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This is just a truly remarkable piece of Irish-style crochet.
When I find something so unusual and so lovely I can't help but wonder what other wonderful treasures are still hidden away in cupboards and armoires all over France. It is this kind of piece that gives 'things French' their reputation for refinement, elegance, and that undefinable but readily discernable thing called 'French style'.
Frankly I am not sure how to describe this truly unique piece. It is a tunic type garment with a cotton band sewn inside at the raised waist which actually is just below an average bustline....and this top was obviously intended to be worn over a dress or slip of some sort. Now I think it would be absolutely wonderful worn over a silky strapless sheath-style wedding gown, perhaps for the church ceremony when the bride might prefer to be a bit covered.
The entire piece has been hand crocheted in Irish crochet technique which was very popular in France in the early 1900s. This technique continues to remain a mystery to me. I learned to crochet as a girl but this technique has always eluded me...so complicated and demanding. In any case this piece has been beautifully worked by a very clever person in two 'shades' of white...most of the piece is in pure white but at the centerfront the artist who crocheted this piece has used the palest creamy white to give a bit of contrast to the pattern. The pattern itself is an amazingly complicated (as Irish crochet tends to be) swirling dance of floral motifs all joined in a lacy filagree. Perhaps the most charming detail is the addition of four hand-crocheted, but amazingly life-like fushia flowers dangling from the front bodice. As well the maker has painstakingly crocheted little bobbles to hang from the lower edge of the tunic
This tunic is worked in three pieces, the seamless bodice and the back and front lower panels, all of which have been joined onto a cotton band. Certainly one would want to have this band re-worked by a good seamstress. Replacing the band would be a simple matter for any good seamstress and would allow for adjusting the size for the wearer. One of the great advantages of this piece is that as far as size is concerned it would be very adjustable by increasing or decreasing the inner band size.
This tunic measures 24 inches from the shoulder to the hem...but all the other measurements would be adjustable . The band is 14 inches down from the shoulder so that it would fit just under the average bustline. At present the band measures 27 inches around but as I have mentioned this could easily be increased or decreased.
Although we cannot assign actual sizes to these vintage items, we could say that this tunic would probably work best for an average small to average medium size.
Please carefully check your measurements against those we give.
This beautiful and fine piece of hand crochet work is is excellent vintage condition but there are some very small breaks in the crochet here and there. There is nothing serious and any small issues could be repaired with a stitch or two . As mentioned, one would want to have the inner band re-made but this would not be a complicated task for a competant seamstress.
This piece is clean, white and stain-free.
Please feel free to ask for more photos to see details of this lovely tunic.
From our FRENCH VINTAGE LINENS AND ANTIQUES shop on ETSY
Our Etsy #0509
Shipping from France for this item will be $17.50 to anywhere in the world by Registered French Priority Airmail. If you wish to insure your parcel, shipment will be by French Colissimo which includes insurance, a tracking number and delivery on signature for added security. We offer this shipment option at $37.50 which will be less than our actual cost. Please let us know before purchase so that we can add the extra shipping charge.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US FOR FURTHER DETAILS OR MORE PHOTOS.
Also we have a large stock of French vintage linens, baby clothes, Christening gowns, nightgowns, bed linens, table linens. Ask us if you are looking for something special.
AND REMEMBER...OUR ITEMS ARE SO 'GREEN'! NO RECENT ENERGY WAS USED TO PRODUCE THE THINGS WE SELL AND ALMOST ALWAYS OUR ITEMS ARE MADE OF NATURAL FIBERS.