Australian dress register ID:131
Owner:Illawarra Historical Society
Owner registration number:500.436
Date range:1864 - 1866
Place of origin:Tasmania
Owned and used in Tasmania by the family of Deslie Welsch of Mount Ousley and was donated to the Illawarra Museum when the family home was being cleared. It has evidence of alterations and use as fancy dress costume. Author: , .
The dress is made from purple silk taffeta with yellow bud and flower woven pattern. The bodice is decorated with braid, bias cut silk, piping and fringing and stiffened with whalebone. It fastens with ten braided buttons and buttonholes at the front and is lined with cotton fabric. The full length sleeve has a separate silk puff at the top. A fringed peplum is roughly attached to the bodice The gathered and trained skirt has been stitched to the bodice and has a placket opening on the left side seam and a pocket in the right side seam. Its hem is taped to make a neat firm edge.
History and Provenance
Do you have any stories or community information associated with this?
In August 2004 a local resident, Rosemary Bourden, was helping a neighbour to move house, the dress was noticed in a garbage bag destined for the op-shop and the suggestion was made that the Illawarra Museum might be interested to have the dress.
This garment has been exhibited
The dress was exhibited at the Illawarra Historical Society in '200 Years of Fashion' December 2008-March 2009.
Place of origin:
Owned and used in Tasmania by the family of Deslie Welsch of Mount Ousley.
Trimmings / Decoration
Silk fringe is used with bias cut silk and piping to decorate the bodice, sleeves and peplum.
The pattern on the fabric is woven.
Fibre / Weave
Purple taffeta embroidered with yellow flowers and buds.
Bodice lined with cotton.
Skirt lined with silk.
Possibly dyed with synthetic dye judging from the rich colour purple.
- Natural dye
- Synthetic dye
Originally two pieces. Joined by a non-professional.
The skirt has been joined to the waist so the placket opens at the front whereas when it was a separate garment it opened at the side back. Because of this the skirt is not placed correctly when worn.
Two pieces joined by a non-professional.
- Hand sewn
- Machine sewn
Stiffening / Lining / Padding
Whalebone is used to stiffen the bodice and it is lined with cream linen.
The skirt has a 370mm cotton band to stiffen the lower part.
|Hem circumference||3600 mm|
|Front neck to hem||1550 mm|
|Front waist to hem||1200 mm|
|Sleeve length||500 mm|
|Fabric width||510 mm|
|Convert to inches|
The 510mm width or 20inches suggests this fabric might be English.
Articles, publications, diagrams and receipts descriptions
See Nancy Bradfield 'Costume in Detail 1730-1930' for similar dress with peplum p217.
Other related objects
One other dress and a linen petticoat were found with this at the same time.
The second dress is of very fine silk brocade which has been remade and pieced from an open robe (1775-1780) into a dress in the style of 1860.
Link to collection online
Evidence of repairs
Bodice, peplum and skirt have been very roughly joined by a poor needlewoman maybe for a fancy dress party.