Sunday, April 3, 2011

Thanks to Those Long-Ago Ladies for Today's Treasures!

     After getting the 1890's jackets out for pictures on the last post, it was an easy jump to another box of "treasures" I hadn't had time to delve into very far.  I found these items at the very bottom of the box of vintage children's clothing that I've started listing in Childhood Memories (hidden surprises indeed!)   
     Here were pieces of beaded laces, dickeys, and other handworked pieces that had been saved from garments past.  If you've ever done handwork it's easy to see why these bits were saved to be used again!
     Some of them have been given a time line; others are simply guesswork, but they all have one thing in common...they were valued because of the beautiful craftsmanship and time it took to create them. 

     Among some favorites there is a fragment of black Chantilly style lace, a smidgen over 12" long whose design is simply covered in glass bugle beads with accents of seed beads. 

     The thread used to sew the beads with has turned that odd rusty black that comes with age...the lace and the beads are still dramatically black!  


      It would be stunning reinforced and used as an embellished collar or an accent somewhere on an outfit.  Certainly a tiny treasure!

     There is a dickey style collar made of ivory French netting plus lace designed with pointed edges.  The neck band that it is attached to is made of tiny horizontal tucks in the netting and a tiny lace top edge...interestingly enough there are "squiggly" metal pieces on either side (presumably to keep the collar standing elegantly) and hooks and eyes for closure in the back. 

      The drop is about 11" from the bottom edge of the collar, enough to fill in the front of that long-ago jacket.  With a tiny mend in a place or two, it could be used today...what a conversation piece!  Can't you see it with a dainty bar pin or small brooch?
      A totally versatile item, totally practical, totally charming!  

      I have a very good friend who is an incredible seamstress and is knowledgeable as well on textiles and handwork like this.  I shared these treasures with her...and this next piece made her say "Ooh-h!!"  That had been my reaction too! 
      It a strip of rather crepey black chiffon about 40" long and 5" wide, beaded linerally (is that a word?) with "streaks" of frosty silver bugle and seed beads.  There is a motif just about halfway down the length that is simply wonderful...I'm going to try to add pictures taken outside that might do this justice!


      The motif is a mix of more beads plus crystal rhinestones...a most interesting part is how the rhinestones are attached on the back.  The coloring is subtle but the effect is wonderful.  It's hard to imagine what this might have been a part of, especially since the motif is not must have had a matching piece?

      Whatever it was at the beginning of its "life", it certainly deserves to have another opportunity to show its "Wow!" factor!  With a bit of support, it could become an incredible work of art on a garment.   I'm hoping someone with an artistic flair will see this and know exactly what it should become!

      There are about a dozen of these pieces...dickeys, collars, an entire skirt bottom that was beaded in swirls all round, some heavily encrusted lace motifs...even a black satin jacket "insert" with incredible buttons that is said to be "turn of the century."  I'll be getting these listed in the Finishing Touches store in the next day or two; these are great examples of the needle arts of yesteryear. 

     They are also perfect examples of the thrifty mindset of times took time and patience (and skill) to create these small treasures.  They certainly would want to save each beautiful bit...I know I would have!!!  

      I'm very grateful someone will give a whole new generation something beautiful to cherish!!

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