1870 Day Dress

This dress is a scale copy of a dress made in
1870. The pattern was taken from a gown in the
Manchester Art Gallery of English Costume.
Fabrics are very crisp cottons in white, deep
forest green and a dainty floral stripe.

I have used the colours in the striped fabric
to dictate the colours used elsewhere.
The deep forest green is in the leaves
around the flowers, the black stripe for the
black cotton Nottingham lace.
Nottingham was the centre of the world's
lace industry during the British Empire so it
is entirely appropriate to use it on this outfit.

The outfit consist of...

a tailored jacket with
detachable gilet.

Three layered skirt with
inbuilt bustle

Deep forest green and
black Victorian laced
The Jacket
The upper bodice of the jacket is very tightly fitted, the seams are top stitched in black.
The sleeves are made in many pieces and are curved. The top green part of the sleeve has
a top stitched seam running down the outside edge which disappears into a tiny pleat at the
elbow. The lower part of the sleeve is tightly fitted to the arm and trimmed with lace. The
lower "basque" part of the jacket is shaped and fitted to the lower edge of the bodice, the
back has very sharp pleats which sit across the back of the skirt. The lower edge is also
trimmed with lace.
The waistband is done in a contrasting stripe from the floral fabric and the back has an
over-sized buckled bow.
The front is trimmed in tiny jet crystal "buttons" and fastens with a hook and loop at the
waist and tiny press studs.
The neckline of the jacket is trimmed with lace and has a removable gilet. The gilet fastens
at the back of the neck with a ribbon and is held in place with two tiny press studs inside the
jacket. The gilet is trimmed at the neck with lace and a Swarovski crystal "brooch" with the
jet crystal "buttons" down the front.
The jacket is entirely lined in white.
The Skirt

The skirt consists of three skirts and a bustle.
The inner petticoat skirt is made in white cotton. The lower edge is trimmed with a delicate
black Nottingham lace which opens out at the back to reveal a tiny dark green bow.
The bustle is made in white cotton and trimmed with white Nottingham lace.

The next skirt is made in
the floral fabric, it is made
in several panels, the front
A-line panel, four gored
side panels and the train at
the rear.
The bottom edge has a
bias cut flounce trimmed
with lace.
The waist of the floral skirt is gently gathered at the front, the sides and the back are
finished in rows of tiny cartridge pleats. This was a method used at the time to create
maximum fullness that makes the dress stand out from the body.
Over the top of the cartridge pleats there are 5 straps that hang down the back, these are
used to button the overskirt on to, giving the ruched look. The straps are fastened to the
overskirt with tiny press studs and co-responding tiny green buttons on the outside of the
The overskirt, made in the deep forest green fabric, has the tiny jet crystal "buttons" applied
to the front. The front panel of the skirt is gathered into the back section at the sides.
The bottom edge of this skirt is trimmed with the black lace.
To keep the skirt in place with the fullness at the back, there is a strap that is attached to
the side edges of the front skirt panel, these straps fasten at the back (behind the knees)
with a tiny press stud and green bow trim.
This outfit has been created as a special commission.
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