12/5/2008 2:11 PM
This is an A- line dress with a high collar fringed with Lace. The sleeves are short and are also adorned or fringed with Lace.
The Color is a bright purple that has held up well in some places but this dress looks as was well worn or poorly cared for.
The waist is very high; it is just under the breast. There are vertical stripes of white `silk thread that run the length of the dress.
The dress is lined with a coper colored linen lining.
There is much evidence of hand stitching on the interior work and at the hems, which in not surprising as many garments are still hemmed today, and this dress may have been altered and passed around.
Initially, judging from the high empire style waist I think that this is a dress from the early 19th century, but in looking at it a second time and comparing with some other examples fro m class the waist is high but not exactly empire height.
The vertical stripes are beautifully straight and the stitched on the entire exterior of the garment seems to be machine made. This would place the garment in the second half of the 19th century.
This dress looks as if it would have been a fancier dress for a middle class woman. The high sleeves would keep you from getting messy while working but I think that this would have been a dressy garment as it is composed of silk. The linen lining and short sleeves also seem to suggest that it would be worn in a warmer time of year.
There are copper stains covering the dress that at first I thought ay be an inherent vice resulting from the dye but it may be water damages as it covers some of the white thread as well.
The one cool thing I found was a picture of similar fasteners that ran the back of the dress that suggest that it was Empire Revival in the 1890s.