Saturday, January 12, 2019

Lingerie Show!

Today, just before I left the Patterson House to go home, I decided to open one more box.  This box had several outfits on top, but I went straight for the bottom....and look what I found!

A bra?!
Cup size 0,   Ribbons for straps.  And no elastic, but heavier fabric in the back.

And next.....
                       A corset!

A pretty little thing! figuring a couple of inches at the laces, it was made for a 21 or 22" waist.
It is in very good shape and had certainly been used.

The label

The corset was made from 2 1/4 " ribbon.
 And then, of course,
The corset cover, in excellent condition.
The hoop petticoat comes next!

It comes in 2 sections that are hooked together.  Some of the twill is in bad shape so will have to conserve it a bit to show enough how it looks when fully opened.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Children's clothes

Today I had plenty of children's clothes to archive.  The 2nd generation of the Patterson House had 3 little girls so we have baby gowns, Christening dresses, and Toddler dresses.

These are a couple of my favorites:

A Baby Bib

This is a Edwardian Toddler's dress.  It must have been so cute on the girls.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Wedding Dresses, etc.

First of all, unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures.  It was after our meeting and we didn't have a lot of time to look at every thing, and everyone has a camera on their phone and not one of us thought of taking pictures.

The whole idea was to see what we had in the boxes marked "Wedding Dresses".  There were 4 or 5 wedding dresses.  I was trying to get everything out and back together because people wanted to see but had to leave.  So from memory, there is one from the late 1950s, made of heavy bridal satin, most likely silk satin, plain, no decoration but a very long train.  The train was rather dirty and really should be cleaned but we will have to look more closely at the stability to see if that could happen.

Then there was a WONDERFUL 1920s beaded calf-length dress in an ecru. It is in sheer ecru or nude fabric with brownish beads in 2 lines from back bottom hem to front hem.  Then around the hem is heavy beading.  This is where my memory is getting them mixed up, so bear with me until we get back to them and take pictures.  I think...this one had an accordian pleated under skirt that went to the calf, the beaded section stopped about a foot higher.

And there was a early 1900s off white dress with high neck and heavy lace.  It has a lot of shattering problems so would probably only be displayed flat.

Then another beaded dress, off white and sort of 1920s-30s  shift type with a piece of long chiffon sewn into the side seam about a foot above the calf-length hem.  The chiffon goes from the side seam and up the back to the opposite shoulder and down the front.  Looks very dramatic!

Sorry about this tease, but we will get back to the details and pictures.

Today, I was organizing boxes and making sure my archiving is correct and the correct items are in the correct boxes.  I'm up to 14 boxes....Those new boxes are being filled quickly. 

So, then I worked on some children's clothes.  They would be from around Titanic period.  We have christening gowns and toddler dresses mostly.  They are stained with a bit of mildew and may end up being washed before being exhibited.  I am doing a quickey job of describing them on their forms, but I figure I can go into more detail when we check them in the Fall.

I will post the pictures of the children's clothes tomorrow.  I won't be working on the archives tomorrow, so Thursday will be the next time we hope for treasures!  I have one more box on one side of the closet to take down.  Then I will be cleaning that shelf, lining it with heavy aluminum foil and start stacking the boxes I have been working on.  There are about 6-7 more boxes on the other side to open and reveal!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Archival Boxes

Today, several of us got together for a little brainstorming on events and things we need to do for 2019.  A very goos meeting and some exciting things may happen.

Because we ran out of archival boxes, the last few times I have been archiving I had to use the tops as well as bottoms to store the items as I archived them.  Then the boxes I had ordered arrived and so today, while we were doing our meeting I was moving items in the box tops and placing them in new boxes.  So now all boxes have lids. 

Then I had a bit of time to start archiving some new things.  I came across quite a few children's outfits.  They are in really good shape except for the staining.  I think some cleaning would really help them.  Some day we should do a display of baby clothes!

Monday will be our docent meeting and I plan to open the wedding boxes and see what we have.  I know there are at least 3, let's see if they are in good enough shape to exhibit!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!!

Wishing you all a very happy 2019.  The new year looks like it is going to be a very busy one for me.

 I am hoping I will be finishing the textile archive by the end of March.  Meanwhile, I hope to put a display together of the wedding dresses that belong to the Patterson House.  Hopefully it will be up around the first of May.  There may be a trip to Spain in the latter part of Spain and a few days in Arizona in July-August.  Then it will be time to take down the wedding dresses.

