Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A diamond in the rough - gorgeous vintage find!

There is just something about Vintage Garments that make my heart beat a little faster when I see them. I find myself continually seeking them out in antique shops or online! The white cotton, timeless classics with pin tucks and embroidery just seem to catch my eye every single time! I recently found a "diamond in the rough" and oh what an awesome find it is! 
This little gown is cut from one piece of fabric and only has side seams. The gown is stamped with "Royal Society No 4372X". 
Royal Society was not a company, it was a trademarked brand name for needlework patterns and supplies owned by the H.E.Verran Company of New York. The company was incorporated in October of 1912, shortly after the silk art embroidery craze fell out of popularity and the company ceased operations in 1930. So that tells me that this little gown was printed somewhere between 1912 and 1930. I say "printed" because Royal Society products were hot iron transfer designs for wearing apparel. I assume this gown  was all printed on hot iron transfer paper and someone ironed it onto the fabric to begin making this gown. However, I do know that they also created kits, as you can see from the vintage advertisement below:
The gown is in incredibly excellent condition - the fabric fibers are in pristine condition, with no staining, as is the silk embroidery that is completed on the gown! 
I will add also that based on the fabric fibers and embroidery floss that this gown is old...and I mean really old, as in vintage. It is not an old transfer that someone ironed onto new fabric. It could quite possibly be one of the kits that were created back in the day. The stitching done on the gown, further proves it's age.
The neckline is just precious with all those scallops and sweet embroidery down the front!
Each shoulder has 4 perfect pin tucks that appear to be stitched by hand!
Since there is no shoulder seam, the pin tucks carry on to the  back of the garment. The neckline has not been cut out yet, as the handwork is not complete. If you look ever so closely, you can see where the back placket line is printed on the fabric.
This photo shows more clearly the neckline which is not cut out yet since there is handwork to be completed.
The side seams have been stitched with french seams and appears to be possibly stitched by hand, since the stitches are not in a perfectly straight line - they are angled a bit.
The lower edge of the gown has been stitched with a very soft cream colored silk embroidery floss using a blanket stitch on a scalloped edge. There are sweet daisies printed on the front of the gown that have not been embroidered yet.
The uniformity of the scalloped edge blanket stitch has been done very neatly! The follow photo shows a little more detail.
The sleeves have not been embroidered yet, but as you can see in this photo, that the fabric is printed with the instructions for how to complete the sleeves with the scalloped blanket edge and where the casing lines are.
Seeing this just makes me wonder who the stitcher was and whom she was making this little gown for...was it her own child? Was she perhaps pregnant for a little one? Or maybe she was a grandmother anticipating her first grandchild. I also wonder why she didn't complete such a precious little gown. Whomever owned the gown, took excellent care of it and made sure it was carefully packed away and preserved to be finished at a later day and time. I bet they never imagined that nearly 100 years later, in 2014, this gown would find a new owner who values it's worth!
Oh the fun I will have as I seek out silk embroidery floss that closely matches what the original seamstress used. My hope is to finish off this gown in the future and that I will have a sweet grand-daughter someday that can wear it.


Esther Conrad Grant said...

Beautiful new chapter in that little gown's life! Awesome find, Laurie!

Angela Lee said...

Exquisite! Wouldn't this woman be happy to know that this gown has ended up in the hands of someone who will not only finish it but cherish it too. What a great find!

Anonymous said...

Wow that is beautiful! Is it possible you can share some of te measurements and details of making this yourself? It is awesome!
Greetings from the NL!

Louise Michie said...

You have done really well to find out so much information about this dear little garment.
I am thinking this was begun by a child. The stitches do not look like an adult's work to me. When I was little I would start wonderful things and they were all put aside if not finished. Most were eventually completed either by me or my mother. I think this was put aside after the child tired of it and was forgotten, but carefully stored. Probably the threads were kept with it but have now been sold separately or used for something else. The age of the garment suggests to me that the owner, the girl, may have moved from her home to a hospital or some place and the contents of her home distributed.
Hmmm. Even thinking about it stirs enough ideas for a novel.

Mosaic Magpie said...

What a great find the gown has come full circle now.

Michelle Ford-Copley said...

Simply precious!


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