Historical information

The dress was kept for many years in the wardrobe of the mother of the donor who had lived in Irymple Avenue, East Kew. The donor believes that the dress probably belonged to her great-grandmother, Lilian Ballantine who lived at 31 Harp Road, East Kew. If this belief is correct, the dress would have been passed down a number of generations of the family. [Lilian Armstrong Ballantine (nee Power) 1887-1969 > Mary McCartney McQueen (nee Ballantine) 1912-94 > ? Kerr (nee McQueen) > Donor ]

Physical description

Pale blue striped muslin single-piece dress with lace, tulle and embroidery at the neck and on the cuffs. The lace at the neck and cuffs is embroidered with coloured flowers, and edged with tulle. Bordering the v-neckline is a deeper blue guipure lace (possibly added later). There is a satin flower on the right side of the skirt which gathers the hem, exposing the deeper blue cotton underskirt. The dress has a narrow band of blue satin at the high waist. The cotton underskirt is attached by thread in places to the outer layer. Both the outer and under layers are attached with metal hooks and eyes. Edging the cuffs and hem of the dress is blue commercial fringing. The exterior of the dress has a slight brown tinge which is not apparent on the inside hem, suggesting that it has been discoloured through exposure. There are minor stains.