Shades of Miss Havisham

The post is going to be short and sweet this week.  I had a lot going on, and here it is Thursday already, and no post!  At least I had the idea for it, and took the pictures, so you will not suffer too much.

We have often told you of our propensity to rescue things.  Someone has to do it, as no one else wants these items, and they are too lovely to let go by the wayside.  One day while digging in the bins, we came upon the following fashions.  All of them were in pretty bad shape, as it looked like someone had hacked away at them to make something else.  I can’t think that they used enough of it to bother with the damage they did, but it leaves me free to try and make things out of them with no guilt.  Most of them will be dolly clothes, but I wanted to share the garments before I too took after them with scissors.  These lovely clothes remind me strongly of Miss Havisham and her old wedding dress.

First up, and most glorious, is this charming late Victorian dress:

It consists of a dainty overdress of multiple types of lace over a satin charmeuse in soft ivory.  I think it was full length, but it might have been more ankle length.  It’s hard to tell with a good half of the dress missing.  I laid it out as best as I could, so you could get the general idea.  The details on this gown are amazing.  Just look at the center bodice and all the different types of lace used:

Even the sash on the back had amazing tassels on the end.  There is still one in place:

There was even a small woven area and tiny tassels on the sleeve and mid bodice.  You can see this detail on the bodice in the center of the first closeup picture.  The lace is all machine-made, but much of the dress is hand sewn.  There would have been access to a machine at this time, but it might have just been hard to sew all that lace on a machine.  I hope this dress went someplace really special and gave the owner many happy memories!

Next up is a dress from the 1910s or so:

This one definitely would have been shorter.  There is only one sleeve, and that was loose, but I laid it out with it back in place, so you could see how cute the sleeve was.  This one would have had an underdress, as well as some foundation garments, so not as racy as it looks!  Super lightweight cotton would be just right for a grand glorious summer picnic!

Here we have another one from the teens, I think:

I’ve been trying to figure out if this was a corset cover, or an outer blouse that went over other undergarments.  The sleeves seem wrong for outerwear.  It is charming, and this is in one piece and will remain so.  As far as vintage fashion goes, this is highly wearable, if you are a size 6 or so.

Here we have an incredible hand-crocheted vintage collar:

I have never seen one this long.  I am guessing it was made to tie, or be pinned in the front.  It’s a traditional pineapple crochet pattern, and probably dates more to the ’30s or ’40s.  These hand-crocheted cotton pieces are strong and usually in super condition.  This one is, and is another highly wearable piece.

Last up is this charming flapper dress from the early ’20s:

Why someone felt the need to hack off that upper bodice is beyond me.  It breaks my heart, as this one is sized quite a bit larger, and I might have been able to wear it in a pinch.  As it is, I am trying to decide if the appliquéd poppies on cotton voile would make a skirt with the addition of an underskirt and removal of the bodice remains.  Ah well, a project for another day, although winter is coming!

Hope you enjoyed this little side trip into fashion.  Wish me luck in actually having the gumption to use scissors on these.  Just take a deep breath and snip, right?  We should be back to our normal snarky selves next week, so pop back in again soon.

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2 Responses to Shades of Miss Havisham

  1. OSS says:

    Oh, so sad! That collar is drool-worthy. Beautiful! I love old lace and crochet work. I think I have a slight doily obsession. lol

    • kathy & deb says:

      You and us both! We obviously love lace, but our doily collections are pretty hefty too. All of those lovely things that women made for their homes.

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