Ann Walton 1836 pair of samplers

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A year before Queen Victoria was crowned, Ann Walton stitched a pair of sweet little samplers depicting a young boy and a girl at play. The boy is holding a hoop and a stick, and the girl holds what appears to be a basket in one hand and a bouquet in the other. At that time it was not unusual for young boys to wear dresses, as boys and girls were often dressed similarly until they were around five years old. Little boys would wear “pantalettes” which showed under their dresses (as is in this example), but after age five or six they were “breeched”, or began to wear pants. The Romantic Era dictated dress styles such as this between 1820 and 1840, emphasizing width at the shoulders, thus making the waist appear to be smaller (with the help if corsets, of course). Neck ruffs and large “leg of mutton” or “gigot” sleeves were worn above large, full, conical-shaped skirts that were supported by as many as five or six heavily starched petticoats. Neck ruffs were also in fashion, as this young pair illustrates, albeit a much simpler ruff than their mother might have worn. Ann finished her first sampler, the sampler with the little boy, on April 3rd, and the second one on April 21st. Only cross stitch is required to complete these reproduction samplers. On 35 count linen each one will measure approximately 8″ x 7″. The projects are recommended for any skill level.

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