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A9276 Dress, maternity, woman's, wool, maker unknown, probably worn in Australia, c. 1825. Click to enlarge.

Maternity dress, Australia, c.1825

Made in Australia, Oceania, c 1825.

This dress dated to c.1825 is made of wood block printed woollen fabric featuring a popular early 19th century 'seaweed' design. It was probably made and worn in Australia The design of this dress features slits at the side, forming a drop apron at the front to allow for an expanding waistline. This suggests that it was worn for pregnancy or nursing. This dress features a cross-over, front-opening bodice, which is unusual for this period, allowing ease of movement for nursing. The slightly high...


Object No.


Object Statement

Dress, maternity, woman's, wool, maker unknown, probably worn in Australia, c. 1825

Physical Description

Stiped floral printed wool dress with long sleeves and a cross-over bodice. The sleeeves are tight fitting and gathered at elbows. The front fastening cross-over bodice has cotton underflaps and fabric tabs attached at back for front waist fastening. Double self-trim with decorated wtih blue cord found at sleeve centre and neck edge. Blue cord repeated at cuffs which are fastened by a single broze glass button.The skirt is gathered with a drop front apron and flounce hem. It has a 34cm long gathered cut-on-the-cross fabric flounce around hem. Slits at side of skirt form a drop apron at front allowing for expanding waistline. Long white cotton tab for fastening is attached at right of apron. Piping at shoulders, sleeve seams and ruffle. Dress fully lined with cream cotton and hand sewn. The fabric is printed in blue and cream stripes, with a pattern of stylised flora design in browns and greens.



Australia, Oceania c 1825


The sleeves on this dress follow the fashion of the day and are slightly puffed at the top, gathered at the elbows, and relatively tight on the forearms. Throughout the 1830s sleeve size was to increase dramatically.

Slits at side of skirt form a drop apron at front allowing for expanding waistline.



This dress belonged to Mrs Adams whose distant cousin was the original owner and lived to the age of 90. Mrs Adams believes the garment is Australian since that side of the family remained in Newtown, Sydney.

Mrs G.E. Adams sold the garment to the Fashion Group who presented it to the Museum on 04/08/1983.


Credit Line

Gift of the Fashion Group Inc, 1983

Acquisition Date

4 August 1983

Cite this Object


Maternity dress, Australia, c.1825 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 20 February 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Maternity dress, Australia, c.1825 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=20 February 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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