As many of you already know, my mother was an antique dealer - her specialty happened to be vintage clothing and she was a master at restoring difficult pieces. Those great items though that she found beyond repair were always
Others were forgotten about and tucked away in every spare corner and cranny she could find in the antique house she owned - also slowly being restored. When she passed away, my sister and I went through many boxes, and sometimes, rather than digging through the contents of an entire box, I would follow a hunch and decide to give an entire box a new home in my
It has felt special, opening these boxes over 2 years after her passing, and feeling close to her again.
My most recent excavation brought to light a dusty Dollar General bag with what I can only describe as the pleasing weight and bounce of silk inside.
I decided to photograph the bag as I dumped its contents on my sewing table, and what follows is my experience of said bag. I though you might like discovering the "Dress in a bag" as much as I did.
Everything first appeared as scraps of fabric that all complimented each other nicely. And then I started to notice little things like square silk hem weights, rosettes, and a scrap of lace.
The contents had bits of thread and fluff and I haven't edited any of that out, so please forgive the bits of dirt, table scratches etc.
|The bright pink silk looked to be more 1950's and didn't quite seem to belong.|
While unfolding the green silk (georgette, methinks?) two very large watered silk rosettes fell out.
Followed by more rosettes of another sort...
Some of the green silk looked like a skirt flounce with a lovely rolled hem stitched in what looks like gold metallic thread.
This was followed by an obvious blouse/ bodice with long sleeves that finished in tied cuffs.
A 1920's dress was clearly coming into view.
Instead of darts at the bodice, there are three small pin tucks at the shoulder.
This sad little under-arm would be why the dress would have been beyond restoring in Mama's eyes, but it still merited a place in the hoard.
This bit of silk was soon followed by another, though there's a good chance this piece is rayon. Once smoothed out and weighted, it became a slip.
|A slip like this is incredibly easy to make - for ideas, see this pattern.|
I had wondered if it was homemade until I opened the slip a bit more and found a size label.
And then I simply had to put it together, just a bit, to get the full picture of who this little dress used to be.
I wasn't entirely sure if this soft rose colored silk had anything to do with the dress, or if it simply fit in with whatever mental fabric scrap filing system existed in my mother's very unusual mind.
It is one of many, many things I would like to ask her if I could have just one last chat on her front porch over a glass of iced tea.
Here is a bit of my reconstruction...
The back of the blouse top proved to be the origin of the scrap of lace. It was an inset, with its green silk edging still present.
|A similar blouse top and dress can be made using this pattern.|
Some of this can still be repurposed by a brave and clever soul...
How about you? What is the best thing you've ever found in a humble bag or box? I would love to hear your stories!