Date: Circa 1840
Medium: Fibre: cotton
Classification: Costume and Textiles
Object number: 1981.2
Label text:Worn by donor's great grandmother, Mrs. Marvel, and grandmother, Elizabeth Nicholson.

This is a good example of a mid-1840s day dress. The female silhouette of the middle of the 19th century consisted of a fitted corseted bodice and wide full skirts. A significant element is the sleeve construction – with the dropped shoulders set-in with fine piping, loose around the elbow for movement. These elements combined with a fitted waist with a v-shaped gathering at the back and a gauged skirt are quintessential to a day dress of the period as conical skirts developed when the high waist of the Empire silhouette was lowered and the skirts became more bell shaped. As the skirts of the period gradually increased in size they were supported by a number of methods. Originally support came from multiple layers of petticoats. These became uncomfortable due to weight and were replaced by underskirts made of graduated hoops made from materials such as baleen, cane and metal.

DescriptionWomen's printed cotton day dress of russet brown colour with vertical stripe in beige and cream with small pattern in cream and rust; high round neckline with concealed front closing; bodice gathered to waistband in front and centre back; dropped shoulder; sleeve set in with piping, cut as coat sleeve with ruffle down top seam; skirt gauged to waist band; hem faced with patterned cotton originally from "Feed Bags" (as claimed by donor); bodice lined with coarsely woven beige cotton; hand sewn.
Not on display