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Chemise & Drawers
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Title: Chemise & Drawers
Identifier: 2006.12.6
Donor: Phyllis Maybee
Item Date: 1915 1935
Creation Date: 2012
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: A commercially made lady's combination chemise and drawers with front and crotch openings, flared legs, size small. The fabric is fine white cotton embroidered on both front sides and at the centre back. Seams are all narrow with French finish. The bodice is joined to the drawers with a lace insert, gathered at the centre back and both front edges. The lace is woven with a narrow (0.5 cm) length of pale blue rayon ribbon. A ribbon loop flower is stitched at the proper left front waist. The drawers are bias-cut, very wide with gathered flounces 9 cm deep, trimmed with triple scallop embroidery. The flounce join is inset with 'entre-deux'. The crotch openings are very large: 40 cm in the front and 33 cm in the back. The crotch openings are finished with a facing (2.5 cm wide).

Combinations consisted of a chemise and drawers united in one smoothly-fitting garment. They arose in the 1870s when the fashionable silhouette was so tight that as much bulk as possible was eliminated. As with ordinary drawers, the crotch seams were usually left open, and some examples incorporated the buttoning back flap and closed seams. Though perhaps meant to be a fashionable innovation, the combination garment was hijacked, as it were, by the dress reform movement, who wanted to reduce the number and weight of clothing worn by women as a rule. A reformed version, sometimes called a combination divided skirt (still a chemise and drawers combined) had long, wide legs that were intended to replace the petticoat too. It is not surprising that highly fashionable ladies did not really take to this garment until the Edwardian era. REF:

Phyllis Marion Maybee was born June 11, 1905 in West Toronto, but lived most of her life in Port Credit. Her father, John Harry Fryer, built a house at 1235 Minaki Drive (off Mineola Road) in Port Credit ca. 1922. She lived there during her childhood and even rented the house for a few years once she was married. The house was built in a Dutch Colonial style and ownership was transferred to Marguerite Patricia Fryer in 1967. The land was subdivided in 1988 with the intent to demolish it. Legend Homes has owned it since 2005; it was illegally torn down recently. Mr. Fryer apparently named the street Minaki after a northern Ontario lodge. It is an aboriginal word meaning "all good land" or "beautiful country" according to the Heritage Impact Statement created by LACAC.

Phyllis married Gareth Edward (Garry) Maybee on August 27, 1927 at Trinity Anglican Church and they had 68 years together. G. Maybee was born on June 9, 1902 in Toronto but his family moved to Port Credit where they lived on Stavebank Road. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 1924 and Osgoode Law School in 1927. Upon graduation he entered his father's patent practice, Ridout and Maybee. The Maybees had three daughters, Jane Stock, Nancy Archer and Lynn Watson. Phyllis and her husband lived at 88 Cumberland Drive in Port Credit since June 1944. She passed away in April 2007.
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