Alternative Name(s): Photo, Fancy Dress, Dress-up

Photograph of Jennifer Saunders wearing a fairy costume with wings, hand-made as a gift by her grandmother, Elizabeth Jane Taylor Saunders, around 1960, either her second or third birthday. Jennifer adored the dress, which had fairy wings which she could hold open with little loops through her fingers. The dress was originally accompanied by a matching flower crown and pair of shoes, shown in the accompanying photograph; these no longer survive. As Jennifer grew the hem was let down and sides let out. Bias binding was added to the neck and arm holes, and it was mended in several places, most notably the skirt. Jennifer's mother remembers that once the petticoat had to be below the original net hemline, her grandmother made her another net skirt with an elastic waistband that went over the petticoat and under the dress. 'It eventually "collapsed" from all the fun!' Jennifer wore the dress until it could no longer fit her. The dress hung in a cupboard at the donor's parent's house in Oak Park until approximately three years ago.

Part of a collection of objects, documents and photographs from the Saunders family home in Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne. Elizabeth Jane Taylor Saunders (nee Elliott) (1894-1971) and James (Jimmy) Farr Saunders (1888-1974) bought the house in 1928, financed by the State Savings Bank of Victoria. James was a stevedore, working on the Melbourne docks, notably Station Pier. Elizabeth Jane was a skilled seamstress, making clothing for her family, mending, creating soft furnishings such as cushions and blankets, and doing decorative needlework. They had five children, of whom four survived to adulthood. After Elizabeth and James passed away their daughter Elizabeth Euphemia, a dental nurse and later language teacher, became the sole occupant of the house, carefully preserving its contents as decades passed.

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Young girl with outstretched arms wearing a yellow fairy dress.

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