This reproduction was made by Peggy Fields based on a garment in the collection of the Huntingdon County Historical Society (Huntingdon, PA).
While many of our gowns are constructed of elegant, costly material, the average woman tried to stay in style by making their own clothing of servicable materials in the newest styles. Clothing was remodeled as the fashions changed. Harper's Bazaar, Godey's, and other fashion magazines displayed yachting, tennis, street and housegowns. But these housegowns were fancy dresses worn by ladies when receiving visitors in their homes. The magazines give little information concerning the clothing worn by the middle or lower class women when working or supervising the everyday household chores. One dress in Huntingdon County [PA] Historical Society collection was probably worn in the 1880s or 1890s for chores. It was worn at the elbows and carefully patched there and other places. We copied it in a maroon pin-dot material. This apron was pictured in the April 1891 issue of the Delineator, also a Butterick fashion book. The pattern was marked as part of a working toilette, and cost $20. It had a cross-stitched pattern along the hem, on the waistband, collar, and pocket. Ours is unfinished. The dress has an easy sleeve to permit movement. The opening is hooked center front to the waistline, then hooks at the side of the front. This gives a smooth neat effect over the stomach. The standup collar is fastened with a pin. This dress is not lined like the fancier outfits so you would need less material.
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