...And, let's switch focus again, with neck-bending speed.
I have been working on cleaning some of the lace ccunning gave me (jealous? You should be; I have me a special friend!) and I've been having fabulous success with a solution of 1/2-1 tablespoon of Sodium Perborate (purchased from a person who sells antique linen, cotton, lace, and sewing tools almost exclusively, and she uses it on her antique linen and cotton) in a large (4-5 quart) bowl of very hot water.
Obviously, you should never do this with silk. But linen and cotton respond very well, though it makes the linen quite stiff, so needs to be rinsed thoroughly. Behold the power of chemistry:
The lace on top was the same colour as the lace underneath when I started - sort of a deep tea-stained brown. As you can see, it turned out much whiter - and the water ended up so yellowed, that I ran it through a second bath of SB.
The same lace, after ironing. Isn't it beautiful? There's barely enough to do anything with it, but I pulled out my embroidered coif...
I'm still pondering this move. The lace will require a little careful mending in a couple of places, and I'm always on the fence about whether to use antique things, or save them, but it does look amazing, and it does fit. It's also a good place for the lace - it will be seen, but very gently cared for, since the coif cannot be washed, or exposed to too much stress (light, sweat, dirt, etc.). Input is welcome, whether it's "yes, that looks faboo!" to "OMG HOW CAN YOU USE ANTIQUES IN SUCH A CAVALIER MANNER!!!!ELEVENTY!!!". I'm really undecided. I have seen multiple coifs with lace of this type, for research reference (and more in pictures).
Then, I cleaned the brown lace from the first picture. Speaking of OMG eleventy!!:
Holy cow, that's some pretty stuff. It seems to have been repurposed at some point as a shelf edge/mantel topper, since it's seamed in the middle and hemmed on both ends. The edging lace is made from a different quality of thread from the tape lace, and lightened a touch more. It's gorgeous, but fairly short (43") long, and may be framed at some point. Because, OMG.
A couple of other pieces in the ccunning Memorial Collection need some mendng, but are so gorgeous, I took photographs after pressing them:
This is an adorable little boudoir/nursery pillow made of very fine lawn cotton, with a scalloped edge, and whitework motifs. The butterfly is the main motif, and is so delicate. it's only 13x16", including the scallop, which is fabric edged with sttching, then lace attached.
This is a lovely and delicate little child's day dess, made entirely of net. The upper skirt has come loose from the gathering at the waist, so I pinned it back in so it would look like it should. It's for a girl about 8-10, and is machine stitched, with pin tucks and gathers. The sleeves are elbow length. I'm guessing it's from around 1910? But I could be wrong.
And finally, this is the christening gown:
It has a huge hole on one shoulder, but it doesn't detract from the delightfulness of the piece. Dating gowns like this is difficult, since the style changes so little, and they're often hand-made even when machine-made ones are available, but I'd guess it's from around the same date as the day dress. The lace used is machine made, as are the inset embroidery pieces on the collar. The collar is adorable!
The sleeve ruffle is gathered from the width of the sleeve, not added separately, and a hand-embroidered (I think) ribbon is laid over the gathering to create the cuff. The three rows of inset lace at the hem are machine lace, as is the ruffle at the bottom, which is created by layering two pieces of edging lace (with a scalloped edge) over each other, and stitching them down.
In other news, I'm tired - but we has floor in the yellow bedroom:
And a mess in the hallway. I'm out.