A woman's fancy dress costume made from a 1750s textile (possibly a bed cover) of cream-coloured silk, couched and embroidered in coloured silks. It is covered all over with a pattern of scrolling stems bearing various large and small flowers, and large leaves filled with diaper patterns.

The dress is heavily pieced. It has a short bodice with low neck, narrow bands over the shoulders, and no sleeves. The front of the dress is princess-line, shaped with darts; the back has a waist seam. The skirt is open and short at the front, with a long train at the back. There is a single bow of the embroidered fabric at the front and back. The bodice is lined with linen, darted and boned. The bodice fastens at the front with metal hooks and thread bars. Thre are two linen tapes at the waist on the inside and five tapes part way down the skirt on the inside, possibly for looping up. The dress was made with a combination of hand and machine sewing, using a chain-stitch sewing machine, and a two-threaded lock-stitch machine.


  • Title: Fancy dress costume
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1725/1750
  • Location: England
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 160.0 cm shoulder to hem at centre back approx, Width: 17.5 in waist, Width: 23.5 in across the shoulders, Circumference: 116.5 cm bust under armholes approx
  • Medium: Silk, linen, cotton, whalebone, cotton thread; hand-woven, machine-woven, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn, machine-sewn.

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