Textile treasure seeking turns up all sorts of wonderful finds. I saw a 1940s wedding dress in a junk shop last week, complete with the original veil and photographs of the wedding party. I assumed it would be way out of my price range (I'm used to the price of vintage pieces in our neck of the woods!) and so left the shop without even asking how much is was.
Well, as soon I was back home, I couldn't stop thinking about that dress. I fell asleep that night with the idea firmly fixed in my head that I would call the shop the next day just to find out how much the dress was on sale for (and if nothing else to cast it from my mind). When I rang and asked the price the next day (the couple who own it are so friendly and jolly), I nearly fell off the chair I was perched on..."It's on for £25", said the chap I spoke to," but the wife says you can have it for £20!" Needless to say, I reserved it straight away!
One of the official wedding photos. Everyone looks so happy. It's such a shame, but there's no indication of who any of these people are. I wonder what their war was like? What Squadron was the groom attached to? What happened to them all? I have a feeling I will never know, but I hope they all lived very long and happy lives.
The dress came in its original box.
This is me, modelling the dress and veil! The shape of the shoulders is so typically 1940s (but Mr Treasure was a little iffy about it, saying that they made me look a funny shape!) The headpiece I'm wearing (which is covered in little wax flowers) is the one that my Grandma wore when she married my Grandad in 1937.
The veil is full length, with delicate embroidery on it. Unfortunately, it's very fragile and there are a few holes in it, but I still think it's gorgeous! The dress has a 'puddle' (small train) at the back, just like the dress I wore when Mr Treasure and I tied the knot.
The belt on the back pulls the waist in as well as adding lovely detailing. Unlike my own wedding dress, I could breathe when I sat down in this one!
There are lots of gorgeous design features, including smocking on each shoulder.
This is part of the pattern on the veil. It's so intricate and looks wonderful cascading down the back of the dress.
In amongst the dress and veil were a few other treasures that the lovely lady at the junk shop gave me. One of them was the lid from a box (complete with this picture) that held a veil that's very similar to the one that I now have.
This is stuck on to the back of the box's lid.
Another of the treasures I was given was this piece from another 1940s veil. The lovely thing about it is there's still confetti trapped in it. The confetti's made out of the bits that get left in a hole punch when punching paper...you can see parts of words printed on some of them!
The 1940s is definitely my favourite decade in history. There's something about the fashion, community spirit, make do and mend ethos and the bravery of everyday people that I love and admire.