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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mom's bridesmaids moss green dress

frontWe (my sister laws and my self) have been going through more of mom's items (mother in law).  We found a large stash of mom's dresses from her teens to early twenty’s.  The dresses are early 60's to early 70's some might be from around 1958.  It was fun going through some of them. one reason is so those that are far away can see the true color of the dresses and so they can know the dimensions of the dress.  The other is just to have a record of all of them together.   In the process of doing that I will also repair what needs repairing so they are usable by all my nieces and sisters. I want to go and take pictures of them all before they get split to the four winds sort of like GGH aprons.

This is a dress that was made not for mom but one of her bridesmaids and it was never worn or finished but mom kept it as a memory from her wedding. We have no idea why it was never finished.  This dress has been in storage for over 45 years so it is older than I am sort of cool.

I just spent about 10 hours (update added about 6 more hours to repairs on this for other hems that we decided had issues too) hand sewing a lot of the seams down and repairing a few of the seams that are already in it. I also spent quiet a few hours cleaning not able to get all the age stains out of it and trying to get rid of the permanent creases it had from being folded for that long.
right sideI am somewhat worried about this dress as I can tell from the construction parts of it where not made well at all.  Darts are never supposed to be split open and these are.  Which means it can fall apart easily on the back rib cage area, the hem slits have issues too (I tried to address all of those).  I also had to repair the seams at the shoulders and the lining placket need to be hand sewn down again as the first one was rotten and falling apart.  I sewed up the hems of the sleeves too.  I can tell originally the side seams got let out once when making it more than likely they had not been sewn into the right spot the first go round so frogged  and re-sewn bad thing on that is the dress retained those holes on the sides and they are quiet visible.  The dress was sort of lined the bodice area had been lined but it was only lined to just past the hips which causes issues when putting this on also the hem on that lining was never finished so it is frayed like crazy and more than likely only get worse with time.

backIt is amazing how many things can be wrong with one dress but still has a pretty good appearance.  This dress when ever it is worn will have to have the greatest care taken of it or it is not going to last.  Which is the reason for me spending so much time on it.

backWith all that being said my oldest daughter gets to be the first one to wear this dress.  I will reexamine it after the dance launder and repair what needs repairing and return to my father in law.  This is my daughters very first formal tonight and we thought it would be fun to wear this dress and think of mom.  Thus the reason for all the repairs and finishing.  It is a little low in the back so she will be wearing a black satin camisole to correct that issue my children are very modest so it may not seem low to some but to my children it is.  My daughter is so excited to wear this tonight.

The dress you see in the back ground is not Mom's but my old prom dress.

There are some  pictures with a vest.  The vest is one  I made a long time ago and not one that mom owned but thought it might look good to wear with this tonight.  Input desired if you think they look well together.  The antique necklace is one I put on the mannequin just so I could see what it looked like.  My daughter wants to wear a different one I own from Aunt Alice (she too is in heaven) that is pink rhinestones also vintage.


The picture below and to the right were taken by my sister in law before I started repairs and cleaning and getting rid of creases sorry for the bad lighting pictures taken in mom's basement hall not good light there.  As you can see the dress had lots of creases and the sleeves are pinked but not finished and so on.  Also my photos are more true to the true color of the dress.

Dimensions of the dress

these are finished measurements so of course to be able to wear it you have to be about 1 to 3 inches smaller in these areas for ease of movement
Bust 34 inches so fits a 31- 33 inch chest measured across center of breast
waist 27 inches so fits a 24 to 26 inch waist
hip 36 inches so fits a 33 to 35 inch hip
top of shoulder to hem 49 1/2 inches

this is a size 12 in vintage sewing patterns do not reference that to modern store bought clothes go by measurements.

Reason for the measurements so my sister in laws who live far away can know the measurements.

We learned that this is a very difficult dress to put on and take off.  When it was made it looks like they didn't have the right size zipper so about 1 to 2 inches of what was supposed to be zipper opening is actually sewn shut.   Which means you have to be on the smaller sizes of the above measurements to actually be able to get it on easily and wear it.  When in doubt always go with a longer zipper in dresses not shorter as it will be so much easier to put the dress on.  In this case the zipper should have been sewn in lower and a hook an eye placed in the dress above the zipper to keep it closed and more functional.  But that is a little to much reconstruction for this dress so it will stay as is.

Below is my daughter and two of her friends from school at "The Royal Ball" ie "Prom".


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