Linen Shift with Tiny Needle Lace Insert,

Linen Shift with Tiny Needle Lace Insert,

Europe, circa 1850

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Shift: 13” x 12¼” • Framed size: 15¼” x 14¾” • Price: sold

Young girls in charity schools and orphanages in various European countries learned practical hand sewing and tailoring skills that could be applied to a future career in service or to the obvious expectations that they would be able to make clothing as a wife and mother. Lessons resulted in the production of small items of clothing and other small examples that were proof of the student’s skills.

This delightful little shift is an excellent specimen of this genre, with many finely stitched details: the tiny insert of needle lace at the neckline, the cross-stitched letter J, the woven tape facing and the flat-fell seams. Now conservation mounted and framed.

 

Detail of Needle Lace:

 

Detail of interior seam:

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