Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Hoover Trunk - Part 3: Aprons

 There were six aprons in the box from the old trunk; the first two appeared to be made from the same basic pattern.  The fabric and lace are different but they are created the same way:

Theres' a center panel, with extensions seamed on (click on the picture to make it bigger; I've folded it in half, then folded back one edge so you can see the seam allowances and the side panels).  The edges of the center panel on both aprons are selvedges; this fabric was 24 1/2" wide.  
I'm wondering if it could be left over from the infant gowns, which were also made from very narrow fabric but I never compared them and I'm not digging through the already wrapped and packed boxes to see.  It could be.  In any case...very, very narrow fabric.

 There's a wider sash gathered into the waistband for prettier bows.:
One of the aprons has a stamp on it.  "P A FLINT" is the text; Ida Hoover became Ida Flint when she married but I'm not sure who P A Flint might have been...daughter?  Mother in Law?  I'll have to ask Cousin Pat if she knows...
ETA:  The consensus seems to be that it's a blurred stamp and should be 'D.A. Flint' David A. Flint was Ida's husband.  In retrospect, if there was a stamp made to identify household goods, it makes sense that it would have his was, after all, around the turn of the 20th century and women had very little in way of legal rights.  He did  apparently have such a stamp that he used on his tools.  There was a suggestion that perhaps the apron was made from one of his recycled shirts, but since the front panel is selvedge-to-selvedge and the stamp placement makes sense on the apron, I kind of doubt that.  I think Ida just used the stamp to quickly mark the apron as hers...for whatever reason.

The next apron is TINY.  
It appears that it was worn by buttoning it, but the entire waistband from button to button hole is only 23 1/2 inches.  Feasible, for a tight corset I suppose...or a very tiny person. Or perhaps even a child.
This apron has no pockets, but it does have slightly larger side panels; the center panel is still only 24" wide fabric.

The next apron is cut on the crossgrain; it's very sheer; I'm guessing voile? 

The pattern across the bottom is woven in; even the 'hem' is woven in.

 The bottom edge is actually a selvedge.

It's missing one of the ties; which is sad.  But it is pretty badly stained from storage.

These aprons are all pretty sheer, which makes me wonder if they were for show rather than for actual 'protect my dress' use. 

The other two are bib-style aprons.  Apron number one ties in the back, but I have no idea how the bib stayed up.

The only clue is this slight rust stain on the strap; I'm guessing there was a pin (possibly even a straight pin) there as I know aprons were pinned up years ago.
A row of machine stitching for the twice-turned hem, and another row of machine stitching to attach the rick rack.

The last apron in the bunch is one that I've called 'the show-off apron' due to the incredible number of tiny, individually made loops which literally outline every detail:

I can't imagine the hours that went into the construction of this.  And...there is again no visible means of closing it up, so I'm assuming it was pinned on as well.

We have a bit of revers on the bib, all outlined with the loops.  The 'lapels' are attached with a running hand stitch, and the bib is connected to the skirt with hand sewn tacks...pretty much the only notable hand stitching (other than the button holes on the Very Small apron) in the lot.

All those loops!!!  I can't imagine taking that much time on an apron.  I've never seen anything quite like it.  But, I guess if you can't surf the 'net in the evenings...why not make an over the top apron?

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Hoover Trunk, Part 2 --- Baby Stuff


The trunk had four baby gowns in it; I suspect two of them were meant to be worn together, probably as a christening gown. You will want to click on the pics to make them bigger, lol.   I was standing on a stepstool to get high enough to get the entire garments in the frames, out in the sunroom where the natural light is the best.

The first one up is probably the simplest.  There is hand embroidery on the bodice.

The stitching has pulled out right in the front.  I couldn't tell if that was the original stiching or if it had been mended and the mending stich was pulling out.

There is a little binding casing on the inside of the sleeve but no opening in it for any kind of inserted anything.  I'm thinking it's just a stay for the slight gathering at the wrist.

The seam allowances were TINY... and three of the four seam allowances on the sideseams were selvedge.  Narrow fabric, to be sure,  as the front was one piece,  but I don't know what happened on that fourth edge.  Maybe it was flipped and the CB seam was on the selvedge on that side?  I didn't think of that when I was looking at it.  All the long seams were machine stitched; only a small amount of hand stitching was used in the construction.  Which appears to be the case on almost all the garments in the bin; only the quilt top appears to be completely hand stitched.  Ida had to have had either a hand crank machine or a treadle.

