Friday, October 21, 2011

Edwardian Pink silk with black lace dress

From the seller:

It has the most pretty decoration and detail, including lace, chiffon, gold tassels, gold studs and ribbon.

It was made by A H Hall, Costumier, St Leonards  and the cotton interior bodice, with its large embroidered crosses to the bones, shows the makers name to the inner belt.

The cotton lined skirt is vast, and as you can see, forms a deep train at the back and sides, flounced with the support of the lining hem layers to add body.

A hidden pocket can be found, very, very low in the skirt lining!

As with almost all gowns of this period, it is made in delicate fabrics and there are several small issues but only one serious fault. This is a very dark large mark to the centre back hem, as shown, which you will not remove. Cover it with a large lace bow here, and the biggest problem will be immediately solved!

The gown displays beautifully, if you have enough floor space for the huge sweep of the skirt. If you are petite enough, you could try it on as well! But this gown is too beautiful and delicate to wear.

Small and expected issues for a gown of this era:

* All chiffon parts are showing wear and slight discolouration.

* Some of the individual black lace leaves, that add to the ribbon and gold decorations, are partly gone and can be completely removed. The lace at the cumberbund is also worn and can be removed or replaced. At the sleeve edges, the lace is also fragile. The large lace area's are good.

* The back fastenings are very complex and overlap. The cotton facing to these is very discoloured for some reason. [The bodice cotton lining is fine]. In addition, although the lovely hand made eyes are all in place, the hooks are slightly bent and tarnished, making them a chore to fasten up.

*There is quite a bit of very gentle staining to the exterior silk. Discolouration also to each exterior underarm, with one showing some wear and a little splitting. These cannot be seen as they are covered by the pleated silk caped shoulders.

There are no obvious holes or splitting to the main dress fabric. There are some tiny areas of wear and I have found one spot to the skirt where there are three very small holes close together - lost in the volume of fabric.

The cotton silk hem lining is grubby from sweeping the floor.

Finally, a piece of soft cotton has been hand sewn, in one line, to the lining of the bodice neckline. I have no idea what for, it is doing no harm at all, but can easily be removed.

If you are good at ironing, a gentle pressing would be lovely. Do not hang this dress by the shoulders ever. Hang it by the waist, or better still, box it for storage.

The dress is a perfect fit on my 33" chest and 23" waist mannequin.

From Me:

I think this is a bit later than 1903 -more like the 1910's based on the waistline and over all shape of the bodice. Overall, a very neat looking gown.

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