Monday, February 8, 2010

My Victorian Score

I mentioned in a post earlier that I had found a dress and petticoat in an antique store that is dated as having been made in the 1860's. The corded petticoat and 2 piece dress were a steal. I thought it had to be a mistake and picked it up and started carrying it around. Then I thought about it and put it back. It couldn't be real at that price. Then I showed it to one of my friends and they thought I'd be nuts to not get it, so I figured that even as a good replica, it was a great score!

It was probably someone's good visiting  dress, I'm sure. The gown is in almost perfect condition. The outer and inner fabric looks barely worn. Usually the silk linings are shattered from the weight of the garments and the environmental conditions it was stored in. The outer fabric doesn't look faded at all.

If this is about 150 years old, its in great shape - maybe the fact that it was in the desert of New Mexico helped to preserve it. It smells like that good old fashioned trunk-in-the-attic mustiness. Its got the old hook and eyes, boning, and little tiny stitches - all done by hand. Only a die-hard costumer/preservationist would attempt this now. These are the stitches that I try to emulate when I do handwork. But even I, who loves to sit and do handwork cannot replicate these. Ive seen much finer stitches on the nicer garments......but still.......

This dress is way too small to fit even the smallest of my friends, so I had to drape it onto my mannequin the best I could. I thought I would take some photos of the inside, as well, to show how it was made. I'll do this in several posts.

So this was a super fun find for me and a lovely example of good old fashioned everyday dressmaking!

Pardon my poor photography. This camera just flew out of my hands and broke the other day - so I guess its time to upgrade!

I'll post pictures of this turned inside out soon!


Pica Maloria said...

What a totally marvelous find! Very much looking forward to the detail pics.

Elizabeth said...

That is fabulous! The details are amazing!