(having trouble viewing this slideshow? visit http://picasaweb.google.com/VassarHCPW/1992107# and click on “Slideshow” on the upper left, or just view the images one at a time, at your own pace)

ACCESSION# 1992.107
TITLE Brown silk dress with v-neck insert
BRIEF DESCRIPTION Dress of rust colored satin.  Empire waistline.  .75 length shirred sleeve with hanging cuffs.  Full length skirt with train.

Lace added in between neckline and original lace inset
Chiffon ruffles and sleeves shattering
Chiffon portion of sleeves missing a china silk lining
Stays detaching from collar
Ribbon trim beginning to shatter and detaching from neckline
Reinforcement glued and tacked to skirt front bottom
Train hemmed up
Missing some hooks and eyes

Let down train to original length
Remove added lace at collar
Reattach stays to collar
Back lace collar with conservation net
Put dress on form to asses lay of neckline/and reattach lace as appropriate
Make replacement lining for chiffon portion of sleeves
Steam out ruffles and reinforce with conservation net
Retack trim to neckline
Replace missing hooks and eyes
Will not attempt to reverse the reinforcement glued onto skirt front

Removed added lace at collar. Put on form and discovered that the collar fit neatly with the original lace remaining inside the neckline. Surmised that the lace had simply been
cut out. Backed original lace with conservation neck, leaving enough extra conservation net around the edges so that the lace collar could be stitched back into the neckline
abutting the original lace inside the dress. Covered silk band at top of collar with net.
Replaced missing hooks and eyes and reinforced hooks and eyes that were coming loose.
Put dress on a form again to pin the collar into the neckline as it originally lay. Stitched the lace collar back into the neckline.
Discovered some tearing in the silk by the front hooks and in the sleeves along the armscye. Used hair silk to sew up tears.
Discovered alterations in bodice. Was taken in at side seams and darts were added at center front. Let out one dart at center front and found that the needle had left
significant holes in the silk. Decided with input of Colleen Callahan that the benefits of restoring the garment to its original state did not outweigh the downside of unsightly
needle holes, and restitched dart. Noted that the front bodice piece had been gathered into the waistband creating somewhat of a pigeon-breasted effect, but that the dart
eliminated that portion of the bodice.
Let down the train where it had been hemmed up.
Put the dress on the form again. Noted that the center front was mostly covered by the collar and ties and the underarms were mostly covered by the sleeves. Determined that
the dress’s later alterations could be let out without detracting from the overall look. This would have the added benefit of restoring the original pigeon breasted silhouette.

(having trouble viewing this slideshow? visit http://picasaweb.google.com/VassarHCPW/1992041# and click on “Slideshow” on the upper left, or just view the images one at a time, at your own pace)

ACCESSION# 1992.041
TITLE Black and gold beaded dress
BRIEF DESCRIPTION Beaded black netted dress over gold metallic organza lined with China silk.

1. Gold netting deteriorating and falling off around neckline, under arms, and on back of bodice
2. Piece at right shoulder detaching
3. White beads breaking at discolored
4. White and gray beads fallen off
5. Gold organza and lining torn at bottom left side seam
6. Organza frayed at bottom hem
7. Staining on inside of lining
8. Silk shattering inside skirt
9. Staining on organza near center front waist band
10. Holes in the black net at the bottom of the skirt
11. Wrinkles in the gold organza

1. I will stabilize the areas detailed in #1, covering them with gold netting and stitching in place.
2. I will reattach the area detailed in #2.
3. I will not attempt to fix the broken and discolored beads detailed in #3.
4. I will tack on the loose strands of beads back on the dress.
5. I will re-sew the area detailed in #5.
6. I will cover the areas detailed in #6 with gold netting at stitch in place.
7. I will not attempt to remove any of the stains detailed in #7 and #9.

