Saturday, July 21, 2012

a good day

My friend and I scheduled a "day o' thrifting" on Wednesday and we managed to just drag ourselves home after hitting 3 separate Goodwills in the Portland area. There was a nice interlude for lunch at Elephant's in between, but still, by late afternoon we were wasted...
This was my big find of the day, a Flapper dress from the 1920's with lovely beadwork on fine silk. Layers of silk...

The sleeves are strips of beaded silk with a cuff at the end.

It looks like there's been some early alteration around the waist area, and a few small holes in the silk, but considering it's age, and the fact that I found it all messed up hanging on a hanger at the Goodwill just crammed into the dress racks, it loos pretty darn good for it's age. We should all be so fortunate...

I'm trying to find out more about it, so if anyone knows about 1920 couture, I could use some advice on how to care for it. I am storing it flat and it seems to appreciate that, but there may be more I need to do to preserve it. Meanwhile I just love looking at it!


  1. It is a great find, indeed, Betsy. I don't know anything about the couture of the 20's, but I do know that old silk must be handled carefully. I would suggest NOT wrapping it in plastic, but storing it in a cardboard box as you do...about cleaning, I don't know, but one thing I would be very careful of is if you choose to clean it, get it done by an expert--NOT your everyday drycleaner, and if you do it yourself, handwash briefly, hang dry, and do NOT iron directly onto the might disentigrate anyway, or you might have a strong piece...I had a piece of crazy-quilt made from old ties, and although I hand-washed, it disentigrated. Are the beads plastic or glass?

  2. Dawn, I thought you'd like to see this! Thanks for the advice, I've had similar from a couple others but suggested hand washing while the dress is laying flat. The beads are glass, so they tend to weigh down the silk and except for a brief stint on the mannequin, I've got her laying flat. I got the name of a local place that might be able to give me some insight into the dress itself, whether it's been altered, or is missing something at the waist,etc. Pretty fun, I can't help thinking about who might have worn it and where!

  3. What a find, I love to go thrifting too, I find all kinds of wonderful stuff.

  4. It can almost get a little addicting, Nancy...

  5. You might want to check out a vintage shop called Xtabay in the Portland area. They might be able to help you out as they do get dresses from this era.

  6. Heather, thank you, I've not heard of that shop. I'll check them out!