A dress of many patterns

Hi, everyone!

Today on the blog it’s all about the wedding dress recreation project: a dress of many patterns.

Last month, I shared the idea of recreating a vintage wedding dress from the collection of the Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol. The plan is to recreate the basic pattern of the dress using swatches of recreated needlework items. So, it’s a reproduction on two levels.

The needlework techniques used in the swatches will depend on the skills of the volunteers that take part. If there are tatting experts, for example, tatting reproduction swatches could be worked up and incorporated into the dress.

The backstory to this idea is here if you’d like to have a look: http://www.stitchrevivalstudio.ca/lets-stitch-some-history

A visit with 1911 vintage

In early February, I had the privilege of visiting the museum and getting a look at the 1911 wedding dress in person. The simply lovely cream-coloured wedding dress dates from 1911. It’s even more beautiful in person – the images give just a hint of its charm. And so you can get a look too, here’s a collection of images of the dress…

wedding dress dated from 1911

The dress’s construction is simple, consisting of basic shapes (rectangles, triangles, and squares) and so would lend itself to a swatch recreation project. Portions of the dress have a lovely silky sheen; I can imagine those portions would be lovely knitted or crocheted using a fibre with a sheen to it. Other portions of the dress are matte and would lend themselves to recreation using another fibre, perhaps a fine wool blend.

Let’s stitch some history

Would you be interested in joining in this creative reconstruction project? Needle workers & stitchers of all technique and skill level are welcome to join.  The museum has a wealth of vintage textile items (such as knitting, quilting, crochet, embroidery) and you are sure to see a stitched item that would inspire you.

I’ve put together a number of the images of needlework textiles items from their collection. I’ve tried to include examples of crochet, knit, tatting, lace, embroidery, and quilting. There are many more textiles in the museum. Have a look at these examples…

heirloom counterpane dresser scarfa portion of the counterpane baby blanketTidy Chair Back Pattern

Next steps

What do you think? Want to join us and stitch a sampler? The pattern you recreate or create (if you are inspired to make your own version) would then be published as part of a collection, Stitching Our History – a Collection of Needlework Patterns from the Huron County Museum.

Contact me by email or sign-up for my newsletter if you’d like to get involved or get regular updates on this project.

Please note all photos are courtesy of the Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol and are used with permission. Thank you to Patti Rean Lamb of the Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol for her support.