From Hot Corn: Life Scenes in New York Illustrated, Solon Robinson, 1854:
"One of her dresses, with a tuck,—tucks are fashionable in these days—was soon made to fit Sally." (page 40)
"With fingers weary and work; With eyelids heavy and red; A woman sat in unwomanly rags; Plying her needle and thread." (page 135)
CHAPTER VIII, Athalia the Sewing Girl
"Athalia wore not unwomanly rags at the period when I shall commence her history. She was clad in the garb of a country girl, just arrived in the city, in the full expectation that fortune awaited her, just as soon as she could learn the trade of a dress-maker...She was the life of the shop...
"Athalia was sixteen—sweet sixteen in face and mind. What a bright blue eye, what soft brown hair, what wit, and oh, what a voice in song! and such a heart, 'twas tuned for others' woes, and not her own...
"Oh, how she worked one whole year to learn her dress-maker's trade, without one cent of compensation. Such is the law. The law of custom with milliners' apprentices.
"Mrs. Morgan was one of Athalia's lady 'patrons.' Haughtily proud, yet not like some of her class, positively dishonest, cruelly dishonest. She wanted the labor of the poor sewing girl, because she posessed great taste, and could dress her daughters better and what was still more, though so little practised by the rich, cheaper than she could get their dresses at a 'regular establishment.' That was just what the daughters disliked. They knew that none of their acquaintances wore such neat-fitting dresses, but when the question was put, 'Where did you get them made?' they could not answer, 'Oh, we always get everything at Madama Chalombeau's fashionable establishment in Broadway.'"
"...little straw hat and black mantilla..." (page 159)
"She had slipped on a wrapper, and slipped off the night-cap. What is there in a night-cap, or night-gown, that a lady should be ashamed to be seen in it?" (page 175)