Somewhere in Time, Unlimited
Antiques Roadshow ~
Dress Pattern Presentation
Presenters: Joan Hemm & Roma Thompson
August 19, 2012
Miss Joan (in burgundy) and Miss Roma (in black/white) presented
with the PBS Roadshow, when the Roadshow came to film here in Seattle, WA.
Tom Hemm, who was one of the videographers,
set up video and sound
in advance of the presentation.
He wanted to aim the camera
The windows you see to the right,
Joan had inherited two antique Victorian patterns. The
patterns were designed by
Both Joan and Roma sewed recreations of what were printed on the pattern envelopes.
It was Joan's goal to not destroy the potential value of an antique pattern
by opening the envelope, or cutting the pattern pieces.
Instead, the ladies used similar styles being produced by Truly Victorian Patterns,
a present-day historical pattern producing company.
Today, when the
Demorest pattern images were passed around the audience,
Joan began the presentation by explaining how she came to inherit
Roma thought this was a wonderful idea since the ladies could wear
Roma patiently listed to Joan
explain how the story evolved.
Turns out two years ago, she
secretly didn't think
The images of the patterns moved through the audience.
We sat in rapt attention listening to Joan and Roma.
These are images of Roma's Victorian dress that she sewed.
Notice all the shirring on the skirt part?
We also loved her bodice (jacket) with the piping and button detailing!
"The Faces of Joan."
The ladies told of bringing the patterns forward to the appraiser
A very good close-up of
Miss Roma's hat
and details on her
Here is a short collection of video clips from today's
Our photographer/guest videographer attempted to capture
the essence of a 2 hr presentation and compress
it all into about 7 minutes of fun.
One of the additional items that Joan had taken for appraisal was
a complete set of costume plates done by artists employed by the WPA during the Depression.
The project was managed by a museum in Philadelphia.
It included dioramas of native American villages,
historic buildings, marionettes,
The costume plates were drawn by the artists,
printed, and then hand-colored.
Miss Joan sent an email after the presentation as a follow-up:
Miss Roma talked about the special box of goodies
she too, had taken to the Roadshow for evaluation.
There was a little box which held special items
that she had played with as a child.
Her mother didn't want her to break or lose anything.
To make sure that she would "get it"
later in life, Roma decided to claim the box by
carving "Roma" into the box!
The evaluation given by the on-site
Here is a good close-up of
Miss Joan's Victorian dress.
She has embellished the edges
The pattern of the decorator print
Miss Candice helped direct participants
Miss Roma exits the hall
(L-R) Miss Kimberly (with phone), Miss JoAnne (blond in black
Miss Joan, Miss Roma, and Lady Paisley.
AFTER The Roadshow ~
Miss Joan sent additional information to those who were at this
An excerpt from that follow-up email from Miss
"I also am planning to propose teaching a ďprojectĒ class at next yearís Costume College in Los Angeles about the patterns, our re-creation of the gowns, and our Roadshow experience. Maybe Iíll uncover more resources from the students? This month I will be talking to my antique study club about the experience, and in October a woman who attended our program at the library the day after the Roadshow has asked me to speak about it at a tea, so I guess itís a good story anyway!
"I have located an archive that I believe Iíll eventually donate the patterns to. It is housed at the University of Rhode Island and is an archive begun by (yes!) a costume designer, who donated her vintage patterns to create it. The oldest in their collection is from 1866 (Iím guessing itís Butterick!), but they do not appear to have ANY Madame Demorest patterns.
"It is a non-profit, and is housed at the University,
which makes me feel good. The archive is supported by subscriptions
paid by people, who wish to use the patterns. The patterns are
scanned and copies of them provided. So by golly, I will hopefully
get a copy and get to see whatís inside those pattern
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Entered August 21, 2012