Featured Lace repair - great grandmother’s baby gown

Discussion in 'Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing' started by Tanya, Dec 7, 2021.

  1. Tanya

    Tanya Well-Known Member

    I have been a little absent from Antiquers because of some exciting news… I’m expecting!

    I am fortunate to have my great grandmother’s gown (1901) for the baby naming and it’s in good condition but there is a small tear in the lace.

    Any thoughts on how to best go about repairing it? The gown is San Francisco right now (my parents) but could also be brought here (New York) if you have specific suggestions of restorers in either location.


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  2. Bookahtoo

    Bookahtoo Moderator Moderator

    I can't help with your question Tanya, but congratulations!
    dude, Any Jewelry, judy and 1 other person like this.
  3. pearlsnblume

    pearlsnblume Well-Known Member

    Congratulations, all the best.
    dude, Any Jewelry and Tanya like this.
  4. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Congratulations Tanya, great news.:happy:
    @Northern Lights Lodge ?:)

    I always repair fine lace using my own hair.:bag: A trick I learned at school in Australia, where the girls used to repair the tights of their uniform using their own hair. In class, which only goes to show how boring school can be.
    I have a choice of black, brown, red and white, all growing on the same head.:D
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  5. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    Congratulations, Tanya!! :joyful::kiss:
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  6. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    You're sure to find very capable repair people in either location. Doesn't look like too difficult a job. Lace appears to be cotton and machine-made. A high end dry cleaners that specializes in restoring bridal gowns might be able to do. And given you're going to be busy (!) for the next few months, you might prefer that your parents supervise the repair.

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  7. Northern Lights Lodge

    Northern Lights Lodge Well-Known Member

    @Tanya ! How exciting! Congratulations! What a lovely piece to have for the baby's special day!! Is there a photo of the original wearer, wearing it?? :)

    Yes, the lace is machine made and cotton.

    @Any Jewelry has a possible repair suggestion... that would be if you wanted to re weave it... but hair is difficult to work with.

    My first question is do you want it "rewoven" to look like the design... or just nicely repaired?

    If you stretch the lace out... is it all "there" (as in a tear) or is it a real hole with missing thread?

    Where is the hole located? Smack in the front or in a less obvious location?

    What is the general condition of the piece? Dry rot? Dingy? Lightly worn?

    How much time is available for the repair?

    Let me know what you can - and we can proceed from there?

    Cheerio Leslie
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  8. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    From that picture, I'm betting much, if not ALL, of the lace is right there!!! So the repair could be minor!!! I'm sure @Northern Lights Lodge will guide you well!!! AND CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! What a WONDERFUL piece to have!!!!:singing::singing::):):) P.S....hope we can watch or see the results!!!
  9. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    I agree. It probably just needs to be pulled together and ironed.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2021
  10. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    That is indeed what it looks like. A few dainty stitches to join.

  11. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    Congratulations, Tanya!
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  12. janettekay

    janettekay Well-Known Member

    CONGRATS Tanya !!!!!!!! Great news.:D
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  13. dude

    dude Well-Known Member

  14. Northern Lights Lodge

    Northern Lights Lodge Well-Known Member

    @Aquitaine @Any Jewelry - that is exactly what I was thinking. It looked a bit like a rip and that "everything" was there. Simple fix! But, we'll know more when Tanya checks in again!
  15. Tanya

    Tanya Well-Known Member

    Thank you for all the good wishes!

    In answer to your questions;

    Is there a photo of the original wearer, wearing it?? No, I don’t think so (if there was I think my mother would have mentioned it), but I’ll ask her to double check. It would be very neat if there was!

    It does look to me like the lace is all there just torn. But I’ll confirm with my mother. I’m glad you brought this up as I had initially thought some lace needed to be remade but after looking more closely at the picture I think it’s all there and it’s just a rip that needs to be repaired.

    Amazingly, it is is perfect condition otherwise. No staining or discoloration. It was kept by my grandmother properly stored in a box with acid free tissue paper and then my mother. I’m actually a little nervous that after 120 years of being carefully preserved my child will of course promptly spit up on it! But I also like the idea of things being used.

    I look forward to sharing a photo of her in the gown!

    I have about 5 months to get it repaired, but I am trying not to leave everything to the last minute : -)

    A few other notes:

    It belonged to my great grandmother who loved antiques (I once posted here about receiving some of her antique collecting books from my mother). While I never met her, I always felt a connection to her because of this.

    The last few years were a difficult journey trying to conceive with IVF and included some early losses. I had always loved an antiques (even as a child) but it really became a big part of my life when I needed something to focus on and enjoy during a difficult time.

    None of you could have known how much your comments and advice cheered me up during that time. But it meant a lot to me. Thank you for your kindness with a beginner!
  16. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time.;)
    Exactly, a beautiful family tradition. Looking forward to the photos.:happy:
    I am just glad we were able to help bring some joy to a difficult period. With your little miracle about to see the world for the first time, you can also look forward.:)
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  17. Poisonivy

    Poisonivy Well-Known Member

    First of all congratulations on your wonderful news .......
    Looking closely at the damage I think as some others have said that you could carefully draw the damaged parts back together, if you go on a site such as Etsy I'm sure you could find some antique linen thread in a similar colour, I know such things are around because I've found lots at Antiques fairs.
    If it doesn't come back together enough to fill the "hole" you could try and find a little piece of fine old net to back it with, this would stabilise the damage, again you might find something on Etsy.
    I hope that's helpful.
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  18. Pat Dennis

    Pat Dennis Active Member

    Years ago, while collecting old quilts, a read where the Smithsonian also used human hair for repair.
    Any Jewelry likes this.
  19. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    I can imagine. It is very fine, very strong, and it is more durable than regular thin thread.
  20. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    And before the bob, quite long strands were available.

    Tanya likes this.
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