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Dress thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Dress

ca. 1868 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Puffs of linen lawn interspersed with bands of silk satin and lace give this sleeve a filmy, weightless quality. They are reminiscent of the puffings on 1620s gowns which swelled out above and below the elbow, confined at intervals by ribbons. This device had been used throughout the nineteenth century in one form or another but it suited the light fabrics of 1860s summer dresses particularly well. It also complemented the fashionable ‘pannier-style’ skirts, which were looped, gathered or drawn up with strings into back and side puffs.

The sleeve is cleverly constructed to create the impression of gossamer without losing its shape. It is made from a piece of linen lawn gathered into a series of puffs which are sewn into position on the underside of the ribbon bands. Inside each puff four pieces of cord are held in place with stitches to maintain the correct tension. These are just visible through the transparent fabric and give the illusion that the puffs have been drawn up like a roman blind. To complete the harmony, two frills trimmed with ribbon and lace delicately curve over the wrist and hand.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 6 parts.

  • Skirt
  • Bodice
  • Bodice
  • Bodice
  • Jacket
  • Peplum
Materials and Techniques
Linen lawn, trimmed with silk-satin ribbon overlaid with bobbin lace
Physical Description
Dress, composed of a bodice and a skirt with a peplum, made of linen lawn with silk-satin ribbon overlaid with Maltese-style bobbin lace. There are in addition three separate bodices and a jacket to go with the skirt.
Credit line
Given by Miss Ada B. Cooper
Summary
Puffs of linen lawn interspersed with bands of silk satin and lace give this sleeve a filmy, weightless quality. They are reminiscent of the puffings on 1620s gowns which swelled out above and below the elbow, confined at intervals by ribbons. This device had been used throughout the nineteenth century in one form or another but it suited the light fabrics of 1860s summer dresses particularly well. It also complemented the fashionable ‘pannier-style’ skirts, which were looped, gathered or drawn up with strings into back and side puffs.



The sleeve is cleverly constructed to create the impression of gossamer without losing its shape. It is made from a piece of linen lawn gathered into a series of puffs which are sewn into position on the underside of the ribbon bands. Inside each puff four pieces of cord are held in place with stitches to maintain the correct tension. These are just visible through the transparent fabric and give the illusion that the puffs have been drawn up like a roman blind. To complete the harmony, two frills trimmed with ribbon and lace delicately curve over the wrist and hand.
Collection
Accession Number
T.13-1943

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record createdDecember 29, 2005
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