Wednesday, June 30, 2010

{Vintage Inspired}

People often ask me just where I get my inspiration to design and sew from. I guess you could say that I am "Vintage Inspired", because most often I get my designing and sewing inspiration from Vintage Infant and Toddler garments. There is just something about a Vintage Garment that ignites a spark in me to re-create it or to use ideas from it in items that I design. That very same ignited spark is what inspired me to create "Jack 'n Jill". As in the old nursery rhyme, "Jack and Jill", Jill came tumbling after, so "Jill" is soon to follow! :) I'm taking a little break in all my test-stitchings to share some of where my inspiration comes from.
I love to shop for Vintage Children's garments in antique stores, estate sales and even online. I love it even more when a Vintage Garment is passed down to me thru the generations of my family. Many of the Vintage garments I own are displayed in my Sewing Room. Among them, are a few garments that are true family heirlooms! Every now and then, I will share these in my Sewing Journal. Today I would like to share with you one of my treasured family heirlooms.
This beautiful baby gown is a true family heirloom!
It's hard to imagine, but this gown was worn by my dad when he was an infant. I would love to find a photograph of him wearing the gown, but I suppose that would be like finding a needle in a haystack. The gown is in remarkably good condition with no holes or stains. 
The original slip is also in excellent condition!
I just love the rows of tucks above the ruffled cotton edging!
This is the underside of the slip
Notice the french seams and even a binding
that was stitched to hide the raw edges of
where the ruffle is attached to the skirt. 
The slip has a button shoulder
and also buttons under the arm.
The yoke of the gown features tiny tucks
and hand embroidery.
One unique feature on this gown is that there is
no shoulder seam. The entire gown was cut
from a single piece of fabric!
The side seams have the tiniest of tiny
french seams!
The sleeves have a casing with ribbon
Notice the back of the garment has no
buttonholes or buttons. This indicates that
the gown was most likely closed with
"beauty pins".
I sure wish those "beauty pins" were still with this gown! What are "beauty pins?", you might ask. When baby clothes were hand made, they were often made without buttons so they could be pinned and adjusted to fit. So began the "beauty pin". 
Old Fashioned Baby carries a large 
assortment of "beauty pins"
Unfortunately, I don't know who made this treasured family gown, nor do I have any other history behind it. If my grandmother was still living, she could give the complete history on it, she loved sharing the history on all sorts of things. I will be at my parents house for vacation, so maybe I can dig thru some pictures and see if I can find a picture of him in it!
I have really enjoyed sharing with you one of my treasured family heirlooms and even in writing this blog post, it's ignited a spark in me to draft a pattern off from this gown and slip! What do you think?
Update: My mom thinks there might be a picture of my dad in this gown - she's looking for it! YAY!


Karen said...

Wow! Truly a treasure! Do you by chance know who the maker of this daygown was? I always love to know the whole story behind the vintage item so it can be written down for generations to come.

Caroline's seamstress said...

Heirloom garments are great inspirations. I have my grandmother's baby dress (now 115 years old) and I used it as inspiration to make a gown for my granddaughter. We had her first baby pictures made in her great great grandmother's baby dress.

Sara said...

what a treasure Laurie!!! Even more so that it was handmade. such beautiful work put into it!! I have a baby gown of my Dad's also, but it was made in the Phillipines!!

Rettabug said...

You're becoming a "mini-Martha" with your collection of vintage items, Laurie! That is to be taken as the highest compliment, ya' know.

wonderful details to learn from & enjoy.

Have a Happy 4th of July!
The Gazebo House

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Oh! How wonderful that you have this of your dad's! I hope that you are able to find some photos of him wearing it. We have my hubby's Christening gown.

Blessings & Aloha!
(I would love to share a few original songs written by our son. One video, he made for me and 2 other songs I put on two video slideshows).

Have a safe and wonderful July 4th!

Angeliquez said...

what a treasure!

I'm tryna learn to smock..i don't know anyone here in my country who does it nor have i seen any REAL hand smocking,except pictures i see on the internet of course..
so you can only imagine my joy when i stumbled across your tutorials..which i found after days and days of search..
am so grateful to you!!

(you are most welcome to come visit my little world in the blosphere,where i will soon be posting my progress in smocking!)

lots of love,

Michelle said...

Ohhhh my goodness what a special vintage gown you have.
I just LOVE that it was your dad's!! I too get so inspired by the vintage baby & toddler garments. I will be watching you CLOSELY to see if you post a pattern for this gown or the info where I can purchase it!!
My mother gave me two boxes full of baby clothes that my three older brothers(ages 50,51,52) and I(49) wore as infants. Talk about inspiration!!!

Thank You for sharing and I look foward to a pattern soon!!

P.S. I just LOVE your blog!!!


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