These 19th century drawers were one of my Museum Mystery Box finds at the Kearny Museum. They are long and very full but straight-legged, which leads me to believe that they could be as early as the 1860's. There is a matching nightgown already on display, and these drawers will be added to that vignette.
First things first: the
lace edging along the bottom of the legs, in a lovely grape motif, had
an odd, squarish slice. It wasn't the kind of rip that occurs if the
sturdy lace had caught on something; rather, it appeared that someone
was trying to cut around a grape motif and didn't finish the job (thank
goodness!). The cut lace was flopping down and had frayed badly over the
To remedy this, I decided to patch the cut using unbleached cotton
muslin. Not only is unbleached cotton muslin an archival quality
material, its texture and color is very similar to the beige cotton of
the drawers. I made a little patch, securing the raw edges with blanket
stitches. I pinned the patch to the lace and, using much care and very
small stitches, sewed the lace down to the patch. By placing stitches
very close to the floral, vine, and grape designs of the lace, I was
able to camouflage the stitches in the design of the lace.
I'm very proud of the finished result. As you can see in the finished
photos, including the first and last photo of this post (the leg of the
drawers on the right side), the patch and tear are nearly invisible. On
several occasions, I have attempted to show others the patch but am
unable to find it after the first try!
My next post will discuss these drawers in greater detail, including their cleaning process.