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Mary Lincoln’s purple velvet skirt and daytime bodice are believed to have been made by African American dressmaker Elizabeth Keckly. The first lady wore the gown during the Washington winter social season in 1861–62. Both pieces are piped with white satin, and the bodice is trimmed with mother-of pearl buttons. An evening bodice was included with the ensemble. The lace collar is of the period, but not original to the dress. After Abraham Lincoln’s death, Mary went into mourning and remained…

Victorian Dress - Mary Lincoln’s purple velvet skirt and daytime bodice are believed to have been made by African American dressmaker Elizabeth Keckly. The first lady wore the gown during the Washington winter social season in

Mary Lincoln's purple dress.  Smithsonian American History Museum.  Believed to have been designed by Elizabeth Keckly, an African-American slave turned dressmaker for Mrs. Lincoln.  Fascinating story about Ms Keckly at the link to this dress.  This dress has 2 bodices, a daytime bodice, seen here, and an evening bodice seen in the next picture.

The Story of Elizabeth Keckley, Former-Slave-Turned-Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker

Mary Todd Lincoln’s purple velvet skirt and daytime bodice, believed to have been made by African-American dressmaker Elizabeth Keckley. The first lady wore the gown during the Washington winter social season in (National Museum of American History)

Mary Todd Lincoln | Flickr - Photo Sharing!   A sketch at the Smithsonian American History Museum of a possible design by Elizabeth Keckly for Mary Todd Lincoln's evening bodice to wear with the purple skirt she designed for Mrs Lincoln.

An Illustration I took a photo of Mary Lincoln at The National Museum of American History in Washington DC.

Even in mourning Mary Lincoln decorated her bonnet with flowers. This picture was taken in 1862 or 1863, and the white blossoms may symbolize the death of a child--her son Willie.

Even in mourning Mary Lincoln decorated her bonnet with flowers. This picture was taken in 1862 or and the white blossoms may symbolize the death of a child--her son Willie.

Mary Lincoln’s Silk Dress c. 1860

A Polly gown! Lincoln wore it! Mary Lincoln wore this as an evening dress in and then later that century the original evening bodice (it’s the standard century two pieces) was replaced by the daytime bodice made from extra skirt fabric.

Wedding dress and mantle, 1879.  Ensemble made by St. Paul dressmaker Mrs. A. Worley.  One-piece purple velvet & satin dress has long cuirass bodice, ruched satin center front panel and flounced & draped velvet overskirt with slight train. Matching velvet dolman (mantle) is of close-fitting cape construction with small sleeves attached through side front. Ornamented with satin bows and trimmed with fur & chenille fringe at hem. Sleeves ornamented with satin bows and hemmed with fur.

Wedding dress and mantle, Ensemble made by St. Matching velvet dolman Ornamented with satin bows and trimmed with fur and chenille fringe at the hem. The sleeves are ornamented with satin bows and hemmed with fur.

Dress, American, circa 1868. Alpaca, velvet ribbon, and covered buttons, silk tassels, cotton linen inner bodice, glazed cotton lining, and metal closure. Skirt fastened at left front with most of fullness in inverted box pleats in back, longer in back for train. Trimmed around neck, sleeves, waist, and bottom of skirt with bands of pinkish-red velvet ribbon. Purple silk tassels on sleeves, front, and waistband. Via Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Vintage Fashion: A unique yellow day dress with a full skirt, bands of red velvet ribbon and purple tassels. Circa Photo Credit: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

June 2, 1886: President Grover Cleveland marries Frances Folsom in a White House ceremony. Frances Cleveland wore this silk evening gown with fur-edged hem and black-satin-and-jet trim, made by Baltimore dressmaker Lottie Barton, during her husband’s second administration.

Frances Cleveland’s Evening Gown. Frances Cleveland wore this silk evening gown with fur-edged hem and black-satin-and-jet trim during her husband’s second administration. It was made by Baltimore dressmaker Lottie Barton.

Cases including the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets, Top Hat and Greatcoat from the night of the assassination. Items now on display as part of “Silent Witnesses” at the Ford’s Theatre Center for Education and Leadership. Photo by Gary Erskine.

Cases including the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets, Top Hat and Greatcoat from the night of the assassination. Items now on display as part of “Silent Witnesses” at the Ford’s Theatre Center for Education and Leadership. Photo by Gary Erskine.

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