Next up is what I believe was a two-piece  christening gown...but , you know, I might be wrong.  What looks to be the outer gown has no closures on the back opening...and no needleholes in the fine cotton to indicate that there ever WERE any closures.  That's a mystery to me; I've no idea how it stayed on the kid.

Hem stitching.  It's got to be hand tiny and so...uniform...
Another binding stay; the sleeve is gathered slightly to it, then the edge is bound and the lace sewn on.

You can see the mix of hand sewing and machine stitching  in the seams and trim
Embroidery and impossibly small pintucks on the front bodice.
Binding and lace on the neckline.
The under gown has button tabs...these hand worked button holes show up on several different garments...not just the baby gowns.

Full length undergown.  The bodice area is very plain, which is why I'm pretty sure it's an undergown.  Now whether it was meant to go with the first gown or not...that was just my guess because the laces were similar.
Entredeux and hem ruffle on the undergown.

This is gown number four...which might be an undergown as the bodice is very plain and actually has a dart at the center front to the neckline.
Wish I could rotate the picture, lol.  I'll try to remember to do that before uploading in the future.
But there IS lace on the neckline and armsceyes so ...maybe it's NOT an undergown.  
There is no sideseam on the bodice...the back and front were cut as one piece, with shoulder seams and, as I mentioned, a center front dart.
This last gown is a much more substantial cotton than the others; and the skirt is more sateen-like than the bodice.  Heavier and crisper. And such lovely tucks...

I am wondering if they are sturdy enough to survive cleaning and mending for use in photo shoots...

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Hoover Trunk...Part 1: A Century -old Quilt top?


I know I said I'd get 'at least two' blog posts from the contents of this box...but I have spent almost a whole afternoon taking pictures and I'm not halfway through yet. 

Plus, Blogger is an absolute PAIN when it comes to posting pictures and trying to get them positioned just so; to save my own sanity I am going to have to limit the number of pics in each post so that means ...yeah, it's gonna be a whole series, lol.


The first step was, of course, obtaining some acid -free boxes and tissue to move the items to. 

 A plastic bin and newsprint wasn't the best place for them; based on the date on the newspaper I'm going to guess it's been in that box since about January.  Before was in an old trunk that had been in an attic or basement or back of a big closet somewhere. My Sweet Baboo's aunt had the trunk, and her daughter (his cousin), Pat,  inherited it.  She brought it over when we were visiting, and I said, 'You know, you can get archival storage stuff,'  and she immediately said, 'No, YOU can get archival storage stuff!  This is leaving my house!' 

I think she started to make a list and gave up pretty quickly.  I'm documenting it as I'm pulling it out and it is something of a chore.

I wish I had thought to measure stuff; going forward, I will likely get some measurements before I fold it up in the tissue, but I'm not going to unbox what I've already moved.

So.  Pat said that her mother always called it 'The Hoover Trunk' as her grandmother's (that would be the great-grandmother of My Sweet Babboo and Pat) maiden name was Hoover.  Ida Hoover.  She was, apparently, a professional dressmaker/ seamstress.  I don't know if she made all the contents of the trunk or not, but I suppose it is possible that she made a good deal of it.  I don't think I've seen photos of Ida; Pat says that she was a very petite lady...who had very not-petite sisters.  I will say that the contents of the trunk are very...varied, lol. 

But we'll get to that.

 I started with the non-garments first, and the biggest thing in the trunk is apparently a quilt top. But it is cool; a really different sort of quilt with the big paisley print pieces surrounded by small pieced blocks.  I have not seen anything quite like it.This is folded in half with some supporting tissue on the fold.

 It is hand pieced, with a very...interesting...color scheme.  I will say that most of the contents of the trunk appear to be from the nineteen-teens or maybe early twenties, but some of the fabric prints in this look quite modern to me.  I didn't realize such abstract prints were a thing that long ago.




The moth damage is extensive and some of the fabric pieces have gotten very fragile from age.  I have no earthly idea what could be done with it...I am not sure it is at all salvageable.

What would you do with it? I'm curious.

I am probably going to ask that question a LOT in this series....