Monday, March 25, 2013

Can a mystery be solved by bust size?

The mystery of the gown I found with my wedding quilt has consumed me.  I have talked, and talked to my wonderful sister Claudia about it.  We have gone over, and over it.  You see it was such an amazing surprise, to think it had been with me so long and I never realized it.  During one of our discussions I told Claudia I would like to display it on a dress form.  I have been hunting Craig's List and eBay for some time now looking for a vintage dress form.  The thing about Florida is, it is a very transient place.  Lots of people move here to retire but they sell everything before they come down.  When they get here they surround themselves in tropical themed homes,  dress forms are all left up north I am afraid.  

So Joann's was having a 25% off everything sale this past weekend, that is 25% off even sale items.  I had my eye on two dress forms there, one with the dials that change to your measurements, and a more generic dress form.  The dress form with the dials came in red or blue, pretty deep and startling shades I might add.  The generic one a lovely beige that would be a great background for blogging needs.  Claudia looked them up online as we were chatting and read me the measurements of the beige one.  33 1/2 in. bust......hmmmmm that is a lot like me, 25 in. waist and 35 in. hips.  Now before you all go crazy on me those a certainly not my waist and hip sizes, but with some 
(or a lot of ) adapting using wool batting, I could use this dress form for my future sewing projects.


 Meet Caroline my new dress form.  She must have a name and the only one that fits is Caroline.  You see my sister Claudia Caroline, is named after my Grandmother Caroline Elizabeth. Doesn't Caroline just fit?


Claudia named her dress form after me, my middle name is Letitia and it has been in our family for several generations.  Caroline is now on it's third generation as my niece Elizabeth, named her daughter Caroline, after both her Aunt Claudia and her Great Great Grandmother.


 I can not even begin to tell you the Joy I feel looking at this beautiful gown on this dress form while sitting at my computer.  I think she completes my special space don't you?


 Now about bust size, I am very tiny on top but am very tall, my Grandmother also had a tiny bust.  She was a short woman but as I have said before a powerhouse.  My Mother has a bust, and she did when she married my Father at the young age of 18, she was 5' 7" and bigger boned than my Grandmother.  So as this gown just fits on the 33 1/2 in. bust of this dress form, it has to be my Grandmother's.  There is no way my Mom would have ever fit into it.  Now some of the mystery has been solved, but there are still so many questions.  Did my Grandmother make it or my Great Grandmother.  The fact that it was with my wedding quilt really makes me believe it was for her wedding night.  Maybe I will never really know the answers to this mystery.  I wish the fabric and tatting could talk to me for just a few minutes to tell me the story.  If nothing else I think my Grandmother is smiling down on me, thanking me for finally rescuing this beautiful nightgown.  I will cherish this gown and take great care of it.  Thank you Grandma for this beautiful gift. 

33 comments:

Elisabeth said...

The perfect name for the gown and it really is the perfect touch to complete your special place. I name things too, it makes them seem even more special, doesn't it? Enjoy sitting at your computer look at that beautiful gown!

Teresa said...

Beautiful! It looks so great hung up. It looks so nice in your special room. Really fits in. I bet your eyes end up on that a lot as you sit and think. So pretty.

Crafty in the Med said...

Hi Mere

It certainly is a most delicate gown and I would be afraid to sleep in it. I think it just looks gorgeous there on the dress form it adds something to the room. What a mystery! Like your self I'd be asking questions galore there in my mind. I wonder was it made of a wedding night?

Many thanks for your latest comments on my blog.

keep well

Amanda :-)

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Love the name Caroline. Perfect for your dress form.

The gown is so pretty. What a true treasure you have.

Blessings always dear friend.

Betsy said...

Caroline is perfect!!! She fits so perfectly into your room and completes it well. Such a calming effect. I'm so happy for you finding her gown.

Blessings,
Betsy

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

It looks so pretty in your room. How nice to have that lovely family piece to inspire you every day.

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Meredith, I don't blame you..it look so pretty on Caroline! I just noticed that I must have missed a post of yours and that nightgown is just beautiful! I loved the detail with the crochet on the bodice. It looks perfect in your special room! ~Hugs, Patti

Clicky Needles said...

Perfect, just perfect. x

Melanie said...

It's lovely and that's going to be a great dress form for lots of purposes!
I don't know if you're thinking about taking out some of the wrinkles - some may come out by being on the dress form, but gently steaming from the inside should also take them right out. Satin usually responds to steam like a dream so it shouldn't take much. A dry cleaner could also do this for you. I would also check the creases now and then, as those are areas that the fibers of the fabric underwent the most stress by being folded/wrinkled, so they could start to break down over time and you could see holes start to develop.
The other thing I would suggest is giving it some "off time" from the dress form periodically, as it can put stress on the stitches/fabric over time. At that point, wrap it in tissue and a box and store it in a cool dry place.

