Last week I showed you the most exciting of the garments that Elise gave me. This week I’m being mean and showing you the simplest, least-exciting garment.
Well, it may be simple, but sometimes the simplest things are the best. I think this little cape-stole is adorable.
The cape is very cleverly made. It’s made from two pieces of fabric, with part of the back extending further, and the other part curving up around the neck. The extension is gathered to the neck-part to add back fullness:
The lining is cut in exactly the same shape as the outside, and also gathered at the upper back seam.
I think it is late ’30s, but I’m not entirely sure. It’s such a classic style it could really be from any timeperiod.
While it is charming and dressy, I suspect this would have been a very cheap garment when it was made. It’s made from a very short pile fabric which is somewhere between a faux fur and a synthetic velvet, and lined in an inexpensive synthetic taffeta lining. Synthetic fabrics were considerably cheaper than their natural fibre alternatives throughout the 30s and 40s. The pile of the faux fur is quite sparse and thin – indicating that the fabric was a particularly cheap, low quality synthetic.
Both the outside and lining fabric have foxing: an acid reaction that creates yellow spots.
Based on this, you might be thinking that I find this garment a bit disappointing, especially after something like the assuit tunic. And you’d be very wrong. While I love and appreciate the luxury of expensive, exotic, high society textiles like last week’s tunic gown, it’s simple, inexpensive garments like this that really have my heart.
This garment must have been so special to the person who owned and wore it. Perhaps it was a young girl’s first proper dress up wrap – worn to her first dances. Or the garment of a farm wife, who had few occasions to wear evening clothes, and could little afford to buy a pricey wrap she didn’t need.
Their story isn’t as glamorous as that of the Houston socialite, but it is, in it’s own way, much sweeter.