Somewhere in there I would like to start a reproduction of the dress we have archived, the 1900s lt pink/mauve dress.  The hardest thing about making an reproduction is finding the fabric....which usually you can't because they don't make that fabric anymore.  So far these are possibilities:

This would be for the netting on the bodice.  It look very close to the original

And for the light pink, a dupioni silk.  

I probably won't be using any of these but there will be a hunt at the fabric stores.

So, a lot to look forward too!  

Today I dropped off 6 of the boxes at the Patterson House.  I had put the acid-free boxes together which was easy but takes room and time.  I added a couple of handle pulls from tape to each one because otherwise it is hard to open the box.  I have 3 more to take over to the house.  5 of the 9 are the extra long boxes, 40 inches.  Hopefully that will save folding some of the garments.

I will have more for you after Jan 3rd when I plan to add archive tags and box the dresses that are temporarily in box lids, waiting for their new boxes.

Embroidery Kit!

This is a little kit for holding your embroidery threads. 

Each skein of embroidery is slipped down a slot and sticks up to show at the end.

And each thread color is labeled with its number and maker.  Not different from now.

Coats and Clark is still around!  I looked up a couple of the brands I didn't know and found these:

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

That Marjorie! She seems like a real Character!

I don't know Marjorie really well, but she seems to be a real "spark" in the family tree!  She is the one that was in the Women's Armed Forces during WWII.  And I showed you her lavender and black ballgown.  This we found next, a little risque compared to the Victorian items we have found!  I wonder what Grandma Clara would have said!!!

The closest thing I could think of to describe it is "a teddy".  They may have had another name for it back when (1930s-1945?).  The fabric feels like it may be a synthetic.  It feels so light and soft!  Remember, the ballgown was Celanese rayon.

The "teddy has spaghetti straps, a zig-zag "Peter Pan" hem and a little skinny strap from the center hem to hooks in the center back to create a "crotch".  Very daring!

Teddy (garment)

teddy, also called
camiknicker, is a garment which covers the torso and crotch in the one garment. It is a similar style of garment to a one-piece swimsuit or bodysuit, but is typically looser and more sheer. The garment is put on by stepping into the leg holes and pulling the garment up to cover the torso. It may cover the whole of the torso or partially and may also cover the arms. They may open at the crotch for visits to the toilet, without the need to remove all clothing. As an undergarment, it combines the functions of a camisole and panties, and may be preferred to avoid a visible panty line. It is also found as lingerie.

The hem has a touch of wear but otherwise the garment is in very good shape.

We have a lot of paperwork left from Marjorie, which we will be going through when we are done with the textiles.  Then we will be able to learn more of Marjorie's personality.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Christmas Eve!   And I think back to some of the most memorable ones.... Trying to go to sleep but so excited! 
The year of monsoon rains when a bunch of areas were flooding.  Daddy was in the garage making doll beds, Mother was sewing doll clothes.  I kept redoing the tinsle so it was looking just right.

The year my Dad and I took blankets, loads of food and a case of oranges to a hut in a field where a Mexican family were staying when their car broke down and couldn't get back to Mexico at the end of the season.  I swear it was like visiting the Holy Family in the stable.  It was very special to be able to give in a situation like that.

Then there was the Christmas Eve that I stayed home to watch over my siblings while parents went to Midnight Mass.  The Hungarian Revolution was going on as I watched on TV.  Very moving, people fighting against bad government, willing to give up their lives for freedom.

The year my now-husband and I went up to Mt. Hamilton to play in the snow.  Skating on a iced pond and falling into his arms.  Very romantic, just like in a book.

And the Eve that my now-husband proposed. That was a wonderful Christmas Eve. 

Our first Christmas, when my husband and I set off on Christmas Eve to find a tree.  We ended up with a Charlie Brown tree and we made our ornaments.

The Christmas Eve that we spent putting a big train set together while watching "The Birds" with a storm outside.  Kind of freaked us out, the scene in the house with all the birds!  We had a hard time sleeping and it wasn't because of Santa...

Heading up to Holy Names College for Midnight Mass with my daughters, shaking jingle bells as we passed their friends houses, hoping they would think it was raindeers!

All the Christmas Eves' looking forward to the grandkids opening their presents!

Anyhow, looking forward to Christmas Day, again!

The boxes came!

I ordered a bunch of acid free boxes for the Patterson House.  They were supposed to come on 12/26, but they came today!

I was at a standstill with the archive because as I was opening the boxes I found that some of the boxes had to many items in most of them. There were no more boxes available so I ordered more, but it takes several weeks to get them to me.  In the mean time, I used the tops and bottoms so doubled the number but non of them had lids.  Now we can solve that problem!