1. I removed tacking stitches at both sides of CF at neck to have better access to the netting of the modesty piece.
2. I tacked down the gold netting of the modesty piece and sewed a layer of netting over the original netting.
3. I tacked down the gold netting on the back of the bodice.
4. I removed a snap at the back left shoulder (to be reattached).
5. I sewed a layer of netting over the gold netting that I tacked down at the back of the bodice.
6. I reattached the snap at the back left shoulder over the netting.
7. I sewed in a few stitches of black thread and tied the thread to loose pieces of thread on the dress where bead strands were coming
8. I took off the snap at the top left shoulder on the back of the bodice, moved it over, and re-sewed the snap to the dress in its new
9. I took out the stitches at the right back of the skirt where the net wraps around from the front and attaches to the back and sewed on a
black snap in this location.
10. I took out the stitches of the right side seam in the gold organza of the skirt and re-sewed it.
11. I used black thread to re-stitch the hem of the bottom layer of the black netting of the skirt, stitching about every half inch and going
back on the stitch every other stitch.
12. I stitched up a big hole at the bottom of the black net with black thread.
13. I steamed the bottom of the gold organza of the skirt to try and remove some of the wrinkles.
14. I covered the bottom hem of the gold organza in the skirt with conservation netting and sewed the netting on, coming up about a half
inch on either side of the skirt.
15. I reattached the loose piece at the right shoulder.

(having trouble viewing this slideshow? visit http://picasaweb.google.com/VassarHCPW/1992001# and click on “Slideshow” on the upper left, or just view the images one at a time, at your own pace)

ACCESSION# 1992.001.ab
TITLE Pale Salmon and Gray Bustle Ensemble
BRIEF DESCRIPTION Pale salmon and gray silk taffeta bustle ensemble, trimmed with pale salmon taffeta ruffles and white and gray tassel trim, swags, bustle, and train; fitted bodice with 3/4 sleeves, square neckline and triple button closure up front.

After thoroughly looking over of the garment I made a list of the most important areas of damage. I focused on the skirt because it seemed to be in the most need of repair.
1) There were small splits in the skirt waistband at the side-back and center-back. The fabric was disintegrating probably because the waist band holds so much weight.

2) The buttonhole at the back of the waistband had a split extending through it and much of the reinforcing around the buttonhole had has fallen apart. The button was also missing.

3) The fabric at the back of the skirt was splitting just below the waistband.

4) Several buttons on the bodice were loose, 3 were missing, and the crocheting on one button was coming loose.

5) There was significant staining on the underarms of the bodice and slight fabric disintegration.

6) The pink pleated trim in the back-right neck trim of the bodice was fraying.

7) The boning was protruding from one section at the base of the bodice at the left-front

I decided that the most important region to stabilize on the garment was the waistband because in order to mount the garment (the ultimate goal of our workshop) the waistband needed to be strengthened. I also wanted to fix any issues with the buttons on the bodice because they’re necessary for proper mounting. I proposed the following for treatment:

-Release waistband back and sides from skirt, stabilize waistband with conservation net stitched in place with hair silk, and reattach waistband.
-Stabilize slits below waistband conservation net and stitch with hair silk.
-Restitch loose buttons on bodice, possibly move buttons from less visible locations to front panel, repair button with loosened crocheting
-Once repairs are made, skirt and bodice will be mounted on dress form to determine style and decide if any further repairs are necessary.

I made several changes in the implementation of the plan.
1) I colored the conservation net and hair silk using an acid-free, archival quality green marker. This allowed the net to blend in more easily with the dress, rendering it practically invisible.

2) I doubly reinforced the split int he back of the skirt by stitching the rip closed once the conservation net was sew on.

3) I wrapped certain portions of the skirt’s upper edge in conservation net so that the fabric would not disintegrate when I reattached the waistband.

4) In covering the waistband with conservation net, I wrapped it around all 4 sides of the waistband so that the net completely surrounded it, giving it greater reinforcement.

Though we didn’t have time to reattach the button, we were still able to mount the ensemble and it looked beautiful. It has a waterfall bustle and now that it has been mounted we’ll be able to make some smaller tacking adjustments to make sure it looks great for our exhibition!

We’ve finally had some time to collect our thoughts and we’re ready to share our recent work with you. Over the next few days, we’ll be sending out a post about each of the objects we worked on during our stabilization workshop with Colleen Callahan. Each post will include the student’s treatment report, and a slideshow with images to show their process. Enjoy!

