January 9, 2012

Ain't That A Shame...

Recently, one of my friends from our Paneras knitting group gave me this dress. There were actually four dresses in the assortment she wanted to share with me, but this was the only one that I could even photograph.

All the dresses had been stored in an attic with no protection from heat or cold. Gorgeous vintage pieces that actually were falling apart in my hands when I held them. Crumbling to dust after years of neglect.
This dress is transparent (by design) with old lace and an embellished "apron" on the front. The fabric shimmers in the light, and I can only imagine how glorious this dress must have been when new.

I could have cried looking at it. You can't tell from the photos, but there was so much disintegration that there was scarcely enough fabric across the shoulders to hang it on this padded hanger to show you.
The lace along the neckline is so beautiful, and there is beadwork along the neckline and on the apron hemline.

I don't know what I'd ever do with it, and it's so fragile I don't know how much time it has left. It's just a crying shame that it wasn't better cared for.

If anyone reading my blog post today would like this piece, I'll be happy to send it to you for the cost of priority postage (medium flat rate box). Perhaps someone else can think of a way to salvage some of this fabric for a project (gluing it to vintage bottles, or soldered between pieces of glass to create a necklace). I have the ideas, but would rather share the dress with someone who does these things as a matter of course.

Just email me if you want it, and I'll PayPal you an invoice for the postage. The first person to make the request and pay the invoice will be the new owner. I'll do an update if I'm contacted to let everyone know that it's gone to a new home.

UPDATE: The gown has been claimed and is on its way to its new home with Karen. Thank you!

12 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

nancy huggins said...

Yes Donna..That is a shame. I love old things like that but do not know what I could use it for..Almost makes one cry doesn't it

MosaicMagpie said...

I can think of 1000 things to do with this lovely dress. Like you said wrapped on an altered bottle or it could be used in the beautiful fabric journals that people are making. I recently made some soldered charms with bits of old lace in them. Lots of fun projects just waiting to happen. Someone will see it and fall in love with it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Donna, what a shame. Was there nothing of the other pieces that could be cut and perhaps used in altered art? Women of the past had such beautiful clothing....
Are you watching "Downton Abbey"? So many lovely gowns in the production!
Hugs, Diane

Sue K said...

Isn't it a shame that it wasn't cared for better? I was lucky enough to get a box of my Grandmothers' old lace...gorgeous stuff!! In the box was a black lace piano scarf. A hug piece of gorgeous lace and it is the same. If you try to pick it up, the threads break in your hands. I was trying to figure out how to use it on my fabric collages. Maybe some spray adhesive to apply it, and then stitch around it to get it to stay in place?? The dress is so feminine and lovely. Those were certainly the days!
hugs, Sue

Jan M said...

Oh, the story that gown could tell! I hope its last chapter will be a happy one.

Sherri said...

It always breaks my heart to see vintage pieces not preserved! I used to go to estate auctions when I lived in NJ and the pieces they had were lovely but most of the time they were improperly stored and had issues.

Jennifer M. said...

That is sad that is wasn't better cared for. I'm sure it looked glorious before it went into a box. I hope you find someone interested in taking it.

BTW, did you see my post to your Quilt a Long post? I've decided to join. I left my blog address on my response to the other post. Now I have to get the book!


Minimiss said...

Wow, they knew how to make and wear beautiful dresses in the good ol' days. What a pity it is so sad now. I hope someone can do something creative with it.

Michelle May said...

How pretty. Truly is sad it wasn't cared for. I have my grandma's wedding dress. It's pure silk and still gorgeous. I treasure it.

Tina@WhatWeKeep said...

Wish we knew the story behind it. It's still easy to see how beautiful it once was.

Claudia said...

It is shame, indeed. What a gorgeous dress!


Shirley said...

Hi Donna, I am taking a little "me" time this evening to read some blogs. I came by this morning, but I wasn't where I could leave a comment. The dress is truly beautiful, I don't remember them having the special paper and boxes that you can store things in like we have now. I hope somebody will see what they can do with it. Have a great day. Your Missouri Friend.


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