This is a handstitched long-sleeved dress with a full skirt made from a balanced plain-weave printed cotton. The sleeves are gathered at the back shoulder seam and the shoulder seam is dropped in the back. The bodice is gathered at the front waist and has a neck band with no collar. Both the neck band and the waist band are fussy cut to display the printed design. Piping is attached at the armholes and along the bottom of the waistband. The skirt is gathered at the front hips and the back with a flat panel along the center front waist. On the proper back bodice, three (3) glass buttons are sewn on the left side of the back opening (placket), with four (4) button holes on the right side. At the waist, two (2) decorative buttons are sewn on the right side of the opening, without corresponding button holes on the left side. The hem is turned up 3 1/2". The bodice and sleeves are lined with muslin, while the skirt is unlined. The printed pattern on the fabric is four (4) colors and black, with a base color of reddish brown, on top of which is a repeating pattern of columns of red roses alternating with columns of diamonds and clubs on a cream background inside a black, orange, and red border.
A child's circular skirt in a floral print with a pleated flounce on the hem. The main fabric is a plain weave natural fiber fabric with a cream ground and a repeating pattern of small four-petal flowers in red, purple, blue, and tan. The skirt is predominantly hand-sewn. It has a waistband made from an undyed bast fiber fabric with the floral print gathered and whip stitched to the waistband. The skirt is more closely gathered on the back. There is a slit at the center back that divides the waistband completely. There is no attached closure method, but rust staining at the back opening of the waistband suggests the skirt was pinned to close. The bottom of the skirt has an extra flounce of the floral print that has a series of pleats around the skirt in sets of three alternating with straight sections. This flounce is machine-sewn at the top and 1 1/2 inches from the bottom using blue thread that is possibly a synthetic fiber. The bottom and top edges of the flounce are bound with blue fabric sewn on the bias. The interior of the skirt is lined only behind the extra flounce with a hand-pinked undyed bast fiber fabric. There is a previous repair on the back proper right side of the skirt where a panel of light brown synthetic fabric is hand sewn on the interior of the skirt from the gathering at the waist to the top of the older linen lining on the bottom.
H x W (flat): 53 3/4 × 29 1/4 in. (136.5 × 74.3 cm)
A brown and cream striped cotton day dress from the Civil War era. The dress has a fitted collarless bodice that buttons at the center front with six (6) black vulcanized rubber buttons marked on the reverse "I.R.C. Co. / 1851. / GOODYEAR". The fitted full-length sleeves have a detail at the wrist with the fabric sewn on the bias. Self-piping is sewn at the gathered waistband, which is more heavily gathered in the back. The skirt is full with a wide hem that falls at or below the ankles. The dress is both machine and hand sewn. The bodice and sleeves are lined with a plain cotton muslin. The skirt is not lined. There is one inset pocket at the proper right hip, with the pocket made from plain cotton muslin.
This wearable work of art was handed down to the maker's descendants. Louvenia Price, who was born enslaved, continued to work as a seamstress after she was emancipated. Price made this cape for her own use.
This mid-calf length evening coat is made of a deep teal silk velvet with brown fur cuffs and a black silk satin lining. A decorative black silk cord is sewn to the exterior of the garment to form swirls, floral motifs, feather motifs, and other designs popular in the late Victorian period. The sleeves begin near the wearer's elbow, creating a cape-like silhouette from the proper front. The coat closes along the proper center front with a series of hook-and-eye closures, with the hooks and the eyes alternating along the proper left and proper right sides of the opening. The proper back is shaped to accommodate a large bustle. The band collar also contains applied braid designs, and closes at the proper front neck with two (2) hook-and-eye closures. The interior fabric is quilted in a diagonal pattern, but the quilting does not show through to the exterior of the garment. There is one set-in pocket on the proper left front of the interior. Attached at the center back of the interior are two accordion-like fabric pieces and two long black ribbons, likely used to adjust the fit at the waist line and to secure the coat to the wearer's body.