Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bridal Garter from Heirloom Fabrics

My first nephew to get married is tying the knot next weekend in Milwaukee. I promised to make his bride a garter to wear, using some bits of crocheted lace and tatting my sister had collected from one (or more) of our grandmothers' sewing bags.

Now my style is usually "shabby chic", asymetrical, rough-edged and intentionally non-traditional. This bride is both dainty and traditional and I have no idea if she will like what I came up with.
It's not as collage-like as I would normally do, but it is also not as dainty as many bridal garters!
Fabrics used were:
  • cream bridal satin from Grandma Ruth Baumgarten's wedding dress (scraps remain from when it was deconstructed to make Laura Fisk Roose's wedding dress in, I don't ever throw fabric away, especially if it has history!)
  • Purple and black silk brocade with Chinese medallion pattern (purchased in Hawaii, 1976) in honor of Angela's time spent in China.
  • Plum polyester (from my stash - who knows what I bought it for? - hope it matches)
  • vintage handmade heirloom laces (see below)
  • 3 satin-covered buttons from Grandma Ruth's wedding dress 
Tatted lace - possibly made by Laura Baumgarten, sister in law of Great Grandma Minnie Baumgarten. This may have been found in her sewing box. We do know Grandma didn't do tatting but she may have been given pieces by one of her relatives.

 Crocheted lace - possibly made by Great Grandma Minnie Baumgarten.
Crocheted lace (pillowcase edging) - probably made by Great Grandma Laura Krumm.
 Tatted lace medallions - possibly made by Laura Baumgarten, sister in law of Great Grandma Minnie Baumgarten.

So, we'll see if it matches - she does have another one already, that she can use to toss!

I'd wear it for a photo, but don't think it would help you. You'll have to imagine it on a young leg until after the wedding.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Family Favorite Footstool Tutorial

So, last week my mom visited and together we worked on a project: recreating a footstool made from reclaimed materials. This is a new one we made for my son's family.

My grandmother (and her sisters) made these stools in 1950s from 48oz juice cans, old socks, cardboard and old fabrics (sweatshirts, worn-out quilts, upholstery scraps and heavy cord).

 We deconstructed a worn one, used the pieces for patterns and recovered it, then made two more.
 (and YES, I totally saved the two pieces of worn-out hand-quilted quilt pieces that were inside!!!)
I'm not sure what this will be used for, but it's a precious scrap of the past. How old and ragged must the quilt have been for Grandma Krumm to cut it up for padding inside a footstool? How many people slept under it's warmth before that? Who hand-stitched the pieces together? (It was quilted by machine - with simple parallel rows - nothing fancy, but very even, tiny stitches.) Just how old is it?

According to the Singer website, the sewing machine was invented in 1851 and serial numbers started being issued in 1871. Grandma was married in the 19-teens so by 1955, quilts she made early in her marriage could easily have been worn out. And I know she went to some type of sewing school for a while, so she may have gotten her sewing machine in the early 1900s. (That's another topic - I have a notebook she used, with drawings of pattern pieces, instructions, and class notes.)

I hope to put together a tutorial for making this little beauties....which I'll post here. Leave a comment if you are interested.