The house is closed though for Christmas and New Years. 

At the start of the new year I will be opening more boxes, The ones listed as "wedding dresses".  They haven't been seen since they were boxed up over 10 years ago.  I then plan on taking all kinds of measurements so I can pad out dress forms to display them, at least the ones in good enough shape to show.  The caterer at Ardenwood Farm will be presenting a wedding show in the spring and I am hoping to show our wedding dresses as addition.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

This was LITERALLY found in a treasure chest!

Well.... it was found in a chest, and it is a treasure.

This is a black silk bodice in good shape except the upper sleeves which are totally shattering.
The neckline has tapes as decoration and they have black dots sewn on them.

Below the neckline is a beautiful black lace in perfect shape.  Across the bustline there is a decoration of ribbon edged with the tape and it is held by 2 black buttons with a tiny dot in the center.
You can barely see the decoration (on the right in the photo) of a row of double stitched pleats in a balero-type look.
This picture is showing how bad the sleeves at the shoulders is totally shredding.  The rest of this bodice is in very good shape.  

The lining is black polished cotton in very good condition.  The bodice is fully boned.

This bodice I think could be conserved enough to be shown on display with the idea of showing how the bodice is put together.  We shall see.

Friday, December 21, 2018

I wonder if Clara bought this on one of her trips?

Here is another find!  This could be a table covering,  a piano scarf?  It looks like it is from the Middle East somewhere.  It sort of looks like something to sell to tourists....  Clara did quite a bit of travel in the Middle East so my bet is that it was hers.

It is hard to tell which side is up.  

In every corner there is this 3-domed building with minarets in the background .  Anyone know what building this is?  Not the Taj Mahl, we checked.
It also has men on horses wearing turbans.  and the rest are designs.

It was well loved, there is a lot of wear.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

An Opera Cloak!

We opened a box and you can't believe all the pieces that were in there.  I have ordered more boxes so they won't have to be squished when we pack them away.  By the time we put tissue in the folds the garments puff up quite a bit so there is no way we could or should get everything that came out of the box, back in it.

The 2 pink striped garden dresses and the 1900 mauve and ecru dress came out first.  Then this Opera Cape was next.  Of course, it is black, which is so hard to see in photos.

There is a rolled collar.  It has 3 rows of double pleats around it.

This is a view that really shows the bottom of the cloak.  Notice the wide tuck that is a bit gathered.  That tuck and gathering is what creates the Hobble-look on this piece.  The gathering make the lower section less wide than the upper section.  Then, 3 rows of double pleats, to match the ones on the neckline, are added to the bottom section. 

This is a full length view and you can see the Hobble was just slight but a start!

A view of the lining.

On this piece the only wear seems to be at the bottom section and the hem edge, especially in the front.
By the time we got to this piece we didn't have a lot of time to really describe it.  This one we will be visiting again.  And it is stable enough to eventually go on exhibit.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018


We have quite a number of napkins in our collection.  A couple of them that I like best are:

Every corner has embroidery and cut work.

These I hadn't pack yet so you get to see them!

A close up of one of the corners.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

A look back at our Fall tea, "Clara's Travels"

These pictures were taken by a friend, Kari.  It brought back wonderful memories from our tea:

Carol Pike was our great Tea Chairwoman!

This gentleman and the lady in the next picture were made from paper by Carol Pike!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Now Here is Something Special!

As we go through these clothes we have a tendency to put a story with them....a story we just dream up.  Rarely do we have information of any kind on these garments.

This one, I just imagine, is Clara's wedding dress when she married her second husband.  She married Reverend William Layson on January 1, 1900.  The style would fit that time.  And why else would she save it?  Hummm, I wonder if there is a wedding picture laying around in the closet...  Anyhow, I love this dress.

This view shows the whole dress but the color is off,  The next picture is better for the colors.

Isn't she just beautiful!

Unfortunately, the skirt is shattering a lot.  

A close up on the skirt decoration.

There are several rosettes like this one.
The back is gathered but no bustle and not trained.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Marjorie and her ball gown!

Marjorie seems like quite a character.  She has left us some interesting clothes.  Remember, she is 20 in 1935, so she has a lot to experience!

The next dress we pulled out of the box:
The Ballgown!

The back

The tag

The Front
We have no date for this dress, so if you have an idea, let me know.

The dress is in very stable condition, but also very stained, mostly mildew, I think.  But it has no smell.  The fabric is like a satin taffeta, but I am not sure.  It is full length and has a metal side zipper. The colors are light lavender and black.  I'm thinking, about 1935? But it would really fit in one of those WWII movies.