We had the opportunity to work on an amazing dress this past week. The dress is about 100 years old but will be worn again this weekend for a new bride. It needed some alterations, repairs and light cleaning. The fabric was very fragile, resulting in hours and hours of hand stitching (the sewing machine would be too risky.) Made of beige silk, I was amazed at the incredible sewing skill of the original seamstress. It was originally all hand stitched with perfectly even, tiny stitches. I could imagine the seamstress taking weeks (or months) to create this gown in her spare time. Or more likely it was made for a wealthy woman and a hired seamstress sewed it.
Note how we added several inches in the back with a lace up so it can be worn by a modern woman. Women were much smaller a century ago! Our bride is located in Texas, so she sent the dress to us with her measurements and we adjusted our dress form with her measurements. It looked so nice that I hated to cover it with the train. We hope to add wedding pictures after her big day.