Monday, July 26, 2010
Patchwork Dress - WWII Era
Here is a recent very interesting find from an antique shop in Sisters, Oregon.
At first I thought it was a wrapper but on closer inspection discovered it was a dress for it actually has to go on over your head. It has a metal zipper on the left side to facilitate this.
The interfacing of the neckline contains the following numeric and alpha symbols " 011-Allen P."
It doesn't strike me as a summer dress. The dress is fully lined in flannel! Well, actually, the flannel is used as the "ground" of the patchwork. But this alone makes it an extra warm dress.
Upon first inspection, I dated the fabrics late 30s to early 40s.
Upon closer inspection, I found a fabric scrap bearing a military insignia on both the front and the back of the dress. That - and the way the shoulder detail is handled - made me think of the WWII era.
Sorry the photo is slightly out of focus but this shot gives you a good look at how the waist is handled.
The waist has the look of a cumber bund on the front and can be tied tightly to some degree, but it is not a draw-string.
It is a bit too loose for me to fit my taste but that made it easy to get on and off.
I was really quite pleased to find this garment, especially since I had just finished reading *Sue Reich's book about WWII era quilts and military insignias.
(Click on photos to enlarge.) One of the quilts from my collection is in Sue's book.
If you look on pages 122 and 123 of Sue's book you will see two different quilts made from insignia patches from a sailors uniform. The "ranking" on these Navy patches on both quilts range from one to three stripes.
The Navy insignia that appears in the fabric in this dress has 2 stripes. The graphic under the eagle, however, is neither two crossed flags or two crossed keys as seen is Sue's book. Instead, it looks like an X with a tiny dot on each of the spokes of the X, rather resembling a lug wrench.
(full view of back of dress)
Have you made any patchwork clothing yourself? I'll share some of my mother-in-law's work in another post.
Meanwhile, keep those needles flying or those fingers recording the history!
PS: My 1941-42 Navy Signature Quilt is included in Sue's book. To see a complete list of all 250+ names posted on line in the Quilt Index Signature Quilt Project click here.
*To contact Sue Reich about WWII quilts, click here.