Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Tale Of Two Dresses

Today's features from the Greene Collection are two beautiful early 19th century ladies dresses.

The first is an entirely hand stitched turquoise green with copper roller-print on white cotton ground. It has a high waist, a gathered bust, and drawstrings at the center and base of the short sleeves and around the bust. It has a frill around hem and has a slight trained effect. Interestingly the back frill was not hemmed.

This would have been a simple day dress. It is considered important for the collection because of the use of the roller print in a day dress. For more information on roller printing, click here.

Our second dress, from the same time period (1815-1820) is also entirely hand stitched icy green plain weave silk. It has a very high waist and very long tubular sleeves which would have been worn slightly ruched on the arm. The skirt is in 3 panels and slightly gathered in front and pleated in the back.

It has a Vandyked neckline of little triangular tabs in the sleeve, forming a gorgeous cap effect which is accented with little white ribbon bows.

The stitching on this dress as well as the fact that it is made of silk indicates that this would have been considered a "good" dress and would have been worn for special occasions.


  1. I love how fashion comes full circle and goes in and out of style. The day dress dress reminds me of some great patterned maxi dresses that were popular in the 1970s and are back in demand today. The bust of the "good" dress reminds me of a shelf bust on a 1950s cocktail/evening gown.

  2. I would LOVE that first dress. As someone who wears mostly dresses, I would wear this one now. I can not wait to visit the museum again this weekend.

  3. Jen,

    This weekend we will have over 20 pieces from the collection on display in our meeting center! Be sure to stop in and take a look!

  4. So glad I can 'see' items from the remarkable Greene Collection here! The photo closeups are quite wonderful. Love seeing so many details....