This three-piece ensemble consists of a bodice, a skirt, and a jacket. The boned bodice features a standing collar, darts, and a basque waist. The full sleeves have folded cuffs and there is a plaid insert in the center front of the bodice as well as a bodice tail at the center back. The skirt has a built-in bustle and box and knife pleats at the hem. The jacket also features knife pleats at the collar and the cuffs as well as ruffles. It also has darts and two columns of crocheted buttons down the center front. Features that are indicative of the 1870s are the built-in bustle, the boned bodice, the pleating, and the standing collar. This ensemble was created by Miss F. McClelland Robes of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Miss F. McClelland Robes Francis McClelland, born March 1849, was a dressmaker in Grand Rapids, Michigan who was first listed in the City Directory 1876 and continued in the trade for about 44 years until December 2, 1919, also the year of her death. She is listed as the head of household in the 1900 census and was living with a boarder and two domestics in Grand Rapids. She was renting her home as a single woman in 1900. She arrived as an immigrant from Ireland in 1874 and was living with two other women who also immigrated in the same year. One of these women is listed as a housekeeper and the other is listed as a dressmaker. Her birthplace is England as is her mother’s birthplace; her father came from Ireland. She is listed as a modiste, meaning she was a fashionable dressmaker or milliner. She opened her downtown shop soon after immigrating at age 25. Francis McClelland, listed her business as Miss F. McClelland Robes labeled the garments she created and there are several pieces in the Collections of the Grand Rapids Public Museum. She is buried in Oakhill Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan.