"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure." Psalm 71:14-15

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Precious treasures, the old becomes new

I've been doing a lot of sewing lately, and most of it has remained unblogged-about. But this project is very special. It's been in the works for months now (talking, searching for pattern and materials). Our godson Joshua's baby dedication ceremony is this weekend (they do it once a year on Mother's Day at Molly's church). Baby dedication is similar to Christening, except without the water. The family of the child stands in front of the congregation and promises to raise the child in the church.

When I first started searching for patterns and thinking about this project, I realized that it has been over 8 years since I've done any "heirloom" sewing. I've made lots of other things, cutesy stuff. But heirloom sewing is what I truly love, not just because the items are so beautiful, but also because it is becoming a lost art and not many people can do it (especially in my generation).

I became increasingly excited when I started gathering the materials. One reason this is so special is that I was able to use leftover fabric Mom had from making my wedding dress to make Joshua's outfit (and I still have nearly 2.25 yards left!). When doing heirloom sewing, I try to use only the best, most authentic materials. I thought last week that I may need to purchase some vintage buttons for it as well. I went to the local antique store (BAD BAD JILL) in search of buttons. I came home with lots of antique linens and trims, but no buttons.

Then it dawned on me. I was the only one of the grandchildren in our family to learn to sew, so I got my Meme's sewing machine (it's one built into a cabinet). I've been putting off going through the drawers, but this gave me the perfect excuse! Last Saturday, I spent the first half of the day cleaning out, sorting and restoring one of two drawers in Meme's sewing machine. It was so cool to sort through all the things that she kept at arms length when she was sewing. I found her metal scissors with the handles painted black (thought the paint is all but gone now), TONS of vintage buttons still on the cards, little promotional item cards with needles attached from Liberty National Insurance, and my favorite - a welding rod. My Papaw was a welder/ ironworker by trade. Meme kept a welding rod in her sewing maching to help push out the corners of pieces when you turn them right-side-out for sewing. Just knowing that I was touching the things that she used to make every dress for her daughters and granddaughters, every Easter outfit for her grandchildren, every suit for church, and maybe even the veil Aunt Pam wore in her wedding that we later repurposed into my veil, was very special to me. These things that look like not much to anybody else, are treasures to me. Most people would open that drawer, pull out that welding rod, and say, "What is this and why is it in a sewing machine?"

Wouldn't you know, I found BOTH size buttons in the exact color that I needed in that drawer? I also used that welding rod a couple of times to make the little button belt in the back of the romper :) Without further ado, the final product. I will DEFINITELY post pictures of our precious godson in this outfit when we get back!!


Ashley said...

I don't know if it's because I'm sick and a little loopy, but that was so sweet I teared up a bit. :) You did an amazing job! Molly will be beside herself, I'm sure!

Sally said...

What a lovely post. I can so vividly see you with your sewing treasures. Such talent!

Hilary said...

SO GREAT, JILL! you did an awesome job!!