1850s · In-Progress · Reproducing an original

In-Progress: 1850s Embroidered Collar

First off, I just want to say a big “thank you!” to everyone who left such lovely comments (both here on the blog, and also on my BurdaStyle and Flickr pages) about my dress from my last post. I truly appreciate each and every comment I recieve, and I’m hoping to be able to respond to all of them this weekend when things calm down a bit. 🙂

Anyways, before I start my weekend, I just thought I would show you an in-progress pic of the 1850s collar I’m embroidering as part of the exhibit that I’m working on for my internship. Unfortunately, we don’t have any original artifacts from the gal that this exhibit is about, so reproductions have really been a necessity. In this case, the collar here is meant to be a reproduction one that is shown in the earliest existing photo of this woman, from the 1850s.

The reproduction! I need to add seam allowances and hem the bottom and top edges before I attach the tatting. Unfortunately, the blue marking pencil that I used to mark the edges has faded quite a bit, so I decided to place the tatting around the edge to show where the edge will be.

My reproduction is made from cotton batiste and will be trimmed with this vintage tatting that almost perfectly resembles the tatting on the original collar. Oh, and the whole thing will be dyed black when I’m done, as the original is black. I debated about dyeing the individual parts and then putting the collar together, or making the collar up in white and then dyeing it, and I decided on the latter. While I’ve never dyed anything, I do know that using different dye baths can make the colors of the items dyed different, and I want to try to make the whole collar the same shade of black that I can.

Anyways, the exhibit opens at the end of April, and I also have a straw bonnet and embroidered letter case that I’m working on. I have to say, making museum-quality reproductions that aren’t just costumes for me has been challenging, nerve-wrecking, and incredibly rewarding all at the same time. And I’m incredibly flattered that I’ve been entrusted to complete this task, one in which I think my OCD-tendencies will come quite in handy. 😉

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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