I have been busy sewing these days – sewing for the grandkids, making samples for classes, sewing samples for the new Classic Sewing magazine, etc. I’ll share pictures later. This post isn’t about my sewing, rather it is about appreciating some vintage pieces that were also lovingly sewn for babies.
I recently received a bag full of vintage baby daygowns and assorted other baby items. These were given to me by one of our new SAGA guild members that was trying to get rid of unwanted items. She recognized that these were precious items and should be appreciated by someone, but she just didn’t have room to keep them. Because she did not have an emotional attachment to them – they were not clothes from her family/ancestors – she had no problem giving them away. I was delighted to be the recipient of these gowns whose history was unknown.
All the baby items had yellowed and were in need of some TLC. I gently washed the clothing, but that didn’t really get them white. So, they got the Biz soak next. In less than 24 hours, most of them were a nice white once again! After washing, rinsing and hanging them to dry, they all got pressed so that I could take pictures to share. Every gown is made of the finest lightweight cotton batiste.
The first item I’ll share is this sweet slip. This slip is completely made by hand! The side seams are stitched with the tiniest running stitches. Except for the torn buttonhole, this slip is in excellent condition.
The hem has a pretty scalloped hem made with a buttonhole stitch finish. Each stitch is perfectly executed.
The neckline and armholes are done with a more simple scallop. The hand embroidery on the bodice is exquisite!
I’m sure that at some point this slip had a matching dress. I feel sure that the matching dress must have been even more beautiful!
This next gown is also beautifully hand stitched. Although there is a tag inside that indicates that it was purchased, the gown is completely hand stitched – every seam. All the seams are French seams, including the sleeve seams.
Tiny 1/8″ tucks are on the front of the gown along with delicate embroidery, pin-stitching and granitos. The back of the dress has 1/4″ tucks. This dress is coming apart in a few places. I’m trying to decide if I should try to repair the seams that are coming apart or if I should leave them as they are.
The label indicates that this is a size 1, though I seriously doubt that it would fit any one year old that I know.
Close up of the beautiful embroidery.
Sadly, my photography doesn’t show up the feather stitching very well.
This next gown is machine-made, but with beautiful details as the other gowns have. The label inside indicates it is a size 1.
The entredeux on this gown is some of the tiniest that I have seen. Delicate lace is hand whipped to the entredeux at the neckline as well as sleeve edges. A tab is stitched down the front and is embellished with little bullion flowers and leaves. I have never considered adding bullions to the entredeux, but they are both at the neckline and one is embroidered on the entredeux at the sleeve edge. I will have to remember this treatment for future sewing.
The next gown has the most delicate flowers embroidered on the collar and down the center front of the bodice. The flowers consist of 5 pink lazy daisy stitches and a blue granito center. 5 additional granitos are stitched between the flowers. The lace is barely 1/4″ wide.
Sadly, this gown fabric has quite a bit of damage. There are several pin holes, and a few that are larger. But, it is definitely worth keeping.
I have several more gowns to share, but will leave these little vintage treasures for you to enjoy. Hopefully with the camera adjustments that hubby made for me, I’ll be able to get some clearer pictures of the other gowns.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these beautifully made gowns. They make me want to pull out a baby gown pattern and start stitching!
Keep on stitching….