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A8221 Day dress, hand sewn, empire line, muslin, maker unknown, England, c. 1810. Click to enlarge.

Muslin day dress

This is English day dress of embroidered cotton muslin dates from about 1810. After the French revolution in 1789, opulent silk brocades and lace became associated with royal indulgences of the past.

The new fashion was inspired by ancient Greek sculpture, which depicted the female body draped in clinging fabrics. This semi-transparent dress is secured under the bust and decorated with net insertions and whitework. It was worn over a line chemise to ensure modesty under flimsy materials.


Object No.


Object Statement

Day dress, hand sewn, empire line, muslin, maker unknown, England, c. 1810

Physical Description

Day dress of white sprigged muslin. Empire line bibbed front bodice fastening at front shoulders with self covered buttons and loops. Net lace insertions across upper front of bodice, squared neckline front and back. Very long tapered sleeves with lower pointed hem fitting over the back of the hands, gathered at the shoulders to form shoulder puffs. Ankle length skirt is slashed open at the side seams from waist to mid thigh to form apron panels which tie with cotton drawstring tapes at centre back below the empire line bodice. Bodice only lined with fine white cotton. All handsewn.


No marks.



1170 mm



Credit Line

Gift of Anne Schofield, 1982

Acquisition Date

21 May 1982

Cite this Object


Muslin day dress 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 August 2022, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Muslin day dress |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 August 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}