From Colleen Callahan Workshop

Our five-day intensive workshop is underway! Colleen Callahan, of Costume and Textile Specialists in VA, arrived on Thursday and began our workshop on Friday. We’ve already accomplished a great deal – I can’t wait to see how much more we get done in the next two days!

Here are all of our finalists, each of which is getting a “makeover” so that we can exhibit it:
(if you want to see more pictures of any of these, click where it says “From” . . . under the photo to go the the Picasa Web Album for that object.)

From Colleen Callahan Workshop
From 1984.001
From 1992.003
From 1992.001
From 2007.033
From 2001.074
From 2001.069
From 1992.107
From 1992.105
From 1992.012

Right now we’re too busy sewing to write, but look for posts about each object!

As shown in our last video, this ensemble is an interesting case for stabilization, thanks to its (perhaps) upside down sleeve.

From 1992.003

Some notes:

Bodice: Ivory silk satin with gold and pink floral metallic brocade; pink silk ribbon; metal boning; metal hooks and eyes; pink synthetic lining; pink silk lining; white cotton grosgrain ribbon waistband;

Fitted brocade silk princess-seam bodice with modified puff sleeves with gathers at the underarm and longer at the bottom of the sleeve than the top, and square neckline. Open at front of interior panel brocade with pink ribbon lace-up closure w/ hand-stictched holes. Six-piece paneled back with slightly curved boat-neckline at back. 7 pieces metal boning in back interior and interior grosgrain ribbon waist tape with hook and eye closures at front. Two hooks at center back of waist tape (to connect to skirt). Synthetic additions at center interior front and hem of sleeves.

Skirt: ivory silk satin with gold and pink floral metallic brocade; starched pink cotton lining; pink silk lining; natural cotton lining; tan grosgrain ribbon; cream silk chiffon ruched trim

full gored brocade skirt with back fullness and room for pad(?); longer in back; pink piping around waistband under grosgrain ribbon; one pocket on right hip; 6 gored panels and 3 godets; cream silk ruched trim at hem and one 2.5 inches up from hem

Shoe: ivory silk satin with gold and pink floral metallic brocade; leather; gold (leaf?); natural canvas; brass nails; pressed wood

two pieces of brocade on exterior; double bow at toe cleavage; pointed toe; Louis heel shape; 9 nails into heel

label reads: “Robes de Bal / Russell & Allen / Old Bond Street LONDON” printed on inner waistband
“Mrs. Crosby” handwritten on small hand sewn tag

“rip in fabric of bodice top right front, 2nd row of trim around hem partially detatched, fabric of skirt coming apart from waistband, silk of shoe worn on the back of heel and left side, interior silk lining of bodice shattered, original silk lining possibly entirely gone, leaving pink cotton lining unfinished interlining; natural linen original reinforcement for train safety-pinned to interior, pink synthetic additions to interior of bodice, brocade panel stolen from inside of skirt used as center front panel on bodice (because actors weren’t small enough?)

What do you think of it? Here’s a slideshow with more images:

You may or may not have seen the video about this ensemble – but here are some images and notes as well:

From 1992.001

“pink and grey bustle ensemble
2 piece of grey silk taffeta, trimmed with pink silk taffeta and pink fringe
Bodice of taffeta
Skirt of taffeta
Fullness at back to accommodate bustle

pocket in right front of skirt”

Condition issues: “Perspiration stains underarms- starting to deteriorate
No tears
Missing 3 buttons (but only one would show)
Skirt- hand stitches (in blue thread) at back of skirt are attempted repairs. Placket doesn’t match up, perhaps as a result, altered for use as a costume
Tear in front second drape near CF”

This is a good candidate for stabilization – it’s not in horrible shape, but the skirt definitely needs to be re-draped.

