Mystery Garment

Oooh, don't you just love a good mystery? Right now I'm reading Rhys Bowen's latest Molly Murphy mystery and I'm loving it! It's set in the early 1900s and she writes the series very well. In fact, all of her books helped keep my sanity when I was nursing my slow-drinking baby girl 3 years ago. :-)

Speaking of mysteries... I've had this interesting "vintage" garment for a long time. I don't even remember where I got it. The thing is, is that I don't know from what era this garment comes and while it was sold as "vintage" I strongly suspect that it's actually an antique. I finally decided to try and solve this little mystery. You know, there's something about the length and the construction that doesn't strike me as any later than the 1940s.

Let's check it out:
I am guessing this is an undergarment/slip of some kind. It has a very simple construction with little detail. Not to mention it's a basic cream color.
The shape is rather narrow and doesn't flare out very much toward the bottom.


A detail of the permanent pleating with stitching detail.
I am amazed with how well it's held up!


The crisp, permanent pleating along with the feel of the fabric leads me to believe this is made from an acetate or acetate blend fabric. From some basic research, I found that acetates as fabrics were beginning to appear in the late 1920s.
I'm wishing I had taken that textiles class in college when I had the chance!


The pictures below capture more of the true color of the garment. The ones above are a tad too yellow!
Isn't the garment a gorgeous-colored cream?

There is this interesting set-in triangle of fabric off the side seam in the front right above the pleating.
Perhaps it's replacing a piece of fabric that was damaged? It's hard to see how it would be part of the fashion cut. It doesn't really affect the garment's look that much.

There are two small gussets in the bust area - they are rather high, and the straps are longer, so I think the garment would sit lower on the chest.
This reminds me a lot of something from the teens or 1920s.
I'd try it on, but it is built for a petite person with narrow ribs, unlike myself!

Pretty stitching detail (not sure of the name of the technique) along the top and shoulder straps of the garment.

The back of the garment.
The inside seams are pinked to prevent fraying.

So after all that... I'm guessing early to mid-1930s? I could be totally off, but I'm not sure what else to think! Any opinions out there?



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