|1983.31.1a-b; pattern available at link|
- Fringe, as well as the simple construction of the skirt, points to 1860 or earlier.
- Wide, long coat sleeves point to the early 1860s.
- A peplum points toward 1870
Well, I still haven't come upon an image of narrow peplums (pepla?) in the early 1860s to support my diagnosis - if you have some, please do share - but what clinches it for me is that the bodice actually ends in two points and has triple darts. The double-pointed bodice is a fairly limited style, date-wise, and would have been altered even more quickly than the sleeves. And as the rest of the dress appears to be as it was originally made, I allowed that to steer my instinct.
The actual construction techniques are completely normal, nothing much to discuss. The buttons, though, I found interesting. I was under the impression that the kind of fabric-covered buttons we use today - cloth wrapped around a solid form, with a backing and shank fixed on the bottom via some sort of machine - were a much more modern invention, but that's what these are. With metal, obviously, rather than the plastic such buttons are made of today. I'll have to do some research into the button industry.