This white cotton two piece outfit was suitable for a young girl’s graduation or Confirmation. The skirt is lined with polished cotton and has four and a half yards of cording along the bottom edge. The bodice, also lined, has large sleeves and double ruffles to add width across the shoulders. The high collar is edged with blue piping to match the ribbon rosettes at neck and waist. A belt covers the juncture of the bodice and skirt of this summer costume.

The leg-of-mutton sleeve returned from 1893 to 1897. Caps were no longer needed to cover a woman’s head indoors, but no lady went outside without her hat and gloves. The hat of straw is decorated with net, ribbon and artificial grapes. High feathers or ribbon added height to the small hats popular during this time.

As material was only 27 to 36 inches wide, these gowns required 12 to 14 yards of both the outer and lining material. Fabric cost as little as 10 cents a yard for cheap cotton calico up to $10 a yard for a silk or wool brocade. Daily wages for a seamstress amounted to 30 to 50 cents. The middle and upper classes had their dresses tailor-made. The lower class bought their things ready-made from department stores, or sewed them themselves using patterns from one of the companies such as Butterick.

Click photo for detailed view.