Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Aunt Inez Dress Project: Interesting Bits and Challenges


 I realized quickly that I was going to need more light on this project and the two overhead high wattage lights over the island were not going to work.  Nothing like a little female ingenuity...this is a clip on, bendable reading lamp we had in the house from Ikea.  Clipped it on to the portable Ipod speaker unit and viola! Light! 

As I inspected the dress further I was really confused as to why there were old snaps in the seams on both shoulders.  The sleeves were partially sewn on and partially snapped on.  I thought maybe this was to provided Aunt Inez with options, sleeved or sleeveless...but I just don't get the shoulder snaps:

You can see (above) the mangled mess the shoulder seams are.  It is going to be seriously challenging to fix.

Another  challenge will be the smallest machine stitches I've ever seen on the side seams.  The seams are French seams and I hope to take them apart...carefully...using my new Ikea light/Ipod contraption:

I previously posted a picture of the inner back label someone stuck on.  I think in the end it was some sort of medical tape.  It came off and left a gooey mess:

Figuring I couldn't do a whole lot more damage to this dress (ok, I theoretically could but since this is not a restoration project I was willing to take the risk) I used baby oil to remove the residue...and you won't believe this IT WORKED!  My theory was it takes gum out of children's hair so why not gummy ookiness off a nearly hundred year old dress...
Not perfect but workable!  I was hesitant to try any rubbing the q-tip I used any harder because the silk is so fragile.  I also then rinsed the area with cool water and blotted dry.  Seems not to have harmed the fabric.

Finally I wanted to share the lovely hand stitching that was holding the hem up.   Nothing is wrong with it other than the original (I'm assuming) black thread has faded to a brown-black colour.  I find vintage and antique hand stitching somewhat sentimental.  Someone ever so carefully stitched this hem and I'm picturing her in my head; the maid?  the seamstress? the lady of the house?  the mother for her daughter?  Hands most likely long passed on...sigh...

1 comment:

  1. Are they INSIDE snaps on the shoulder? Because perhaps it was like a bra-strap catch or something (or whatever the 20s equivalent was). Or perhaps there was an accessory that could snap on -- trailing scarves, a cape, that kind of thing.