Sunday, October 13, 2013

1820 to 1920

So I finally remembered to bring a camera to work!  And I had plenty of time left to take pictures of the accessions upstairs as well as the exhibit that I set up.  So without anything more, please do enjoy (a lot of) pictures!

This is the exhibit that I set up.  The other half is on the kickback on the left that I didn't get a picture of. :c

 This dress was originally worn by an eminent Oak Parker.  It is bright saffron yellow (the picture really doesn't do the color justice) satin with what appears to be an embroidered cotton organdy skirt.

I apologize for the wigs.  They are not mine...
Silk jacquard from the late 60's, with a gorgeous chantilly lace shawland parasol as well as a quilted wool hood.
And then.... the 20s dresses!
This cutie is very thin silk taffeta.  It seems to be not very well constructed, and is shaped only with bust darts.  But isn't the skirt treatment just dreamy?

All of the 20s dresses I examined had this kind of side closure.
There was an interesting attached underpetticoat of sheer pink silk over a layer of satin with insertion lace.
 And this.... My reason d'etre!  I love it so, so much!  I am seriously considering replicating it when I have the time and inclination.  Probably late 1910s-early 1920s, judging by the length.  Pink silk taffeta (the true color shows in the lower pictures.)

The closure amuses me greatly.  Hook, snap, hook, snap, hook, snap....
There was this... Whatever it is...
Wow, can you imagine the sort of woman who would wear this?  It's more reddish in real life, and it's slinky silk charmeuse!

And here are my to 'babies' side by side (I mean to recreate one of them at some point):

Nice to know that not even the original cast was exempt from horrid looking inside seams.
This dress was an interesting blend of old and new.  The style as obviously new, but a lot of the construction techniques, like the closure above, the piping and the hand overstitched interior seams, have their roots in earlier periods.
Aaaaand then another ridiculously fab 20s dress, just for the heck of it.
And because I know that I have some people following this blog who sew for children, so here is an original 60's infant's dress of plaid silk taffeta and let me tell you, it is the cutest thing that I have ever seen!


All lined in polished cotton, of course.
In my sewing news:  I finished a pair of flannel drawers and made a big fringed shawl and got lots of fabric for new underclothes and coutil for a new corset.  Since I have Dollinger farms next week I'll post some pics!


  1. You have such a cool job F :). My job was housecleaning for a friend, and I work partly for my dad (book-keeping, cabling, computer related stuff. He has a comp business). I would love to work with extant garments though, if I can't work in a bakery :).
    My favorite is that plaid baby's adorable :D. i'm hoping my mom will have a baby would be so fun to sew for a little girl :).
    I love all the ribbonwork found on '20's grandma has a book that has a court dress.....lots of lace and ribbonwork. love. My favorite of the ones you posted are the ones you like too :). I can't decide which of the two I like best tho :P.
    I am looking forward to seeing your completed sewing projects and hearing about the reenactment. I love everything you make. What pattern are you using for the corset?

    1. Yeah, I got super lucky with this job. I just sit in the attic and go through racks and racks of clothes and write down which ones need repair and occasionally give a tour or two. It's super rad!
      Sigh... One day I will find the time to make a 20s dress. I'm pretty near swamped at the moment, especially with a little ball I'm planning in June, but one day! I just saw a few and found a yen to share them.
      Gnaw, thank you! I think I'm going to use the pattern Kay Gnagey made for simplicity since I picked it up on sale. I'll make sure to fit it extra well, though, I don't want to mess it up on nice coutil fabric!