After removing the petticoat, the pin has been removed from the top neckline of the back opening. A thin muslin cover has been stitched over the bottom of the shoulderplate. Just under the shoulder, wadding can be seen packed tightly up underneath it to fill the gap between shoulderplate and kid body. On top of the muslin shoulderplate covering, the top of the linen chemise can be seen.
There are no back closings on the gown at all, it was originally pin'd closed. The blued steel pin in the apron waistband also passes through the bottom of the bodice, so it has to come off next....only it doesnt want to come out. Bluing was a technique (still used today) used to treat bare steel to make it more rust resistant. One must be very careful when removing pins from early textiles, as the rust will grow out into the fibers, and as you try and pull out the pin, you can tear a huge hole in the fabric. I was not able to actually lay my eyes on where the pin was stuck, so gently wiggled it up and down the weeniest little bit, and then twisted it gently to pop it loose.
The top fullness of the apron is gathered onto the waistband...there are little skye blue puffs of stitching remaining in the waistband.... somewhat puzzling at this point.....
The waist band is just long enough to reach fully round the waist, there is no extra to tie into a bow.
The only stitching I can find on the back, other than the waistband and gathering, is tiny whip stitches right at the hem corners. The sides are turned, but not stitched down, and the hem is turned up....but is a raw edge. ::Enter more puzzlement here ::
As I am examining these three little puffs to the apron edge....I realize they arent lint, but actual stitches....and then as I get out my magnifiers, I can see a zig zag of dots all way round the apron front, these are original stitch holes.
Now long gone, (most likely from the dye used to color the wool thread), one can see that the sides and hem of the apron were stitched down from the front with a decorative edging of blue wool
The same blue wool as these last little bits still in the waistband.
The blue stitches, combined with her blue petticoat, tell me dolly most likely had another dress, a pretty blue print probably, in her original wardrobe.
Inside the waistband, showing detail of side gathers.
The Lady's Repository Museum is a privately owned museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and study of unique early American fashions of both women and children, the later being a specialty.
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