Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Mid 19th Century Child's dress

I have been going thru my treasure boxes trying to pick some of my favorite early print gowns for a new vingette....and I just am having a horrible time trying to decide 'who' will be on display! Early prints are my absolute FAVORITES!! I just got this little dress~ isn't it darling??? I have my fair share of whites, so I'm always excited to add some color to the collection. This dress is printed on a thick wool blend, in little boteh, or paisley designs on a gorgeous blue ground.
Is full of wonderful details, and has lots of surprises to share! Its all hand stitched, and looking at the outer fabric one would think the wearer would come from quite a wealthy family. Indeed I'm sure they did....but as we look further, one realizes just how precious any textiles were in early America (above photo detail of the gauging& piping at the waist)
The long sleeves are set off by wonderful blue ribbon & china button rosettes, with a single band of blue ribbon at the elbow, and a double band of this really great woven ribbon at the cuffs. They actually 'are' the cuffs! These fit very well with the color of the gown, and would have been a very easy way to lengthen the sleeves as the child grew. They are original, sewn in the same thread as the rest of the gown.
Here is a closer view of the little ribbon rosette I mentioned earlier~ red & white china buttons sewn with blue threads~ quite patriotic!!
And looking inside....SURPRISE! This is the inside of the waistband as shown in the second picture. The gauging has been fulled out with a narrow strip of this awsome indigo resist print~ there's little shamrocks, dots and double rings
This photo is the inside of the back shoulder~ you can see the back opening has been faced with a glazed blue polished cotton, still quite crisp, the hand hammered brass eyes, and the bodice lining~ a white homespun. If you look a little closer, the sleeves are also lined in the glazed blue cotton, but the shoulders have been lined in a very finely woven blue & brown homespun plaid.
The hem is faced in a coarse weave heavy linen with raw pinked top edge. Who would think this little dress would have sooo much going on? And I wonder if there is another little dress or husswife or pocket out there in the world some where....that has bits of this blue print in its own lining???


Barbara said...

Well, I can see YOU in this dress when you were little. You always did like Paisleys! Too bad our garments don't have the workmanship these days that they did "way back when". I just can't see the things that are being made now lasting as long as this little dress did, especially if they are worn as much as our ancestors wore their things. Did your new "models" arrive?? Can't wait to see them.
LY, Mom

......Thimblefolk.......Barb McNamara said...

Oh Rachael, it's wonderful. Wish I lived closer so I could visit and see all your treasures.

How's that little Pippin doing?