Preserving 100+ Years

Bl silk bf5I had a little black dress come to me about a month ago. It needed lots of love but I couldn’t resist the challenge of preserving this dress and making it wearable once again. Last week was a very busy week at the shop as we were dressing clients for three different 1920’s themed events. There were many days where I would make head pieces before work and after work just to have enough variety in the shop. I had been asked to be a member of the fashion police at The Kiggins Theatre Red Carpet Oscars Event. Hmmmm, what dress should I wear? I had rented out all my others so I decided to pull out this sad, yet so beautiful, piece of history. I attempted to work on it at the shop but had no time between assisting customers. Everything had to be hand sewn due to it’s delicate silk and beading. Guessing from the dress style that it is from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.
The upper portion was in bad shape and had to be re-created and enforced. I had recently modified a 20’s style dress and removed the beaded sleeves. I used one to replace the center insert in the chest. It was perfect! I didn’t have time to search for my container of snaps so I decided to recycle the original ones. Glad I was the first one to wear this dress! Learned that old snaps do wear out… and come undone. Fortunately pretty easy to replace.
Surprisingly the lower beaded portion was in pretty good shape and just needed some beading repair work. This was a BIG project to be done in very little time! This is the moment I sigh. “what was I thinking?” I came home from work on Saturday night and worked until Sunday at 1:30am and then crawled out of bed early the next morning to hand stitch until 1pm. Tired eyes and black thread are not a very good combo. Had barely enough time to get ready for the big event. Pretty great that its rebirth into the world was on the red carpet.
I am so proud of how this project turned out. So thankful for a mother who taught me how to sew and for parents who exuded creativity every day of my life.

Categories: Our boutiqueTags: , , , , , , ,


  1. GORGEOUS dress! It is obvious a lot of time and love went into it..anyone would be proud to own it~wish it were MINE! Beautiful indeed 🙂

  2. Would love to see a picture of beautiful you in the dress!


    • Sharon, most of the pictures taken that night were outside and due to the rainy and cold weather I wore a long vintage coat. With all the 20’s events going on I am sure I will have a chance to wear it again and will make sure to have my picture taken in it:)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: