So on my trip to Texas I got to go through my mom and grandmother’s stash to pick what I wanted I’m such a lucky girl that I also received stash fabric from my Dad’s wife, Blu and some of my great grandmother’s dresses(including the dress that family history says is her wedding dress!) from my cousin Jill.. I’ve spent the last two weekends cleaning and sorting everything. Due to how some of it had been stored, I ended up being quite ruthless in my cleaning (barns are NOT friendly places for fabric storage). ALL of it – from swiss dot organza and leopard print faux fur to dusty rose taffeta (it was bought in the 80’s so give me a break) – was washed in HOT water and run through the dryer. This weekend, we finished up the lace. Whew! I now have 3 more shoe boxes of lace and 3 more plastic tubs of fabric. All neatly sorted by base color thanks to my OCD. See below for photos! I lost my sewing room to a new roommate a little over a year ago and I’ve taken over part of one side of the garage for my storage, while I do most of my sewing in a little area off the dining room. Thus continuing a family tradition of having more fabric than food on the dining table (they make WONDERFUL cutting tables!)
So, for some background. Granny lived in Browning Settlement, in East Texas, near modern day Tyler. The dress in made of cotton and the detail on the bodice is (to my best memory) fabric – although it looks like lace over black.
It was a December wedding and the groom moved in with the bride and her father. Ida was the youngest of eleven (yes, 11) children and the story goes that she promised her father that she would stay at home to care for him and never marry if her promised her the house and the land it sat on. Grandpa Browning apparently liked Mr. Thompson and approved of the marriage. Grandpa Browning passed away 2 years later, leaving the home to Ida and Mr. Thompson. My cousin (Ida’s granddaughter) lives in that home today.
For size, Victoria was about a girls size 12 and about 4’9″. Now I’m sure Granny wore this with a corset and petticoat but she wasn’t much bigger than Victoria here who was in stocking feet and a tank top and bike shorts.
The dress buttons up the back, although we only figured it out after these photos were taken. It looks like it has a small train.
As I prepare for the Titanic anniversary dinner, I was reminded of some photos I took of my daughter in my great-granny’s wedding dress. Granny (otherwise known as Ida Elizabeth Browning) was born in 1874 and married in 1913 – the fact that she had children AT ALL at that advanced age (> 39years) surprises me – and she had 3 of them!
Granny was VERY small. My daughter takes after her a bit. These photos were taken in 2009. My cousin has the dress – I wish I lived closer so I could borrow it and put it in a vintage display…
|Ida’s daughters – Mary and Carrie|
|Granny – I think about 1940 or so.|