QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT

QUILTS & FABRIC: PAST & PRESENT By Quilt Historian Barbara Brackman Above: Moda's Baltimore Blues. It's not all blue.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Outrageous Fashion

I've been showing pictures of these fabrics from the 1840s and '50s lately.

Large stripes and plaids in Prussian blue, buff and madder reds and brown.

It's hard to believe that these large-scale prints, which layered geometry with florals, were fashionable for women's clothing but during the 1840s, '50s and into the early 1860's they were the thing.

Bold pattern!









Pagoda sleeves and huge neck bows
were part of the fashion.

As were some unfortunate hairdo's.

I have been saving pictures of this era and have found
some dresses that are nothing but outrageous.




No stripe too big.
No bow too big.
1859

16 comments:

trillium said...

I think they made those curls by winding their hair around rags. My grandma did my hair with rag curls back in the 1950s.

Every Stitch said...

Wonderful to see the fabrics in those dresses - must have been a very colourful lot indeed! Love the prussian blue in large prints.

Julie Fukuda said...

I have a number of those bold prints in my stash and have often wondered for what they were intended.

ga447 said...

I was watching Fons & Porter and made a quilt with striped fabric for one and the other she stringed fabric. The patter was Hunters Bow. The striped fabric was the quick way to do the quilt.

WoolenSails said...

Love those dresses and I think they would have been the perfect things to reuse into a quilt.

Debbie

Gypsy Quilter said...

I bet you could make 2 quilts out of one dress. Glory be, I wonder how much the bow dress weighed with corset and boots, hat and gloves, Not to mention hoops!

Shannon said...

Thank you for sharing! It is hard to believe they wore such bold prints way back in the day.

suzanne said...

How instructive! I'd thought of those huge prints and stripes as decorating chintzes, not for dresses. Nice to see a whole collection of them. 1840's & 50's?

Quilting Babcia said...

Wow - imagine all those photos in color!

Kitty Hettinger said...

Thank you or sharing these wonderful old photographs. (Hope to see many more.). The ladies are all so somber but the third photograph from the bottom almost looks like she wants to break into a smile but knows she shouldn't. I love the fabrics they choose to make their frocks with and love using them in my piecing.

Becky in VA said...

I actually love these types of fabrics, for drapes, etc. They seem a little wild for clothing but just perfect cut up for piecing quilts. Love the colors!

Becky in VA said...

Question: Is it possible to print Prussion Blue today to get the same result as from the 1840s?

JustGail said...

Is it bad of me to think of drapery fabric or wall paper while looking at these photos? I wonder if Margret Mitchell had the same thought when she wrote the scene in Gone With the Wind, and Carol Burnett's spoof of the same! Although in both, I think plain fabric was used.

Bridgidk said...

HELP!!!! I just cant seem to get the link for your blog hop block to open.

Bri Loftis said...

I wonder what those ladies would think of everyone in NYC wearing just black all of the time? Black was for mourning, so I bet they would think WE are strange! I sure am glad I am alive now and not then! I like my jeans and simple shirts!

Julie Vee said...

Love those dresses but can not imagine wearing all of the clothing on a humid summer day down South!

Wondering ...
JulieinTN