Saturday, March 2, 2019

A bit of every thing.

 This group of items was all over the place as far as eras go.
A corset cover - as good as new!

Very pretty crochet lace!
And then there was this....always something interesting.  This is a petticoat of a mesh like fabric, not stiff but kind of heavy.

Different, and in very good shape.
Here are the 2 bras,  the white one, cup 0...

But the pastel one a little larger, but NO support.

Then there is the 2 piece polka-dot dress, around 1900.
The bodice

The cuff detail

The skirt 

And tucks around the hem.
Ahh! another of my favorites! A lingerie dress, 1905.  Lots of different laces, and 3 layers of sleeves!
The front

The back.  The neck was to small to button on this modern dress form.  The waist is 22".

The skirt.  I didn't get a photo of it on the dress form.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Bustle and hoops anyone?

This was an interesting find.  It may be conserved to be able to display it.  Currently the straps are very brittle and breaking.

Hoops and Bustles came in all kinds of shapes, making them very interesting to study.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

New Era!

These items were probably Marjorie's.  I thinking from possibly the 1930s.

It has a tiny pin stripe and manly cut.  The skirt is straight and long with buttons for decoration.  This suit is in good condition except for a few insect holes.


Jacket lining.

Skirt front

Skirt back

An interesting cape.

This cape is velvet with a strip of some kind of long fur.  I certainly have no expert on fur and would not even try to guess.  Some of the fur is missing near the bottom on one side.

Turned inside out.  Some of the lining shows wear.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


Quilts from about 1860 according to the donor:
This quilt is very colorful but the silk pieces are shattering.

 I thought it was interesting that there were (usually cotton) pieces under the shattered silk pieces.

The next quilt is also from 1860s, a wedding ring pattern:

This shows a piece of damaged area.

 What is under this backing, which is in very good shape?

Another crazy quilt!

Some of the silk and velvet pieces have problems.

The next textile is a table throw made in Italy.  Possibly Clara bought this on one of her trips.  Some of the images on it made us first think it might have been from Turkey or someplace like that.

It is in very good shape except for a stain from something sitting on it, right near the center.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

In the meantime....back to the archives!

So, where I left off with the archives was in January 2019 when I started making a replica of Clara's dress.

At that time these were the boxes I needed to go through before I started opening the Wedding Dress boxes.

The box I opened that morning held a surprise!  Clara's cape made by The House of Worth, the famous fashion house in Paris.  They were the place to go to if you were a debutante or of wealth and attended lots of balls. It was like Dior at the time.

The outside

The inside
 And blessedly there is the story attached to it!

Isn't that just wonderful!  

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Finished the last hook and eye and the project is completed!

What do you think?  The belt was the hardest part!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

OK, I'm back - the dress is about finished.

So to review, here is the bodice I am trying to "reproduce" as well as I can with modern materials.

The original

And this is where I left off updating you.  I was fitting the lining for the bodice.

Then I dyed the lining with coffee and I cut out the netting that had vertical tucks about every inch.  Those tucks took a whole morning to do.

Next I added the "vest". 

That weekend was dedicated to attaching lace.

Once I put on the vest I realized The tucks on the netting didn't go all the way to the waist.  I was trying to figure out how the "puffyness" in the bodice was created.  Well, taking out the tucks from waist to bustline, then pulling on the tuck threads to make them gather a bit, created that puff.
Sorry, didn't take a picture of that, you will have to see it later.

Sleeves next:

These sleeves consist of 2 pieces that overlap and have tails that overlap each other.  I really couldn't see how they were put together or how they were cut out because the original is very fragile.  The best I could do....

At this point, the lower sleeves needed to be created.  That was a whole trip.  Once I finished them I realized I hadn't dyed lining fabric for the sleeves......but only after I had completely made the lower sleeves.  So that was sad, having to pick out all the stitching, dye the lining and redo.

So while I was waiting for the sleeve lining to dye, I started working on the collar.  Collars are not my strong point. They are usually to loose, don't stand up straight, too high, too low...   This time it did turn out pretty good.  Again getting that puffy look.... vertical tucks and 3 rows of horizontal tucks, then pulling their threads so they gather a bit!  I felt so smart when I figured that puff thing out. So at that point I basted the collar on.

So, back to putting the lower sleeves back together again.  I'm only telling you this because some people think pulling out stitches is utter failure.  

So, now back to the upper sleeves.  The way these sleeves go together the upper and lower have to be attached to the dress at the same time.

I spent the weekend sewing on the lace for the sleeves.

Basting is my friend...repeat 10 times.  

All anxious to get those sleeves done I didn't look at the picture when I just pinned the sleeves before putting on the lace.  If I would have paid attention I would have noticed the sleeves are heading backwards!  

No, I sewed them on and THEN looked.  Very evident.  Out comes the seam ripper.

But all is well, we have the sleeves on, the arms are going forward!

The collar is fully attached. 

And this is where we are at... 

And what need to be finished?

1.  See the rosettes at the center front on the skirt.  They need lavender velvet covered buttons in the center.

2.  Rosettes are needed at both shoulders.

3.  And the biggie....the belt.  It is quite complicated.