Anonymous 1902-1921 "Dress History” Annotated

Regular price $75.00

The recent book by fashion historian and museum curator Kate Strasdin, The Dress Diary: Secrets from a Victorian Woman's Wardrobe, put dress diaries on my radar. The subject of Stradin's extensively researched book was a dress diary started in 1838 by a Mrs. Anne Sykes, holding snippets of fabrics from a range of garments owned by her or family members, with annotations as to when and what and where worn--together creating a unique record of their lives.

This one I just found is later, with no name of its keeper anywhere, but started with fabric from a baby dress in 1902, and running through to 1921, likely when it's owner got married and had other things to attend to! Rare in my experience to come across one of these, and its maker did a nice job of including dates as well as annotations as to the garment from which it was snipped, from sailor suit to apron to shirt waist to graduation dress, including notes as to other details about the item (color of trim or yoke or tie, sewn herself, etc.) I especially love the consecutive pages documenting a navy swatch from a dress given to her by her cousin Carrie, followed by a navy wool swatch from an underskirt that was used to "lengthen" the previous dress. A pretty humble looking notebook, but quite a singular portrait of a period of time in a specific life, and also an informative textile record from the early 20th c.

Notebook measures 6 3/4" x 4 1/16". 19 pages filled on both fronts and back (38 page faces.) All in good condition.