This dress is notable as a homemade attempt at fashion: the colors are typical of the period, but the styling a bit naive. The piecing of the lining material is quite resourceful. The length indicates that it would have been used by a girl.
This type of dress was very popular for railroad travel after the Civil War, and was probably worn in the summertime. One wonders if it functioned as a duster; however, it appears to be fairly close-fitting.