• F3
  • F4
  • F1
  • F2

On Saturday, 2 May 2020, Gillian Vogelsang wrote about miniature garments, not for dolls, but as items used to teach and learn how to sew.

Recently an American auction house sold a set of two instruction books on needlework, printed in the early 19th century in Ireland, which contained various miniature garments. Such small garments are also found on a type of sampler made in Belgium, The Netherlands and parts of Germany, in the 19th and 20th centuries. Such samplers were particularly associated with Catholic schools. They were made by a school girl, sometimes over a period of two years. The TRC Collection has several examples of these samplers.

Sampler ('Pronkstuk') made in 1909 by Cato de Keijzer (TRC 2014.0938). The sampler is more than seven metres long. Below, and as part of the sampler, is a row of miniature garments.Sampler ('Pronkstuk') made in 1909 by Cato de Keijzer (TRC 2014.0938). The sampler is more than seven metres long. Below, and as part of the sampler, is a row of miniature garments.

The samplers include a series of panels used to show a progression of skills – from simple seams and hems, to a variety of different types of buttonholes, mending, embroidery techniques, knitting, crochet and even bobbin lace making. These samplers, known in Dutch as 'pronkstukken' of 'pronkrollen', were used to show a girl’s sewing abilities when looking for a job. Most of these samplers are about 30 cm wide and can be several metres long.

Part of a sampler ('Pronkstuk') made in 1909 by Cato de Keijzer (TRC 2014.0938). The sampler is more than seven metres long.Part of a sampler ('Pronkstuk') made in 1909 by Cato de Keijzer (TRC 2014.0938). The sampler is more than seven metres long.

Part of a sampler ('Pronkstuk') made in 1909 by Cato de Keijzer (TRC 2014.0938). The sampler is more than seven metres long. The nightdress is a miniature garment stitched onto the sampler.Part of a sampler ('Pronkstuk') made in 1909 by Cato de Keijzer (TRC 2014.0938). The sampler is more than seven metres long. The nightdress is a miniature garment stitched onto the sampler.

One example in the TRC Collection (TRC 2014.0938 is 740 cm long and 39 cm wide. It was made in 1909 by a girl called Cato de Keijzer when she was 15 years old. At the end of this sampler there is a section of complete, miniature garments. These start off with a pair of drawers, then via a chemise, a pinafore and a nightdress (see illustration). it ends in a finely made party dress. These garments were not made for dolls! They were made to show that a girl understood and had mastered basic dress making. After all it is far harder to make a perfect miniature than a full size garment.

 

 

 

 

 


Search in the TRC website


Subscribe to the TRC Newsletter


TRC in a nutshell

Hogewoerd 164
2311 HW Leiden.
Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 /
+31 (0)6 28830428  
info@trc-leiden.nl

The TRC is open again from Tuesday, 2nd June, but by appointment only.

Bank account number:
NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59,
Stichting Textile Research Centre

TRC Gallery exhibition:
5 Febr. -27 August 2020: American Quilts

facebook 2015 logo detail

 

 

Donations

The TRC is dependent on project support and individual donations. All of our work is being carried out by volunteers. To support the TRC activities, we therefore welcome your financial assistance: donations can be transferred to bank account number NL39 INGB 000 298 2359, in the name of the Stichting Textile Research Centre.
 
Since the TRC is officially recognised as a non-profit making cultural institution (ANBI), donations are tax deductible for 125% for individuals, and 150% for commercial companies. For more information, click here
 
Financial donations to the TRC can also be made via Paypal: