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A Year in Fashion:1870

"Bustle Era Petticoats"

This website contains a fashion article from Lady's Friend Magazine, June 1870. The article will discuss two types of petticoats that were fashionable at the time, the Eugenie for wearing under short costumes and the petticoat to wear under a dress with train.

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The skirts of dresses are still made to hang considerably fuller at the back than in front. As lined dresses are not much in vogue, the Parisian modistes have devised an ingenious plan of so trimming the petticoat that it serves to give the desired fashionable effect to the dress--its keeps it well out at the back. Our pattern this month (1870) is the model for the best of petticoats.

The pattern consists of four pieces-- the side breath; half of the back breadth, the half of lowest flounce, and the half of the dress improver or bustle. The pieces may be distinguished as follows: the side breadth is rounded off at one edge, and has a single notch at the other edge. The half of the back breadth is gored at one side, where it has a corresponding notch to join on to the side breadth. The flounce is rounded at one side, and the bustle has two prickled lines on it to mark where the steels are introduced.

The petticoat has no front breadth, but, as will be seen by the illustration, it is bordered at each side by a four inch frill. There are four flounces on the back breadth, and their position is marked with pricked holes in the paper. The bustle should have horizontal as well as perpendicular steels, three of the former and five of the latter. The bustle meets in the front below the waist, where it is fastened with three buttons; a string is added at each side, which when tied, makes more or less protuberance as desired.

The material may be scarlet camlet, crinoline, muslin, or brilliante.


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This petticoat is made of white muslin. The deep flounce is edged with lace and trimmed with two rows of insertion, in and out of which satin ribbon the same color as the dress is run. A length of tape is sewn on each side and tied in the centre, and over this petticoat is drawn to form a pannier.

Article Bibliographical Information:

Lady's Friend Magazine, Vol. VII, No 6, June 1870, pp. 409-410.

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 A Year in Fashion: 1870 Index

 1800s Fashion History

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Recommended Reading: Click on the books for more information or to purchase.

Fashions and Costumes from Godey's Lady's Book Victorian and Edwardian Fashion : A Photographic Survey French Fashion Plates of the Romantic Era in Full Color English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth-Century

Disclaimer: This article is being presented as an educational resource of women fashions during this time era. The Costume Gallery, or its owner, Penny E. Dunlap Ladnier, does NOT sell or make sewing patterns. This publication's text is in its original format. Spelling or grammar may not appear to be correct, but were standard for the original publication date.

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