White on white embroidered cotton nightgown with center front opening with buttons and buttonholes down the entire length. There are two evenly spaced rows of embroidery on each front piece as well as embroidery on the buttonhole band. The block used to produce the meandering vine with leaves and flowers measures 3 ¼ by 1 ¼ inches. A second block applied 1/8 inch circles as flower centers. The circle block and a third block, measuring ½ by ¾ inches, were used to stamp the flowers on the collar and cuffs. The curved lower part of the gown is edged with a narrow piece of fabric that is in turn edged with a row of scalloped buttonhole stitches. At one point on this strip, the stamped lines show clearly under the embroidery. The stitches are eyelet, satin, and buttonhole. The eyelet stitches require first a hole to be made in the fabric and then satin stitches completely cover the edge of the opening. The blocks and nightgown were owned by Phebe Smith Norris (1804-1890), the donors’ great-grandmother.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Norris, Phebe Smith
overall: 45 1/2 in; 115.57 cm
made at
United States
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Victorian Needlework
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Victorian Needlework
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Miss Edna Plummer

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