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A CUT ABOVE – garment construction Watch pockets can be found on the waistline or waistband of dresses of the 1840s-1880s, and elsewhere on the dress bodice from the 1880s.
Cartridge pleating of the skirt at its waist is seen from the 1840s-1860s, fading out by the 1870s.
They were not common in women’s dresses until the late 1930s. Machine chain stitch came first, followed by lockstitch. Hand-sewn and machine-sewn construction (as opposed to hand-sewn finishing) coexisted for years – until the 1880s, if not later.
Short, center-back neck zippers – mostly 1930s-1940s. Coil (plastic) zippers – invented in 1940, but not in common use until the early 1960s.
Some still call all overlock stitches “merrow,” but only a 2- and 3-thread overlock is actually a merrow stitch.
The serger has been in use since the 1920s for seam finishing.
Women’s European shoes from 1810-1830 rarely have heels while American-made shoes of that era often do. Though some were seen in the 1970s, they really weren’t popular in North America until the 1990s.
Stiletto heels (tall, very slim) were first seen in Italy in 1955, and with pointed toes in 1957.
The zigzag machine was patented in 1873 by Helen Blanchard, but a model for home use, manufactured by Italian company Necchi, was not available to consumers until 1947.
The first overlock machine (serger) was patented by the Merrow Machine Company in 1889.
They don’t necessarily place a garment in a specific year, but they will help you narrow down the time range. Velcro® was invented in 1948, but not used in clothing much until the 1960s.