Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Amazing Antique Dress

Dear neighbor Hunter gave Julia a dress, and not just any dress! This is an antique lace tea dress given to her by a friend. The friend hoped that Hunter could "cannibalize" the dress, removing the lace trim and panels, and using the lace in some of Hunter's Very Lovely christening gowns that she makes by hand.
Well, Hunter could never bring herself to cut out the lace, bless her, and I know I couldn't have done so either! Who could rip apart something this old and beautiful?
The dress is really tiny, particularly in the waist. Julia could only barely get it on, and I very carefully buttoned the three buttons at the waist. But honestly, I'm not sure she'll be able to wear it next week!
Look at the layers of tucks!
I love the bare feet with the thin white cotton. It reminds me of Tasha Tudor.
There's a little repair to be done on one spot, as you see. I'm looking forward to mending it a bit, and perhaps I could adjust the buttons at the waist or otherwise amend it gently, so Julia could wear it at least once! First though, we need to get her a long white slip. I'm sure there was a day when all girls owned an assortment of such slips, but she doesn't. She tried it on with another dress underneath, which might also have contributed to its snugness.


  1. What a treasure! Lovely, lacy, old things are the best.

  2. Aha! I knew it would look gorgeous on her!

  3. I have several dresses like this, but no one has been able to wear them because they're so small! Were there no average-sized women in the 1800's? I saw Charlotte Bronte's shoes once and couldn't believe how small they were. They were child size, no kidding.

    You'll have to get a formal portrait made of her wearing the dress. It's a keepsake.


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