Lace trimmed embroidered tea dress, c.1908
Tea dresses with lavish embellishment are the most sought after by collectors. With its elaborate bodice, this one is a special find if you do not mind doing TLC work for a reduced price.
The bodice has padded embroidered flowers, numerous lace inserts, and rows of tucks. The dress closes in back with small mother-of-pearl buttons and hooks.
This white cotton dress needs a good soak to make it fresh again. The major problem is the 22" size of the waistband, unless your name is Scarlet O'Hara. The bodice and skirt both have ample fabric to be let out to fit a larger waistband. Then you need touch-up mending—see picture of the lace insert with the broken bride on the bodice.
The bottom picture shows several small holes in the skirt. At first I thought this was a serious problem, until I saw that they are virtually invisible when the dress is backed with a white slip.
The condition is very good. The dress is priced accordingly. In Excellent condition, it would retail for $570-$650.
It measures: 36" bust, 22" waist, 38" hip, 15" from shoulder seam to shoulder seam, 15" sleeve length, and 53" from shoulder to hem.