Pammy Sue said...

Beautiful gown AND story! What a treasure.

linda said...

It looks so special displayed there, you can see just how beautiful it is, enjoy your treasure :)

by Teresa said...

Dear Meredith, I think that form is perfect for that gown! It's new and virginal :-) I love the story of it and I think it was made for your grandmother by her mother. That pretty treasure brings a lovely feminine touch to that room! Enjoy it! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Kathy Inozarks said...

Meredith, just a perfect way to enjoy your found treasure-I still think your grandmother made the gown for you, or if not it was your great grandmothers and your grandmother wanted you to have this-either way-it is a treasure-hugs

Kathy Inozarks said...

I agree with what Melanie said, your gown needs a little "down" time in a box from time to time-and definately no sunshine on it-enjoy

Dee said...

That is the PERFECT way to display the dressing gown. Caroline looks beautiful!

cockney blonde said...

I just love Caroline and she models the dress just perfectly, x

Claudia said...

When my grandmother made something for one of us, she made it for all three of us girls. So that gown, lovely as it is, was not made for Meredith.

Grandma snuck it in that quilt - or Mom did. I don't know. It would be like Mom to put it there. Whatever, it is gorgeous. It's Grandma's. Petite little Caroline Elizabeth's beautifully made treasure. Now hanging on Caroline! Perfect.

xo
Claudia

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Meredith, don't you just love a good mystery? And I think you solved it!!! Caroline is a beautiful name and so fitting, the gown is so gorgeous and a real treasure! It looks stunning on the form and lovely in your room!
Enjoy it : )
xoRobin

Neicee said...

beautiful dress..Love how the dress form looks in your room...

Jeanmarie DiTaranto said...

Definitely puts the icing on the cake for your craft space!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, how many times I've wished a handmade piece could tell its story... much like I wish the beautiful old homes could tell theirs. I love your dress form and most of all that you are treasuring an heirloom of your family. blessings ~ tanna

Sue Pinner said...

Beautiful gown and a family treasure too. What could be better.

I have a wedding dress of a Great Aunt her pale pink gloves and shoes too...all from the 1920's.
Hugs x

shari said...

I do believe the mystery is solved. What a special treasure you have and now it stands proudly in your room.
It's gorgeous!
Hugs, Shari

Pradeepa said...

Wow Meredith! I missed your earlier post regarding the gown. Such a delicate one and I really envy your treasures. You are so lucky to have inherited them. Caroline is perfect. Thank you so much for following me in my new blog.

Grayseasailor said...

Well done, Meredith! I am so glad you followed through on finding a way to display the gown. Caroline is perfect.
Now do you have a quilt rack/daybed/back of a chair for those quilts? Sharing their beauty will be inspiring as well, I think. [nag...nag:)]
Whatever you decide to do with the quilts I am glad you have them to treasure.
xx,
Gracie

kathy b said...

Wow you gave that nightie LIFE again when you put it on the form. Great display idea mere

delia hornbook said...

If only things could talk they would tell us so many tales. Your grandma's dress is beautiful and I bet she is looking down and feeling very loved and proud and to see it there. dee x

Leanne said...

came here from your sister's blog .... and I love this story and this find! talk about connecting with family history! And the gown itself is just beautiful, the tatting is gorgeous.

Claire said...

Oh my, that nightgown is just beautiful Meredith and in such good condition too.
It would be lovely to find out more about it but it looks perfect there on 'Caroline'..... you certainly have a lovely crafting space.
Your floral wreath is gorgeous, love the colours and the Narcissus.....shouts out Spring is here. Everyone should have a bunny hat, it's cute as.
Pardon my ignorance but I never thought it would get cold enough in FLorida for frost!!
Hope you get some warmer temps soon

CLaire x

Rose Red said...

Oh, the dress form is perfect! It does complete your study so well!

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Yay! It was meant to be! I'm so glad you were able to get that dress form so that you could display that nightgown. What a wonderful gift from your grandma! Best wishes and blessings, Tmamy

Lena said...

I have a vintage dress on a dress form in my craft area too, and she makes me happy. She makes me feel of a different time and place.

I love the name Caroline, it is nice to remember family through names that are passed along. My middle name is Rose, and now it is shared my a neice and a great-neice, and I feel honored by that.

Glad to see that you are enjoying your new room Meredith.

Best Wishes.

Caseymini said...

Meredith, I wandered over here from Claudia's blog to see the nightgown. I did a lot of history of fashion classes in college. I am guessing the teens or twenties of the twentieth century from the style and materials. At that time tatting was very popular for yokes in nightgowns. I have similar patterns in my collection.

A couple of suggestions for you. When was your grandmother married? It is definitely a wedding nightgown. Also, could you adjust Caroline's height to your grandmother's? That would tell you if it was floor length or higher. The higher the hem, the later the style.

Whatever you find out about it, it is a real treasure!