille comes up to the dotted line on each panel.

The seam to the right of the center front panel is open between the marks for the pocket, which is

faced with faille to the dashed line. The lower edge of the skirt, backed with starched net from

the dashed line, is covered with a 4" high double-box-pleated self-fabric ruffle also backed with

starched net, the top of every other pleat folded down in front over the machine-stitching that

attaches it to the skirt (½" below the top edge of the ruffle). Each top pleat is ¾" wide. The hem

of the skirt is faced with wool tape. The back panels of the skirt are gauged to 3" each, and have

applied polished cotton channels for one 18" curved steel; at each end of the channel is a length

of wool tape to tie. The skirt is entirely whipped to a faille and cotton waistband.

The left side skirt panel with the low band of faille is mostly covered by the trapezoidal piece of

faille, cut so that the longer edge is a fold and the two halves enclose a starched net interlining.

The center of the piece, marked with long dashes, is sewn to the waistband to the mark, and at C

into the seams of the panel. Each side is then turned to bring both Xs together, and it is sewn

together from X to X'. The sides are turned again so that D is tacked to the skirt seams and the

Ys are together, and from Y to Y' they are sewn together. The same occurs for E, Z, and Z'.

Except where noted, this piece hangs free.

All four panels of the tablier or overskirt (which is unlined and has a 2" hem at the bottom) are

pleated, and those in front are whipped to the waistband after the skirt. (The back pleats are

whipped together but hang free.) A and B on the tablier meet A and B on the waistband. The

right side of the front two panels is sewn to the skirt; the bottom of the sides of the back two

panels hangs free to the first mark, and is slipstitched down to the skirt to the second mark. The

two marked pleats are flaps, tacked together, which hang down; the panel is not sewn to the skirt

anywhere else except above the flaps on the right side. The pleats at center back are simply

tacked once on top of the seam. The snap at center back meets the one on the waistband, and a

hook at B (since fallen off) meets an eye on the waistband.