New Frame for 100+ Year old Dress

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Project by scrappy posted 07-10-2011 03:59 AM 1553 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a Frame I made for my wife’s, Grandmothers dress. She lived for 100 years. (1898 to 1998) This dress was made by Her great-great grandmother in 1898. It is all hand sewn and “tatted”. (tatting is the way they used to make lace.

Frame is Mahogany. Back board is 1/2 inch ply covered in 1/4 inch foam, ( so you can stick a pin through it to hold the dress) then covered in black velvet (from an old dress I got at GoodWill, cheaper then buying the material)

Inset the glass along the front edge by cutting a grove with the table saw. Cut a rabbit in the back edge for the plywood.

We wanted this to be pretty air tight so it won’t get dust inside. So I shoved a thin slice of foam into the grove for the glass prior to assembly. This also allows for wood movement and keeps the glass from rattling.

Finnish is thinned spar varathane gloss.

Please post all comments and suggestions. I am always looking to improve my skills.

Thanks for looking.

-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

15 comments so far

View sedcokid's profile


2731 posts in 3593 days

#1 posted 07-10-2011 04:27 AM

We tend to be a throw away society, not everyone would like an old dress hanging on the wall. I applaud you for making a frame for this beautiful old dress. Your craftsmen ship is beautiful!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4395 days

#2 posted 07-10-2011 04:36 AM


Way to make a memorial piece for a memorial dress.

Great job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Hacksaw007's profile


613 posts in 3184 days

#3 posted 07-10-2011 04:38 AM

Major use of all that you can get ahold of, that’s our Scrappy! Nice work on the joints!


-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View johnnymo's profile


309 posts in 3200 days

#4 posted 07-10-2011 08:07 AM

Hey Scrappy,
Very nicely done. It looks great!

-- John in Arizona (but it's a dry heat!)

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20472 posts in 3100 days

#5 posted 07-10-2011 11:13 AM

Very cool ,Dan. It is nice to save the past that way. Good job,buddy!.........Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4155 days

#6 posted 07-10-2011 12:24 PM

what a story!!! Oh my goodness, that is a treasure and now, even more so!! Perfect frame.

(and, apparently, the dress will need some air movement or it will turn yellow. I assume that the frame isn’t “perfectly air tight”)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3440 days

#7 posted 07-10-2011 12:45 PM

Fantastic story & tribute Scrappy. Well done.

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3425 days

#8 posted 07-10-2011 04:24 PM

Thanks for all the great comments everyone.

Hacksaw007: I made this frame 8 sided just so I could use my jig for cutting the segments for an 8 piece segmented turning on. I have it set for near perfect 22 1/2 deg cuts. My 45 cuts are never this tight. haha

MsDebbieP: I will have to check into that. Thanks for the info.

Thanks again for the comments everyone.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View FloridaArt's profile


851 posts in 3293 days

#9 posted 07-10-2011 05:00 PM

It looks great. I cannot think of any suggestions to make it better. Nice work!

-- Art | Bradenton, Florida

View eddy's profile


939 posts in 3359 days

#10 posted 07-10-2011 05:21 PM

looks cool the miters look tight well done

-- self proclaimed copycat

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 2685 days

#11 posted 07-10-2011 10:11 PM

Good job Dan! My wife and I both like the case and the story!

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View Bertha's profile


13525 posts in 2688 days

#12 posted 07-10-2011 10:13 PM

Outstanding, Scraps! I love it.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3580 days

#13 posted 07-10-2011 10:38 PM

Nice old dress nice new frame well designed etc and manufactured too I loke this it matches really nicely. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View peteg's profile


4283 posts in 2818 days

#14 posted 07-11-2011 12:09 AM

A fitting case for a piece of family history, great job Scrappy :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3977 days

#15 posted 07-12-2011 01:23 AM

very nice bud

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

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