|Metal thread embroidery with couched metal. These are all over the skirt of the dress, plus a different motif in the same materials on the bodice.|
|Straight out of the shipping box.|
|Dress, 1916, The Met. This one shares some traits with mine, namely the side swags, the big bow at the back, the loose bodice (here shown is the back of the gown)|
|Dress, 1917-20, The Met - again with the side swags and the loose bodice with sheer straps.|
|Dress by Lucille, 1919, The Met|
|Wedding Gown by Lucile, 1916, OSU|
|Dress, 1915-18, Augusta Auctions|
|Dress, 1921, Wayne State University - this one has quite a few similarities|
|Dress, c. 1916, AntiqueDress.com|
The skirt is gathered at the sides and creates that "butterfly" effect at the back, along with a large bow. It is hand and machine sewn, and some areas are finished nicely while others are left raw. There appears to have been a ruching stitch on the top part of each sleeve, now gone, but the tucks for the underside are still there.
|The back is quite interesting with the swags and the bow, which needs tacking back into position.|
I have a restoration plan for this dress. When I received it, there was quite a lot of staining around the upper part of the bodice, some of which lead to holes and tears in the silk. There was also the usual underarm damage and a few rust spots here and there. The gown certainly isn't flawless, but on the scale of disintegration of antique clothes, this one isn't very far gone. It can be conserved without endless tedious work, so conserve it I shall. Ultimately, of course, I hope to wear this dress for a special occasion or at least a photo shoot.
|The staining ran horizontally across the front of the bodice. It hardened the silk and caused the hole and cracking along the edge. This appears to have rinsed out so at least it won't continue to deteriorate.|
My next step is to stabilize the holes and shattered bits with conservation mesh. Then I will create a "suspension system" that will allow the gown to be worn without stressing the chiffon shoulders. Lastly I will put protection materials in the underarms, replace a few missing beads, and tack any fallen bits back to where they should be.