vintage patterns

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Victorian and 1920's Dresses

This is one of the most beautiful Victorian gowns I have seen. The Victorian (Queen Victoria's reign 1837 - 1901) and Edwardian (King Edward's reign 1901 - 1910) eras was one of my favorites for stylizing and designing modern clothing in the 60s. Below are two Victorian gowns and one from the 20s.

Gown on left is a 1920s, the two on the right are Victorian.

Victoria gown in light sea green silk and battenburg lace. The gown has silk lining underneath silk chiffon with the overlay of the ivory battenburg lace

The sleeves drape with the inside sleeve coming just to the elbow.

Matching sea green silk ribbon and bows embellish the top of the bodice. This dress also has a ivory silk cummerbund that fastened in the front, but I could not get it around the dress form. The underneath silk lining is shredding, but the overlay silk chiffon and lace are in perfect condition.

I love the back train on this dress and how it flows. This dress probably had a back bustle built into an underskirt. Under garments were a necessary and  important part of the dress of yesterday as just as they are today (in regards to a well fitting bra).

This is the inside bodice of the dress with boning (real bone), made in Paris. The dress (bodice and skirt) fastens with hooks and eyes.

A custom made black silk taffeta mourning gown. If these two dresses came for the same person, I can see a very slim young woman in the sea green dress and a middle aged widow in the mourning gown. I bought both dresses from the same lovely woman I bought the patterns from, So Many Sewing Patterns Both dresses and another from the 80s along with two large Victorian shawls and some pieces of lace where shoved in a box I bought for $2.00. 

Lots of hand detail work in this dress, adding all that lace and trim. Once again fastens with snaps and hooks. Thank goodness for zippers and jersey! I don't know if I would ever get dressed if I had to deal with all those snaps and hooks, let alone the undergarment of the day.

Close up of the lace trim and insets.

The back of the dress is just as detailed as the front.

Close up of back

Closer still

This lovely rooster lace piece was sewn into the inside of the back, possibly for reinforcement to the black lace. You can just barely see it in the photo above this one.

Custom made 1920s gold brocade gown with beaded side belt. This dress I picked up from my brother who got it from who knows where. He likes old funky stuff.

It took me awhile to figure out how this dress was fastened, more hooks and eyes. The right side panel drapes across the back, then up through the beaded loop and hooks onto the back skirt.

The dress had some very lovely gold beaded and netting sleeves, but the netting is shredded, the sleeves would have draped down the length of the arm with the bead in a ladder going down the draping.

A close up of the beaded belt thing. Some of the white beads have rhinestone in the center.

Back of dress, where you can see the drape.

Close up of back. This dress was probably a stunner when it was fresh and new. I find it interesting that the seamstress decided to use gold brocade for the dress. The dress is made from silk brocade and lined in an ivory silk. Most of the edges have a very fine machine loop stitch, so it may have been from a designer or made from silk drapery.

Love these dresses and love the history of fashion which was part of my studies when working on my fashion design degree, that was another era also.

What is the oldest piece of fashion you have in your closet and do you ever wear it?


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  2. Wow... that is sooo gorgeous! I'm not sure that I actually have any old vintage pieces in my closet at the moment... this makes me wish I did, though!

  3. These are just stunning I am in love with the back of that black mourning gown. Beautiful pieces for your collection, just breathtaking! Sadly I do not own too much vintage but my oldest most favorite piece would have to be 60's bright orange trench coat with big huge buttons.

  4. I love the mourning gown, and especially the trim on it. I would die to have some of that to put on a reproduction gown. Very lucky find indeed!

  5. My oldest pieces are all jewelry: I have antique mourning pieces from my family which I do wear (they came into good use when my sisters died). I have simple gold earrings too.
    I love your photos if the details in these dresses; such a visual treat!

  6. Antique jewelry is so pretty. Is the mourning pieces black? It is sad to hear about your sister.

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  9. Victoria: You are an amazing woman with a classical taste and a sharp eye for treasures. I love the ecclectic nature of your site, there is something for everyone. Just stopped by to see what you were up to, wow! I will be stopping by more often. Blessings!

    1. Thanks Trish, you are too kind and the best kind of friend! I'll be sending you that blogging information soon, I got a little busy and distracted. Victoria