Whenever I go home to the UP, my mom and I always visit the same antique shops. Sometimes it’s hit or miss. Well I hit upon something awesome back in March over Easter break. I decided I would be on the look out for anything that was appropriate to use as is for a current (or new) historical impression or something that could be re-purposed in some way. I always check out the clothing because you never know what could be lurking in the bottom of a trunk some where. Well….this is what I found!!!


The front closes with a set of hooks and eyes down the center front of the lining and then the decorative front folds over to connect with two secret rows of hooks and eyes. I did not edit/alter the coloring in these photos as all and tried to take them in the most natural light possible. The fabric is obviously dark, but whether it was a dark green and still is or was a black that faded to a greenish hue, it’s hard to say. I like that the decoration is subdued and simple. Although I consider myself fairly “girly” (I like dresses and corsets and shoes!), I don’t like over the top frilly decoration that can sometimes accompany dresses in the later Victorian eras. Therefore, the simple black beading and different type of decorative fabric in the center is quite elegant.


And the back…

The horizontal pleated ribbon around the waist and with a bow at the back is so charming!


Now for some close ups!

I really have not studied late Victorian clothing in depth at all. I know the sleeves got really poofy at one point and then stopped being poofy. I like that these sleeves are not ridiculously out of control poofy. They have just enough gathering to look smart (in my opinion). My point: I can’t really figure out the date of this garment.

More of the sleeve. The sleeve is cut on the bias and has that weird/fun little pleat/tuck thing (I’m sure there is a specific name for it, but I have no idea) so that it curves nicely with your elbow.

The inside…


There are seven bones (the parts with the red and the white zigzag stitching).


There is obviously some damage to the inner lining. It looks like someone tried to put it on and the garment was too small and it ripped. Or it could have just deteriorated over time. Who knows.

I’m also in love with the fact that the part where the sleeve joins the bodice, it isn’t encased or finished besides a quick whip stitch. I *hate* all the fiddly finishing parts on the inside of clothing when I’m sewing. By the time I attach the sleeves and finish the cuffs, I just want to be done!

Some more of the front…



The best part about this piece: it only cost $26.00!! I couldn’t pass it up once I saw the price. I’m so excited to have it in my small, but growing collection.