Sunday, 31 May 2015

1730s Gentleman's Waistcoat Panel with Dorset Buttons!!

My fascination with Dorset buttons means that I am always looking for Dorsets on different types of clothing. A couple of weeks ago I squealed with delight to find this item on ebay:-

c.1730s Linen Gentleman's Waistcoat

It is a gentleman's eighteenth century linen waistcoat, (or at least a panel of the waistcoat), with 11 Dorset thread buttons, Blandford Cartwheel style.

Now so far I have seen these buttons on the following nineteenth century items :-

Christening robes
Nightgowns (at the wrists)
Chemisettes and Cuffs
1830s Lady's Bust Bodice (under garment)
1830s Man's shirt
1820s/30s Woman's Wrapper/Peignoir

Blandford Cartwheel Dorset Buttons on 1730s Waistcoat

So this was very exciting for me. Looking at the style of waistcoat, with its incredible drawn threadwork, the buttons fit so well that I am sure they are original. The lady that was selling it dated it to around the 1730s. It comes from the collection of the late Harry Matthews, who was one of the founders of The Costume Society. Most of the collection went to the V&A, although some was sold privately.

Panel of 1730s Gentleman's Linen Waistcoat

The  work is simply exquisite.

Embroidery and thread work on 18th century waistcoat

I have noted how many Dorset (or Dorset in style) buttons are to be found on pillow cases. Lately I've also seen an early 20th century piece of baby's underclothing and 1920s envelope chemise with what look very much like these Blandford style buttons, but they have a fabric backing, so a little different to the originals:-

1920s Envelope Chemise with Dorset style buttons

I must say a big thank you to Jenny Sargeant from derbeatle on ebay, who has very kindly allowed me to use her images. She always has the most fascinating items for sale, specialising in lace and whitework.

Naomi x

Friday, 15 May 2015

Tatted Purse Restoration - Accessories for my 1890s Outift

Another accessory I need for my 1890s outift is a small reticule/purse.  Whilst doing my research, I realised that there is so little information or books about historical fashion accessories. It is one area that badly needs some decent publications.

I finally found this tatted small purse on ebay:-

Victorian Tatted Purse- ebay find

It needed some work, although it is in super condition. Lined in mauve silk, I realised that it would be very easy to remove this, wash the tatted shell, and then replace the silk lining. So I took many photos and notes before taking it apart.

Late Victorian Tatted Purse with Silk Lining

It has a beautifully decorated metal disc at the bottom, acting as a weight.
Length- 7" from top of tatting to metal button
Width- 5 1/2" across the top

Taking Apart my Tatted Purse for Restoration

Tatting (Taken from "The Dictionary of Needlework" - Caulfield and Saward, 1882.)

 " a reproduction of the Ragusa Gimp Laces and Knotted Laces of the sixteenth tatting the stitches are made over a thread, and the thread wound upon a shuttle small enough to allow of its being passed easily backwards and forwards over and under the thread it is forming the stitches upon.

The work consists of so few stitches that it is extremely simple, and requires neither thought nor fixed attention when once the nature of the stitch has been mastered, a glance, or the feel of it passing through the fingers, being sufficient for an experieced tatter."

While I had the tatted part detached from the lining, I washed it in my restoration detergent:-

This brightened it up. Now I could sew a new lining and complete the bag's transformation.

I used the same fabric for the ties and the small piece holding the metal button. I am really pleased with how it looks.

Transformed Victorian Purse

Restored Tatted Purse with Silk Lining

Purse and Bonnet completed

Naomi x