Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Edwardian Child's Lace Coat

This delicate cotton lawn and lace coat was found crumpled up at the bottom of a box in storage. It has a few dirt (?) stains but I was wary on cleaning them because the fabric and lace was torn in a few places and I didn't want to aggravate the damage. I did, however, store the coat properly by wrapping/lining it in layers of acid-free tissue paper and then placing it in an archival-quality box. The curved breast shape of the coat seem to indicate a pigeon-front style, and the decoration is a strong indicator that this piece is Edwardian.

The coat has a single snap fastening at the front, though the snap seems very modern--shiny and new--to me, so it was perhaps a later alteration when the old closure (likely a hook and eye) fell off. The skirt of the coat is slightly flared. The size and styling suggest that this may have been worn by a girl about nine years old.

The lace insertion all over the coat is a testament to the patience of the seamstress who made this: white cotton picot trim is connected by a white cotton tape woven through the picots! This treatment is used decoratively (as on the sleeves) and structurally (as on the armscye seam). The picot trim and insertion was sewn by machine. However, I'm unsure if the lace embroidery on the chest and back was down by machine or by hand--though I think it was likely machine made.

The front of the coat.
All of the delicate picot seams, and that nasty brown stain from this garment being crumpled up in a box!
The delicate sleeve trim.

With the coat half-open. Look at that curve!
(Sorry for the blurry photo!) A very modern-looking snap.
The back of the coat.

1 comment:

  1. Clearly my mother never loved me. THAT can be the only reason why I never had a tatted, embroidered, lace-inserted coat in a color that babies keep spotless. :-P

    This had to have been barely worn, or it probably wouldn't still be white! I wonder if maybe it was taken from a ladies blouse and reworked into a child's jacket? That would be the easiest way to get all that embroidery on there without thinking your 9 year old would respect that much hand work.