Saturday, February 3, 2018

Found in a Bag - Yet another 1920s Dress

As many of you already know, my late Mama was a vintage dress hoarder. As an antique dealer, her specialty was vintage clothing and she was a master at restoring difficult pieces. She often hung on to many great pieces that were beyond saving -  squirreling them away to be later used in the restoration of something else. Some pieces ended up as parasol covers, beaded purse linings, or period correct doll clothes.
Others were forgotten about and tucked away in every spare corner and cupboard she could find in her home. When she unexpectedly passed away, my sister and I had to sort through hundreds of boxes. Sometimes, rather than digging through the contents of an entire box, I would follow a hunch and take a box or bag home, sight unseen. I wanted to save some of these discoveries for later.
It has felt special, opening these boxes over 4 years after her passing, savoring the feeling of discovery, and feeling close to her again in some small way.

My most recent excavation brought to light a dusty ziplock bag filled with yellowed tissue paper wrapped around something fabric-like.

Since we had so much fun with the last Found in a Bag post (this is not the first bag, but the 3rd so far!) I had to share this one with you as well.

I give you a 1920s silk evening dress in supple silk satin...

...that has seen better days.

This beauty is full of great details like this black silk ribbon-trimmed neckline.

The once-lovely gold lace is shattering.

A lovely shirred waistline. 

The hem was trimmed in matching gold lace after it was hemmed. 

The lapped closure was finished with black snaps.

I didn't dare iron or steam it - I might kill it!
The inside, finished with French seams and a not-so-perfect rolled hem.

The straps are edged with gold cord and trimmed at the front with silk rosettes.

The lace tacked in place on the interior.

The upper interior.

She's a sad little beauty, isn't she?


  1. Gorgeous. What a lovely find. What will you do with it?

    Drusilla Barron

  2. My, that's pretty! From the horizontal lines, as well as the stitching in the existing hem, it looks as though the hem had been let down, after it had been worn for a bit.

  3. Wooow! I imagine the life of her, she must have been the belle of the ball 100 years ago. Thanks for sharing, and have a lovely day. :)

  4. Beautiful! It must have been quite lovely when it was new.