I started volunteering at Dalnavert last weekend. The goal is to one day soon, start guiding guests through the house. The secondary goal is to get up close and personal to some of the things in the house. When touring a museum, you don’t always have the time to study individual items and often you don’t notice them…they dissolve and become part of the ambiance. When volunteering at a museum, you see things over and over and you become more aware of them. You can also get closer to them and study them. A Few of My Favorite Things will become a regular feature here…I think. We shall see.
First stop, the sewing room.
Sweet wall paper. Not gloomy like we often associate with Victorian homes.
The museum is not entirely sure about the original purpose for this room. It is two steps down from the family part of the house so it was the domain of the servants. Because of a vent in the ceiling, which is similar to vents in the family bathrooms, it is theorized that it was the servants’ bathroom. Visitors don’t need to see more than one bathroom so they decided to make it into a sewing room.
The first “up close and personal” item isn’t one of those small things you don’t notice. This thing was the focal point of the sewing room.
I think it is a night gown. It is quite pretty with tiny little pleats and lace inserts.
As a volunteer, I got to go past the gate and check out the back of this gown. The pleats and inserts continued in the back but there was less lace. Also, in the back, there is evidence of shattering and conservation repairs made to the gown.
I came across a pair of boots at the Costume Museum (possibly for the second time) and I just had to blog about them (possibly for the second time). They are just so DANG cute!
I see little shoes like these and I want to pinch the baby’s cheeks. But that little baby is long gone. Even if it lived to a ripe old age, it is long gone by now. I don’t know the year. If I were to guess…1890’s because I’ve seen similar (but larger) ones in the collection that were dated 1890’s.
The last item from the last Costume Museum of Canada display in May that I will be showing is a turn of the century blue suit.
The detail on it is wonderful!
The chevron pattern is repeated on the back.
there is green velvet trim on the collar…
The buttons are blue velvet.
I wouldn’t put blue and green velvet together on one suit so I wonder if the buttons had been replaced at some point or there was some sort of weird fading on the collar and sleeve. Still a nice suit. For the display, it was paired up with a little bag. And a broach was used to hide moth holes.
The Costume Museum displayed several items attributed to Eaton’s department store at Dalnavert House Museum during Doors Open. In previous posts I shared a turn of the century coat and an Edwardian skirt and jacket outfit. This is how they looked on display.
This post will be about a bicycle riding skirt.
The front of the skirt has two rows of buttons, one running down each side. The buttons on the right side of the picture (left side of the skirt) function as the closure for the skirt and as the means of holding the front panel shut when walking.
When wanting to ride a bike, the front panel was unbuttoned from the left side of the skirt and re buttoned onto the right side, thus “revealing” the split skirt.
There was not much “revealing” of the split because the legs were very baggy so that they hung much like a skirt. In fact the back of the skirt looks like a…well…a skirt!
You really have to pull the legs apart to see that they are actually “pant legs” and not a skirt.
The skirt was paired up with a little white shirt with delicate lace.
Some very cute boots and a hat were added to complete the look.
We all know that I’m a fan of the Victorian era fashions but some of the Edwardian fashions appeal to me for modern wear. The coat I will show you today is just such a thing.
It is part of the Costume Museum of Canada and will be going on display at the end of the month.
It is attributed to the Eaton’s store.
I love the detail on the lapel and sleeves.
Would you wear this today?
As I have mentioned before, I am back at the Costume Museum and we are preparing for an exhibit in a few weeks. One of the items on display is an Edwardian jacket with lace inserts. I would wear this today. May be not in white because I can’t keep anything white for long. I’d no sooner put it on and I’d run afoul of a pot of tomato sauce.
(Ignore the odd pink fabric near the bottom. It is the lining of the skirt which was being held up for steaming.)
The buttons are Dorset buttons.
The buttons are also featured on the sleeves.
In the side view, there is a small lace panel and button at the hip just under the sleeve.
The jacket was paired with a dark green skirt. And this is what it looks like all steamed out.
The Costume Museum of Canada is putting on a display this month of things attributed to the Eaton’s store. I steamed out a wedding dress from the 20’s that has an amazing amount of detail for a store bought item!
It is a very fine fabric that would have been wonderfully cool for a summer wedding.
The collar has embroidery and tiny little tucks.
Those tiny little tucks are also on the back.
There are little tucks and bigger pleats and two little panels that are like little pockets.
The same tucks and pleats are on the back but minus the little pocket things.
There is a sash that I didn’t know about so didn’t photograph. I liked it better without the sash.
Man, it is good to be back in the museum!