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Antique Victorian Bustle Dress Hem Pleats to study by Lisa Schnapp on 02-02-2009

click for page 1, 2, 3, 4
Photo 4:
These pleats show pairing with silk taffeta, then again with mercerized cotton. The fine Taffeta needed some weight and stability (as not to crumple) so, the canvas was added at the time to help keep the pleats straight. The mercerized cotton had a bit of crispness to it with nice weight, so only tapes were added to avoid spreading. Has a substantial hem underneath. The whole key I've decided is that the canvas is thin and crisp and cotton...almost like voile or heavy organdy (I'm also tempted to stiffen voile or cotton mesh and also try those.)Victorian Fashion bustle dress pleatsas you will see, most of the Victorian dressmakers used the hair canvas at the time... so although these dressmakers were in different parts of the world, you can almost assume using the hair canvas for pleats was a worldwide industry standard. Strangely, I've never seen hair canvas used on a Civil War gown (or earlier) but those early gowns almost always had less structure and nearly always were less controlled, thinner, less weighty and usually 'flimsier' feeling to the touch.
Photo 5:
1880 Natural Form Bustle Dress, crepe-weave linen and silk satin gown- This one has a silk front drape that ends in Van Dyke points- it is lined in the self linen for weight and to keep the points sharp. Under that is 1/2" accordion pleats, unlined. These thin, thin accordion pleats were prevalent throughout the 1880's so you will see them on most of the next photos. On the skirt sides, there is wide side pleats, attached straight to the skirt underlining, then cotton sateen is added the last 4," along with a fullness control tape.Victorian Fashion bustle dress pleats
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