Antique Plaid Cotton Chore or Farm Dress 'survivor' - Etsy Peplum, Dresses, Plaid, Farm Dress, Cotton, Dress, Dresses For Work, Edwardian, Womens Dresses
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Antique Plaid Cotton Chore or Farm Dress, 'Survivor' 2-Piece Work Dress, Little House on the Prairie, Peplum, Bustle Back Ruffled Skirt XS

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How I love these ‘survivors’! This great two-piece chore or farm dress dates from the 1880’s. The plaid cotton may be older than the iteration which you now see. Plaids were very popular in the mid-1800’s, but this dress seems more in line with a bit later than that, thus my estimation of the 1880’s.
This was lovingly made and patched, mended and re-made along the way – the plaid ‘piecings’ are a great study for the re-use/recycle/reduce waste movement! Many, if not most, of these garments were altered many times and used until they were rags, but this one survives. The blouse is simple with a spread collar [with no fastener] and a left chest pocket. The sleeves are pieced and slightly curved, with enough room for churning the butter. The blouse fastens up the front with 3 mother-of-pearl buttons, not sure if these are original, and the buttonholes are hand-stitched. At the waist there is an inner channel with a twill tie. This twill tie is newer, so this was replaced along the way. When the tie is gathered in, fastening at the inside of the blouse, it forms a small peplum below. Photo #7 shows this peplum, with some very creative piecing-in.
Alternatively, the blouse can be simply tucked in. The back has gently curved princess seams. The one puzzle on the age question is that the back shoulder seams are not as far down the back and diagonal, nor are the shoulders as narrow, as some of the garments of the era, but I’ve mostly had dressier outfits. As stated before, this one was for working!
The skirt is gathered all the way around, but more fully in the back, so there is room for a small bustle. The skirt has undergone some alterations as well as the blouse. The 1” wide waistband has been expanded at some point. It is backed with brown cotton. It fastens in the back with hooks-and-eyes and snaps. The latter are likely later additions. There is evidence that this originally had a hidden pocket at the right side, slightly towards the back – I’ve included pics of this externally and internally so you can see how this was altered. The skirt is nice and full, and at the lower edge there is a ruffle over the bottom of the skirt. At the inner hem is a cream and brown calico facing, with the remnants of a pinkish twill hem braid – photo #10, upper left. The skirt has many repairs, patches and piecings, yet I think this is still sturdy enough to wear. Possibly for re-enactments or Pioneer wear, if the area below the waistband were to be reinforced.
I would estimate this item to fit a size S in the blouse, XXS to XS in the skirt, but please go by the measurements below.
NOTE: Measurements are taken lying flat, then doubled for bust/waist/hips and sweep.
Neck: 14 1⁄2”
Bust: 37”
Waist: 32” fully extended, but meant to be drawn in with twill tap
Lower Edge: 44”
Shoulders Across Back: 14 3⁄4”
Armscye: 16”
Sleeve length, from top of shoulder to cuff: 22”
Sleeve length, from underarm to end: 18”
Total length in front from top of shoulder: 21”
Total length from center back, base of collar: 18 3⁄4”
Waist: 24 3⁄4”
Hips: free
Total length in front: 40”
Total length from center back: 41 1⁄2”
Sweep: 104”
Weight is 1 lb. exactly, unpackaged
Condition is pretty amazing for at least 150 years. BUT, as expected there are some issues. I gently soaked and hand-dried this, and it brightened considerably. There are still some spots, however. The blouse has one slightly darker quarter-sized spot on the back of the left sleeve – photo #10, bottom middle. It’s hard to see IRL, but it could come out if you chanced soaking it in a product like RetroClean – I leave that to the new owner. There is a small hole below the pocket and I count 4-5 scattered pinholes here and there. There are sections where the material has been pieced and in the back there are a couple sections where there are what look like spots of rust with small holes where it weakened the fabric – photo #10. The waistband is very strong, but the fabric just below shows several repairs and has some thinning. See photo #6 for shots of the waistband and mends/patches nearby. There is one popped seam at the left side about 7-8” below the waist with a frayed edge about 1” long. The skirt also has some scattered small holes and the missing hem braid, as mentioned above. It is clean and fresh, ready to wear as is, or to display with a good sunbonnet!
This item comes from a smoke-free home with one wee little non-shedding, hypo-allergenic dog. However, all vintage clothing has had a previous life; I am merely the conduit to its new life! I do my best to describe all flaws, but in my humanity occasionally may miss something. Please contact me as soon as possible if this occurs. I strive for my customer’s complete satisfaction.
Any item over $150 is eligible for layaway. Please convo me for details and to get one started for that item you can’t live without! I am always happy to provide further pictures or info – just ask.
Due to the delicate nature of vintage items, clothing is not returnable. Please understand that antique bodies were different than modern bodies, so fit may be different than you’d expect. Please check listed measurements against an item that fits you well.
International buyers are welcome, and responsible for all taxes and customs fees per your government's regulations. Regretfully, I cannot ship to Italy or Eastern Bloc countries at this time. Will resume when/if shipping becomes more reliable. Sales price will be recorded on the customs form. This item will be sent international priority, and will be tracked and insured.
Thank you for looking! Halcyone Vintage
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