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Help with 20s Embroidered Wool Lace (?) Dress/coat

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by cmpollack, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. cmpollack

    cmpollack VFG Member

    OK--my last question for the night:

    This embroidered dress and coat is 20s, no? Early/mid/late?

    How would you describe the wool fabric? Lace? Knit? (You can see it very well in the closeup of the snaps on the neck of the dress). And is the embroidery any special style? (Am I nuts for detecting an ethnic influence in it?)

    The coat closes with a mother of pearl button and fabric loop. The dress is almost entirely hand-sewn; the coat has quite a bit more machine stitching.

    The lacy collars on the two garments are slightly different colors; the one on the dress has a few rust stains on the back of it. Would you try to clean it somehow, or sell as is? (Only other flaw is that the partial coat lining is shattering).

    Many thanks for your help!

  2. dorotheascloset

    dorotheascloset Registered Guest

    Totally ethnic/bohemian influenced!!! Superb set....to tell you the truth, I think I'd remove the collars. I'd show before pics as attachments but main pics without. Send them along and leave it to the buyer to add them if they think it needs it, but I don't think it will....would look a lot cleaner and less fussy around the neck without them.

    Killer set!!

  3. listitcafe

    listitcafe Registered Guest

    Love it....20/30's ethnic influence... Totally my favorite sort of stuff!

  4. I'm seeing '30s on the dress - the coat looks more '20s so maybe early '30s? Agree that you should remove the collar - and leave it to the buyer.

  5. cmpollack

    cmpollack VFG Member

    Thanks, guys! Late 20s/early 30s, then?

    Remove the collars, eh? I hadn't even considered that, but the set would look much better without them.

    I can't imagine that I'll be able to remove them without demolishing them, though, considering my disastrous sewing skills... (Well, the dress one should be easy,, as it's got very visible handstitching).

    Do you think it's worth listing this, still, as the weight and fabric seem most suited to early spring? (And I'm still hoping for help describing the fabric...)
  6. dorotheascloset

    dorotheascloset Registered Guest

    Oh, I assumed they were whip stiched and easy to get out. Its weird to see a more delicate embroidered, lightweight cotton against that heavier wool and embroidery....it almost doesn't look original, at least by the first designer of the set.

    If it won't come off easily, maybe pics w/ it tucked in? It really distracts in my eyes...sorry if its a pain!!

  7. :jawdrop:

    Not much help, but LOVE it! I would list because I think it's a fairly rare, yes?
  8. Coutureallure

    Coutureallure Alumni

    Gorgeous find, Carrie! My immediate thought was that the collars don't belong too. Is the one on the coat machine sewn in place? Can we see how it is attached?

    It looks like crewel embroidery, but I've never seen a fabric like that before.
  9. vertugarde

    vertugarde Alumni

    I'm not sure about this being as early as suggested. The collar certainly isn't original to the ensemble. Could we get a close up of the inside seams? It could even be from the 1950's - that little bow at the back? I've never seen anything like this.
  10. cmpollack

    cmpollack VFG Member

    Crewel embroidery--that's the term! Thanks, Jody!

    And if you can help solve the mystery of whether these collars are original or not, I'd be thrilled! (The more I look at them, the less I think I would attempt to remove them--for a fumblefingers like me to get near this dress with any sharp objects would be WAY too risky...)

    Here's the collar at the inside back and corner of the coat:


    And here's the collar at either (inside) corner and then the back of the dress:

  11. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Administrator Staff Member

    Beautiful set, Carrie! And my first impression was early 30s....

    I don't think it'd be that hard to remove the collars, but if you feel insecure about doing, it, then leave them on! But suggest in your description that they can be removed.
  12. cmpollack

    cmpollack VFG Member

    thanks for taking a look, Vertugarde.

    Here's a coat seam, near the hem:


    And here's a closeup of the front of the dress right under the embroidered panel around the waist, and one of a seam near the hem:

  13. cmpollack

    cmpollack VFG Member

    Thanks, Anne! I think that's what I'd do--suggest, but keep my scissors out of the picture... ;)
  14. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Administrator Staff Member

    Heavens, no scissors in any event! A seam ripper would work for the job. If you have one, you can just pick the stitches out; very little chance of screwing up.....
  15. claireshaeffer

    claireshaeffer VFG Member

    Here are some odds and ends thoughts. The fabric appears to be a rachel knit. These are open knits with no stretch.

    The collar seems to have hand pin-tucking; that doesn't come along everyday.

    Lastly, after the Russian Revolution, many aristocrats knitted and embroidered to make money and survive. Many moved to Paris and were employed by Chanel and Schiaparelli among others. Ethnic designs and dating costume are not my skills.

    The coat design--particularly the back--is exquisite.
  16. cmpollack

    cmpollack VFG Member

    Thanks so much for sharing your odds and ends thoughts, Claire--they're VERY helpful! (And many thanks for IDing the fabric)!

    From what you say, even though the collars and dress/coat don't seem to coordinate in the eyes of most here, it does seem possible that the same (skilled) hands made both. So I'm definitely not going to mess with them, but leave that to the buyer...
  17. trellandjesus

    trellandjesus Registered Guest

    30s was my intial impression.
  18. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    It looks 1937ish to me - when ethno embroidery is popular - if not Tyrolean or Guatemalan, its Ukrainian or Indian - there are lots of ethno styles of embroidery in the late 1930s.
  19. cmpollack

    cmpollack VFG Member

    Thanks for the date confirmation and narrowing, Trell and Jonathan--late 30s it is!

    Fascinating that there were so many countries adding their special flavor to the ethnic trend then... so many possibilities for just this one garment!
  20. poppysvintageclothing

    poppysvintageclothing Administrator Staff Member

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