1860s, Maternity Dress


Brown cotton dress with floral print in white, green and light orange, with partial center front button opening.

Bodice with round jewel neckline trimmed with two inch wide ruffle stitched/gathered to neckline seam so 3/4" of ruffle stands above seam and 1 1/4" of ruffle below or toward body of garment. Self fabric bias finishes inside of neckline seam/treatment. V-shaped inset at back shoulder, narrower at armhole and wider at neckline. Center front opening to below abdomen. Seven one-half inch diameter white glass hobnail buttons and hand-worked buttonholes closure. Ten additional matching non-functional buttons continue down center front of garment to hem imitating garment opening; the "closure" is a pleat of the fabric that is wider at the top and narrower at the hem.

Piped waistline seam extends from side front around back to other side front sewn to skirt. Center front is one piece of fabric from neckline to hem extending about 10" in width at waistline from side front waistline seam. Self fabric tie, 14" long, at right waist of garment sewn at point where waistline seam stops and full length of fabric front begins. Possible similar tie originally on left side as small holes there could be from stitches. Horizontal seam above waist extends across bodice front from side seam to side seam.

Bodice underlined with tan plain weave cotton fabric. At side fronts, underlining piece is free of fashion fabric forming an underbodice with separate closure consisting of ten heavy metal hooks and eyes. Underbodice fronts have two waist darts, back has neck and waist dart.

Long set-in 2-piece sleeves with dropped shoulder and piped armscye seam, lined with two different plain weave cotton fabrics. Ruching (1.5" wide) at sleeve hem in self fabric.

Skirt is very full and floor length, approximately four inch shorter in front than in back. Large pocket in right side seam of white with red print cotton (appears to have replaced self-fabric pocket). Skirt unlined. Hem faced with 5.5" plain weave cotton fabric. Hem edge originally finished to olive green braid trim; however, most of the braid has deteriorated and is missing. Tan cotton hanging tapes attached to center back waist seams.

Garment appears to be all hand-stitched.






This dress is from the Traphagen School of Fashion Collection. It was a gift to them in 1943 from Mrs. H. Stowell, NY. Several objects from the Traphagen School were donated to OSU HCTC in 1995.

Design Elements

Two-Piece Tailored Sleeve, Hourglass Silhouette

Fiber/Fabric Information

fabric structure=plain weave balanced, fiber content=Cotton




1995.999.4 F.jpg
1995.999.4 LF.jpg
1995.999.4 L.jpg
1995.999.4 LB.jpg
1995.999.4 B.jpg
1995.999.4 RB.jpg
1995.999.4 R.jpg
1995.999.4 RF.jpg
1995.999.4 Detail Shoulder A.jpg
1995.999.4 Detail Buttons A.jpg
1995.999.4 Detail Buttons B.jpg
1995.999.4 Detail Pocket A.jpg
1995.999.4 Detail Pocket B.jpg
1995.999.4 lining.jpg
1995.999.4 lining and left armhole.jpg
1995.999.4 lining left side seam.jpg
1995.999.4 hem binding.jpg
Cotton Fiber
Cotton Fiber
Cotton Fiber
Cotton Fiber
Cotton Fiber
Cotton Fiber
Cotton Fiber
Wool Fiber
Cotton Fiber
Cotton Fiber with deposits visible



“1860s, Maternity Dress,” Fashion2Fiber, accessed May 28, 2018,

Item Relations

This item has no relations.