Saturday, January 26, 2013

Archaeology, Nebraska Style

This past week I went up to our old house. Before we moved in twenty years ago the house had been rented, and before that it was owned by the Danielson family. I don't know if it was the Danielsons or the renters, but nothing seemed to ever be thrown away. Out in the corn crib there are a few flour sacks hanging from the ceiling, full of old clothes. I brought home one of those incredibly musty bags to find out what kind of clothes they were.

The majority of the clothes were normal boring and way too dirty, but I did fish out and wash a few things. First off, this home-made olive green crepe-back satin blouse. The blouse has two darts at each front shoulder, and a snap at the front neck as well as two at the side closure. The sleeve has been patched, but otherwise the blouse is in fine condition. 

A patched sleeve.
The blouse and sleeves are made from the reverse side of the fabric, while the shoulder drapes, peplum and sleeve peplums are made from the satin side. Other than being musty and not cared for, this blouse isn't damaged and I don't understand why it would just be thrown out.

Side closure for a skinny person.

I also dug out a bias cut black slip with irreparable holes, a net shawl or table runner, a white embroidered shift torn at both armpits, a tea towel, and a man's vest.

This poor vest is so chewed up and doesn't have any buttons either, but I'm tempted to patch it and have one of my dance gentlemen wear it at performance. All our costumes are new, and that's not ideal. This vest would certainly make a difference in that respect. The label in the front pocket reads "Manufactured under men's clothing code authority" with the logo "NRA: We do our part." Apparently the National Recovery Administration was part of FDR's New Deal in the 1930's. So that makes this poor old vest almost eighty years old.

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