The huge gigot sleeves on this vibrant polychrome roller printed cotton child's dress date it squarely in the romantic era, mid 1830's when sleeves were at their fullest. The bodice features dropped shoulders and a widened decollete that was also in fashion during the romantic period.
Hand made by Miss Emily Porter in the 1830's prior to her marriage to James H. Ferre, this cotton sateen transitional corset or stays has survived with its provenance in the form of a hand written note, still attached to one of the bone grommets in the back.
The simplicity of fashions of the early 1800s gave way in the 1820s to
a more exuberant style seen in the emboldened fabrics and surface
decoration. Rouleaux were used for decoration as well as to add body
where needed such as the hemline of a skirt or dress.
Made of one length of fine cotton net with handmade lace edging this skirt is seamed down the center back and gauged to a cotton tape waistband. Closing in back with a single brass hook and eye. Tulle was popular in the first quarter of the 19th century and was often worn over a more colorful skirt, dress or petticoat.
Lady's muslin wrapper of tambour embroidered muslin exhibits many features of the Romantic Era circa 1820s - 1830s. Particularly indicative of the popular style of the late 1820s through mid 1830s are the enormous gigot sleeves and wide collar and neckline.
A beautiful ball or dinner gown, circa 1835, exhibiting the popular fashion of the period with its wide neckline, small waist, bell shaped skirt and full "beret" sleeves. Made of rose silk bengaline ornamented with silk bows on the sleeve caps as well as at the front and back neckline.
The period between 1815 and 1820 was a transitional period in women's fashion as the styles moved away from the Classical and more toward the Romantic. During this period waistlines returned to their natural level and skirts became fuller.
Evening dresses of the 1820s were decorated with all types of fancy borders including rouleaux, the bands of bias cut fabric stuffed with wool or cotton that would provide additional body and shape at the hemline.