Friends, in another world a long time ago, one could spend a whole 75 cents and get sent to your door: a French seamed, pintucked, lace edged baby garment already stamped with an embroidery design along with the pattern and floss to complete!
Although I did get this gorgeous baby gown, instructions and floss sent to my door I, unfortunately, didn’t pay 75 cents. I paid $16.45 along with $12.6o postage for this divine package to come live with me…and it was worth every cent! This front label is a copy of the original – the dress and contents, although original, didn’t come in its original envelope.
The embroidery thread supplied is a rayon floss called Glossilla Floche Art.
The instruction sheet is simple to follow and has, as expected, feather stitch. Feather stitch was commonly used on embroidered baby garments and it’s still very popular with heirloom sewing and embroidery.
If you look to the mid right hand side of the page you will see a National Recovery Administration (NRA) logo. The NRA was an agency created in 1933 to aid in stimulating the economy and creating a set of fair work practices and fair competition codes during The Great Depression in the US. The codes were designed to reduce harmful competition by setting minimum prices for products and setting minimum wage standards and maximum weekly work hours for workers. Whilst the codes were put in place to primarily stimulate and protect the American economy by controlling competitive business practices they also gave workers a level of protection. Shops and other businesses would display the logo in their businesses to show support of the NRA and its codes even if they didn’t always strictly observe the codes. Membership to the NRA was voluntary however, businesses that weren’t seen to be supportive, by not displaying the logo, were often boycotted.
The codes set by the NRA were deemed unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in May 1935 – so that dates this little lovely between 1933 and May 1935. So, it’s between 78 .5 and 80 years old. The sweet dress has the age marks consistent with her age!
The lace has been attached prior to being sent to the recipient. The hem and pintucks are also finished, as are the French seamed side and underarm seams. It’s a very typical mail-order unfinished garment of its era: it is basically one piece of cloth folded over at the shoulder and seamed from the hem to the underarm.
The embroidery design has been pre-stamped onto the fabric.
I’m dying to embroider it, but am feeling more than a little unsettled on whether I should or shouldn’t complete the embroidery. What do you think folks? To embroider or not embroider?
I hope you’ve enjoyed a peek into the past as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you.