Fawn-coloured crochet dress, made by Lucy Holt, nee Treloar, in East St Kilda, in 1918 for her daughter Louie Hilda. Louie was one of two daughters.

Lucy Treloar was born in 1855, daughter of Cornish immigrant Priscilla Treloar nee Jewell (born in Carn Brae, Cornwall, circa 1837, died Linton, near Ballarat, in 1908, aged 75) and William Treloar. Lucy became skillful at a range of needlework, including dressmaking, possibly learned from her mother. She married John Holt in 1884 (born on the Goldfields at Craigie, near Maryborough, in 1855), and in her married life made clothes for her family - two daughters and three sons - as well as decorative items for the home such as doyleys, cloths and pillow covers. Her work was often embroidered, some was crocheted and some incorporated lace. It is not known if she made the lace herself or worked pre-made lace into other items.

In 1910 the Holt family purchased a drapery business at 242 Carlisle St, Balaclava, Melbourne, which they ran as a family business. Many family members worked at Holt Drapers until it was sold around 1960.

In 1912 the family bought land at 104 Hotham St, East St Kilda, and by 1916 had completed a house there, which they named 'Carn Brea'.

No members of the family served in World War I - John, for instance, was too old. They received several white feathers (suggesting cowardice) due to their lack of service (none of which were kept).

Daughter Louie married Claude Dudley Browne in 1917. Louie married and had one child, Ida, born in 1927, when Louie was 43 years old. Ida's daughter Hazel, also a keen maker of handcrafts, is the donor of the dress.

Louie's sister Ida Priscilla married Frank Erasmus Wilson in 1915. She was advised by her doctor to have an operation but was not told that this would mean she would be unable to have children. She left Frank and moved back to the family home suffering from deep depression. She took cyanide one day when her father left her alone to buy her an ice cream. She was 35 years old.

Generations of the family lived at Carn Brea until it was sold in 2013 and slated for demolition.

Physical Description

Fawn-coloured crochet dress. Square neckline; short sleeves; ankle length. Fluted at hem. Pink stain on proper left sleeve.

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