Sunday, 6 November 2005

Stash Sunday - Something Old

It is Stash Sunday time again. Something Old, they say…. Hmmmm…….


Well, this is almost as old as I am. And it was made in the early 1950s. Is that old enough???

Some years ago I was cleaning up my Mother’s Stash, which included bags and bags of stuff in the shed, where the possums and elements had got in. There were bags of clothes people had given her to cut up, that she had never got around to. Most were just turfed in the tip, but the best I kept and put through the washing machine and deconstructed them for my stash.

That is where I found this. I had just washed it, and was about to take to it with the scissors, when my arthritic little Mum almost hurled herself across the room and rugby-tackled me.


That is your Christening Dress. Your Aunt Iza made that for you!

Well, I had never even known I had a Christening dress. And it is now badly rusted. And I think the rust is increasing. But the really good lace around the hem is still perfect. And so is the smocking.

And there is no next generation in my immediate family for which it should be restored.

To cut, or not to cut. That is the question.


Blogger Samantha said...

What a neat find, and multi-generational stash, as well! Hmmm, if you can find the perfect project, I say, cut and recycle into something new, but still treasured and valuable...

12:24 pm  
Blogger susan said...

I cannot imagine cutting it up, but I see the reasoning of incorporating it into a new treasure. Maybe put it on a lifesize doll for display with a homemade baby quilt. I love the smocking. My husband's mother and grandmother used to make handmade baby clothes with smocking and embroidery for a large department store in Atlanta. Beautiful work, great find. Thanks for sharing.

9:40 pm  
Blogger Maggie Ann said...

I would not cut this treasure up. Maybe try one or more of those new products that claim to do the way of controlling the rust. Even so...this is a masterpiece of workmanship plus the fact you once wore this as a priceless.

2:53 am  
Blogger Barbara said...

I would not cut this adorable dress up. If you hand launder it in Joy dishwashing detergent, a lot of the yellowing will come out. I used a product called "Whink", a rust remover I obtained at the grocery store, on my grandfather's christening dress - all handstitched of lawn in about 1899 - and it came out beautifully. The dress is getting very frail, but through his great grandchildren have worn it. We are talking about framing it in a shadow box and hanging it on the wall as art.

9:16 am  
Blogger Zoey said...

No, don't cut it up! I would frame it in one of those shadow box frames with maybe a baby picture and any other little treasures you may have from your baby years...a little baby book? bronze shoes? I have a pair of my shoes that were bronzed and turned into a picture frame. I wish I had one of my baby dresses!

10:43 am  
Blogger Hildabelle said...

I concur with the notion of keeping your Christening gown in a display box or on a suitably sized doll.

It is absolutely beautiful. An abundance of lace, pin-tucks, smocking, gathering, a rosette, and an appliqued/cut-away flower design demonstrate all the techniques that Aunt Iza incorporated to make this gown so special.

Many collectors don't mind a bit of rust. I hope you cherish this wonderful reminder of your birth. It is truly lovely.


4:38 pm  
Blogger Gina E. said...

Linda, I understand why you are tempted to 'cut and paste' this item. Like me you have nobody to leave things to, so why keep it in the original condition? I would like to suggest to you that the Embroiderers Guild or other like institutions would be very keen to have it in their collections, as you would be able to provide the provenance with it, and so many things they get given to them have absolutely no known history. So, if you can eventually bear to part with it intact, perhaps keep the Guild in mind!

11:54 pm  

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