Threads Through Time-Dress, Lace and Jabot

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Unknown artist
Dress, date unknown
Blue silk with embroidered flowers, lace
On loan from the Old State House Museum, Little Rock

 

Unknown artist
Crocheted Jabot, 1880-1900
 Lace, cotton
On loan from the Old State House Museum, Little Rock

 

Unknown artist
Black Lace Trim for Mourning Dress, date unknown
Lace
On loan from the Old State House Museum, Little Rock

 

The most common form of self-expression for a woman is in the clothes she wears. Colors, patterns, fabrics, even details like buttons, all converge to form a visual insight into the wearer. A woman’s class, job, and personality were on display with her clothing choices, even while maintaining the fashion trends of the time.

In addition to sewing, women also used the arts of lacemaking, crochet, weaving, knitting, and embroidery to create fashions for herself and her household. The home seamstress found inventive ways to add to the clothes she created. The dress above, for example, shows the ingenuity of its maker who created an embroidered floral pattern to enhance a plain fabric. Also featured is an example of black lace trim for a mourning dress, and a crochet jabot, made to accessorize the front of a dress or shirt.