Archive for pleated sleeve

CDV: Woman in Fan-front Dress, c. 1860

Posted in 1860s, CDV, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Woman in Fan-front Dress, c. 1860

CDV: Woman in Fan-front Dress, c. 1860

Backmark: None

Date: c. 1860

Subject: Woman

Location: Unknown

Dress: One-piece dressed composed of bodice with attached skirt; fabric is probably wool, plain weave and solid color; fan-front bodice (“Y-bodice”) with pleats at shoulder; “bishop” or gathered sleeve into a cuff, pleats at armscye; knife-pleated skirt.

This woman is unusual for a few reasons. The fan-front bodice went out of style before CDVs were invented (1858), and she does not appear to be wearing a cage crinoline. There are a few explanations possible: 1) The CDV is very old (c. 1858)- supported by her style of dress. 2) She wears outdated styles, is perhaps marginalized by location, age, status 3) She is a Quaker or a member of a similar religious group- supported by her plain clothing and simple hairstyle. I don’t know enough about Quakers to be sure, can anyone help with this? Her flat, narrow collar, which was stylish in the early to mid 1860s, supports #3.

Fan front bodices were usually gathered or gauged at the waist; some were tucked, though tucks were more typical of earlier styles of the fan-front (1820s-40s). The pleats at the shoulder was a feature dating back decades.

She does not appear to be wearing a crinoline. Although it is impossible to be sure, especially without seeing the hem, the bulge at her hips looks more like the abrupt fullness of several petticoats and a pad than the smooth curve of a cage.

The dark velvet ribbon tied around her neck may be a watch fob. I guess this by how it is pulled taut and to the left. Watch pockets were usually small, horizontal pockets sewn into the waist of the skirt.

Hair: Her hair is center parted and combed behind her ears. There is none of the side fullness typical of the period. Her hair is probably bound up in a simple bun at the back.

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CDV: Close Curls

Posted in 1860s, CDV with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2008 by Alinka Lesbianka
Close Curls, c. 1863-67

Close Curls, c. 1863-67

J.J. Boyton  Clinton, Mass.

J.J. Boyton Clinton, Mass.

This woman’s clothing appears uninteresting at first glance, but a closer inspection will reveal some unusual details of mid-1860s fashion.

She wears a one-piece dress composed of a bodice and attached skirt. The fabric is probably wool. Her bodice is dart-fitted, with a row of functional buttonholes closing center front. There are eight visible buttons, in a contrast color to the fabric. She has a short standing detachable white collar, and wears a light-colored neck-bow. The strap is just barely visible around her neck. She wears a dark belt, approximately 1.25″, with no visible buckle.

Her sleeves are pleated into a decorative seam down the top. The seam may be covered with braid or some other trim, the photograph is unclear.

Her cuffs are noteworthy: They are slightly conical and pointed on the top edge, with two decorative buttons. The question is over the material- are these black leather? Spectacularly shiny satin? Cuffs like these show up occasionally in photographs, often enough and randomly enough that they could not have been simply a localized fad. I have never come across anything like them in museum collections. Does anyone have any information?

Her skirt is also noteworthy. The wide box pleats at center front and side seam(s) are typical of the mid ’60s, but note the three smaller pleats radiating out from each. The hem of her skirt appears to be box-pleated with the same fabric as the rest of the dress. I wonder how those pleats are attached? It appears that the flounce is sewn right-sides-together, but this construction is not typical for the time period. A pleat topstitched on with a short header is more common. If you have seen an original like this, please comment below.

Finally, her hair, which I consider also noteworthy. It is center-parted, combed smooth for about two inches, and then erupts into a dense but controlled mass of curls on either side of her head. I cannot tell whether her hair is cut short, which was faddish in the late 1860s and early 1870s, or if the sides were let to curl naturally and then combed into a low back bun.