Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cosmopolitan 667 - Lady's House Dress


About 1899.

At this time "house dress" has a slightly different sense than it will later.  A dress with a Watteau back and the option for a train isn't designed for scrubbing floors.  Rather, this is a dress worn at home.  This distinguishes it from the various types of dress worn outside the home such as tailor-mades, reception dresses, evening dresses, etc.

I think the house dress could be worn when informally entertaining close friends; lemonade and gingersnaps on the porch, for example.  In this regard, it's not unlike the tea gowns just coming into fashion.

3 comments:

Persuaded said...

gracious, that is a lovely dress! help me out a bit though... is there a contrasting fabric in the center front skirt area? or is this open like a robe? the train is so sweet looking too...


i want the kind of life where i can wear a dress like this everyday!

andrea.at.the.blue.door said...

I haven't opened out the tissue to look at the pieces in detail, but from reading the construction instructions, it appears that the front is cut separately and is gathered into the collar. (In this regard, it's quite similar to the Folkwear pattern "Calico Day Dress - A Turn of the Century Wrapper," which was pattern number 208, but is now out of print.) In the Cosmopolitan illustration the front is shown in a contrasting fabric, but most of the originals I've seen use the same fabric for the front as for the body.

Persuaded said...

ahh, so it's a contrasting panel then? or at least it is shown done in a contrast fabric in this illustration, yes?