Bath Fashion Museum Study Day, Oct 2013

This year's Hallowe'en treat to myself was to have a study day at the Bath Fashion Museum. I looked at ladieswear from the 1790's through to the 1830's. It was lovely! I do love my study days :)

Here are some pictures of a dress I found quite startling - it's bright, bright yellow! I absolutely love the prints from this period. Dated c.1808-12, it appears to have been made very economically from a small-ish length of fabric. There is no lining, nor are there any side back seams like you would normally find in a dress from this period. Instead, the back bodice is cut in one piece and has a small amount of gathering across the centre section at the waist seam.

The design is a simple cross-over bodice with an apron fronted skirt. As you can see, the only decoration are the frills around the neckline and the wrists. Usually in a crossover bodice there would be hidden underbodice pieces to fasten, giving a little structure to the dress, but not in this example. It is very frugally made. The skirt hem measures 194cm in total, and the skirt itself is pieced together with varying widths of cut fabric.

Judging by the glimpses I got of the fabric deep inside gathers and seams (where there's been less light exposure over the years), the colours of the printed cotton have suffered very little fade. I think this vibrant beauty would have looked lovely under a plain brown pelisse. The most obvious sign of wear was at the sleeve hems, where they were a bit dirty.

(Images shown courtesy of the Fashion Museum, Bath and North East Somerset Council. Item ref. BATMC 1.09.2008)

Bodice front, BATMC 1.09.2008

Nearly full length, BATMC 1.09.2008

Sleeve, BATMC 1.09.2008

Hem detail, BATMC 1.09.2008

View with the front bodice opened out, BATMC 1.09.2008

View with the front bodice opened out and the front skirt pulled down, BATMC 1.09.2008

Close-up of the sleeve hem frill, BATMC 1.09.2008