Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Amelia's Silver Lace Dress

"In September, I had the good fortune of being invited to the Kent State University Museum in celebration of its 25th anniversary – the dress code – “Cocktail with a Touch of Silver.” I had been working over the summer on an early ‘50s-inspired dress I had cut from a steel gray stretch suiting; I hadn’t put in the zipper, tacked the lining or the hem. With this special occasion looming, I knew just how I was going to finish my dress. Martha Pullen Company had purchased all that remained of silver-dipped lace edging from Jennifer Osner. (Kathy Barnard and I had snatched it up at the Vegas market a few years back.)

"This vintage trim turned out to be the perfect feminine frill to dress up my fitted silhouette and mannish fabric. I outlined the neck, bust and waist lines of the dress with the ½” edging and added two rows of the 1” edging to the hem. The heading of the lace is beautifully woven in the silver threads, so to attach it, I simply straight machine stitched down the center with a metallic Sulky thread (color #142).

You can still purchase the lace (limited availability) at; click “Shop our Products, and then “Issue #132). The dress pattern is a discontinued Vogue (#9668), but a Google search reveals that there are some copies still out there. (Great pattern, by the way.) And I did do a little research on cleaning the silver lace. has a section from Henley’s Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes Encyclopedia by Norman W. Henley and others, which offers tips ranging from the use of very fine alabaster power to curdled milk."

– Amelia Johanson, Associate Editor, SB

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