We’ve always wondered about this dress – we refer to it as pink and grey, and have long wondered if that’s a connection to Vassar’s past school colors. Of course, the grey is somewhat blue-grey, and maybe it’s just a coincidence. We’ve also recently discovered that the ensemble may have been donated by someone from the Adriance family of Poughkeepsie – so there’s some provenance research to be done there. How do we know that? Sometime in the seventies, several of the objects were worn (gasp!) for a fashion show on campus, and photographed for the Vassar Quarterly. This was in that group, and the caption for the photo refers to it as “a gift of the Adriance estate.” Hmmmm.

Here’s a slideshow with more images, although it doesn’t show the 3rd outerwear piece that was recently reconnected with the rest of the ensemble (as shown in the video):

Here’s another candidate very much in need of stabilization:

From 1992.013

However, it might already be too far gone.
Here are some notes:

Silvery blue silk, diagonal weave taffeta, fish motif; natural polished cotton; green silk velvet; red silk velvet; red taffeta; periwinkle silk; white cotton waistband; hemp hem lining; metal hook and eyes, brass

Fitted bodice; full skirt

a. skirt: floor length; fitted at waist; five panels; two tiers of ruffles at hem; velvet at inner hem, lined with hemp; polished cotton skirt lining; one pocket on right hip; cotton waistband, later addition; hook and eyes at waist center back

b. bodice: waist length, five piece; fittled two piece full length sleeve, gathered shoulders, split cuff on either side of wrist; mandarin collar with inset periwinkle silk over center front of bodice extending to waist; red velvet lapels; red velvet waist band; 18 interior brass hooks and eyes to close center front, 3 to close neck; boning at waist; three tapered panels in back

Condition issues: Tearing at collar. Shattering. Staining. Fabric worn in skirt. Pin in hem (rusty).

and here’s a slideshow with more images:

Here’s another candidate for stabilization:
From 1992.007

Some notes about it:

blue and white striped fine silk; blue silk; natural polished cotton; natural square weave linen; plastic button; beige synthetic hem tape; beige synthetic bias tape.

silhouette: bustle

A. bodice: princess seamed, striped silk; knife-pleated blue silk CB panel, fishtailing at hem, split at one side, may have been attached originally; long sleeves, blue silk knife-pleated ruffle (R sleeve only); piping at mandarin collar in blue silk; knife-pleated blue silk CF panel, 12 buttons; piping all along hem

B. skirt: floor length, two-layered skirt; top layer has seven vertical blue silk appliques over striped silk extending waist to ruffle of overskirt; blue silk knife-pleated ruffle at hem of overskirt; underskirt has ruching; waistband of striped silk, button at CB, likely an addition; cartridge pleats in linen lining at waist in back; bottom foot lined in cotton

Condition issues: Shattering. Missing a cuff and some buttons. Staining. Discoloration.

Here’s a slideshow with some more images of this object:

As promised, here’s the first post of a series to share some of the objects that are candidates for our 5-day intensive stabilization workshop with Colleen Callahan, coming up in April.

From 1984.001

Here are some notes about this object:

This ivory silk taffeta bustle dress, trimmed with lace and satin ribbon, was worn by Sallie Tucker Blake at Vassar’s commencement exercises of 1879.

Bustled Bodice of ivory satin; fitted; with 3/4 length sleeves; lace ruffle trim at collar and down CF and cuffs;

Skirt of ivory satin; panel of lace at front, fullness at back to accommodate bustle; attached bustle drape of satin and lace buttons over CB; slight trim

Cape of ivory satin; fringe trim along CF opening edges, hemline, and edge of collar; back panels cut on the bias, diagonal striped pattern picked out

Small round buttons covered with off white crocheted trim
Straight seams machine sewn, all else = hand sewn
Thin pads of cotton batting at front edge of armscye,
Patches of jersey with pinched edges under arms
Approx. 6” wide stiff muslin (?) inside hem
Separate underskirt of dark tan polished cotton and overskirt of satin
Long hanging wide satin ribbon trim on skirt back to right of bustle (hanging almost to hem)
Silk twill tape to finish edges of inside seams

Condition issues: stain on front bodice; lace ripping on skirt, tears at center back near waist over bustle

Scroll down to see a slideshow of images of this object.

Should we stabilize this garment and exhibit it? Please leave a comment and weigh in!

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