Hello all. I dug up my article on the Emlagh gown and found out some
things. Let me begin by reiterating that I did not personally
examine this one as it was not housed in the National Museum of
Ireland. But Elizabeth Shee and Michael Kelly wrote an article about
it for the Cork Historicaland Archeological Society.
To make a long story short, the gown is open from neck to skirt and
fitted on an 8 year old child best when the right side overlapped the
left by about 10cm. The skirt sounds very similar to the Shinrone
gown, being sewn in narrow vertical ribs. The bottom is entirely
fragmentary but the maximum length is 74cmand maximum width when
opened is 106cm. The waistline at the bodice attachment is 83cm.
There seems to have been a rough attempt to narrow the skirt for a
smaller child by pulling the one edge back 11cm and tacking it to the
bodice. The skirt is distributed very unevenly onto the bodice and
the authors of this paper think that that indicates that the skirt
was altered to fit a more slender child than for whom it was
originally made. The article does not postulate how the bodice was
A clock, fragments of two other garments, a comb, a leather purse, a
tuft of flax and a ball of woolen thread were also found with the
The dress is treated briefly in Dunlevy, but I admit that I didn't
look at the entry there because I knew this article covered it
better. I also found out (from the article) that there is another
child's gown and that one is housed in the National Museum. I did
not see it when I was there as I was not aware of its existence. I
am not aware that anyone has written about it.
It shocks me, however, that there is some decidedly wrong information
in Dunlevy and even in this article. The article talks
about "selvedges" on the skirt gores of the Shinrone gown, indicating
that the skirt was made up of rectangles and not trapezoids as I
found when I examined that gown. Dunlevy also purports that they are
rectangular gores. From personal conversations with Ms. Dunlevy, I
know that she did not personally examine the gown, but rather worked
from museum records. When I examined the gown, I found no
selvedges. Furthermore, the edges of the gores wer not parallel with
the warp thread as was evidenced by weft threads sticking out as they
do on any bias cut.
Just had to clear that up.
I hope those of you who were interested in this dress now know more