“Antique” Work-in-progress

My husbands grandmother passed away a couple of months ago.  Her house was a treasure trove of antiques.  My mother in law bundled up a bunch of beautiful old table runners, doilies, linens, hankies and fabric for me (I blogged about them here – I love vintage textiles), and this was in amongst all of them. It is the oldest unfinished “work-in-progress” I own! The lace down the right hand side is not attached and the neck is open (it is pinned in the picture). I am curious about the age of it.  I am not sure whether it is more Edwardian or Victorian in shape or sure whether this would have been left as a separate collar or sewn onto a garment.

The black silk is in excellent condition – in much better shape that an Edwardian blouse I have in my collection.  It is very stiffly faced and has the most delicate velvet ribbon around the neck. I would love to finish it, but I want to make sure I finish it how it would have been finished!

If anyone has any insight as to the period and how it would be worn or finished, I would love to hear it 🙂  There some photos of my other Edwardian Era finds on my blog, if you are interested.  Thanks a lot for your help!



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4 comments… add one

  • What a beautiful piece, but I have no expertise to share. How lovely it would be to actually wear it! I heartily believe in “living vintage!” Make sure you let us know what you decide to do. 🙂

  • Hello there!

    I am thinking this would have been a detachable piece to be worn over a dress like this:
    I know that dresses of the time period often had interchangeable neck collars to change the look. (The burgundy dress on the right looks like it could have that lace piece you showed over the top of it.)

    Hope this helps!


  • It’s right on the cusp of Victorian/Edwardian – it dates at the earliest to the very late 1890s, when the “pouter pigeon” front came in, to about 1909, after which the waist started rising and loosening.

    Generally the way these fasten is that there are hooks and eyes or hooks and thread loops up the wearer’s left front (that’s why it isn’t sewn together there), and then the collar wraps around and hooks at the side back or back.

    This might have been meant as an interchangeable collar, but it looks to me more like the type that was meant to be sewn to a specific dress and formed the front opening for it.

  • Thank you so much for all of your help! Great information here 🙂


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