The Tredwell Costume Collection at Merchant’s House Museum comprises more than 400 articles of clothing, including a remarkable 39 dresses documented to have been owned and worn by the women of the family. Many are outstanding examples of the 19th century dressmaker’s art, composed of fine and delicate fabrics and ornamentation.
On display at the Merchant’s House is a one-piece, hand-sewn dress of cream, brown, and salmon pink plaid silk. The fitted bodice has wide pagoda sleeves, wide, bell-shaped sleeves that necessitate the use of detachable undersleeves to complete the look of the dress. A popular sleeve style around the time of the Civil War, it appears to have been a favorite of the Tredwell women.
The Merchant’s House Museum is located at 29 E 4th St, New York, NY. More information is available on their website.
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Photo of dress in the Tredwell Costume Collection provided.