Sunday, October 24, 2010

Family Heirloom Textiles and Apparel

The October 5, 2010 CFA program featured members' family heirloom textile and apparel treasures. Many of us were surprised (or shocked) that we could not find the treasures we sought. More later about this discovery.

Each presenter related stories to accompany the artifact.

Nancy Bryant showed an apron made by her maternal grandmother in the 1950s. Her grandmother made a set of 3: one for Nancy's mother, one for Nancy (approximately age 8) and one for nancy's doll. Nancy thinks the doll apron is in a storable box. The third apron in lost.

Nancy also brought her mother's leather button baby shoes, mounted in a shadow box with a photo of her mother as an infant. Her third artifacts was a doll wearing a dress made by her best friend's mother. The dress matches the first dress Nancy made at age 9, assisted by her friend's mother. Sadly, Nancy's dress was given to younger cousins who lived back east.

Mariana Mace shared her great grandfather's christening dress.

Shirley Strub brought a doll wearing a dress she made from heirloom fabrics and a dresser scarf.

Heather Hodney showed us a baby bonnet made for her grandfather.

Heather also brought the brim and crown of a large hat made of Battenberg lace, mounted on a display board. Both of Heather's heirloom pieces were made by her great grandmother and earned an Honorable Mention at the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exhibition in Portland.

Karen Tornow brought one of her father's baby shoes, preserved in a bronze coating. She also brought a brass bell in the shape of a vantage dress. Her mother used to call the children into the house for dinner.

Virginia Gregory brought her father's felt baby shoes.

Below is Virginia's father's baby sweater, crocheted by her father's mother.

Ginny Morgan brought a blanket made in the 1840s, woven by hand from fibers spun by hand.

Susan Clarke brought a crocheted vase cover and a box filled with pieces of her grandmother's lace.

Barbara Gordon shared a photo of a lace tablecloth crocheted by her then-teenage grandmother. It is currently mounted over the fireplace in her parents' home. She also showed two hand-embroidered handkerchiefs made by her other grandmother.

Monine Stebbins brought a silk dress given to her by a friend who used to wear it for dancing in Hawaii in the 1930s and 1940s.

During our conversation, questions arose about care and storage. Thus, we decided that we will dedicate the February program to care and storage and a reprieve of family heirlooms. If you could not find the treasures you sought, weren't able to attend, or remembered other artifacts you would like to share, start looking for them NOW.

If you would like to purchase acid free storage boxes and acid free tissue paper, three web sites are listed below. Perhaps several members would like to share an order to reduce shipping costs and take advantage of pricing for multiple boxes.

Gaylord archival boxes:

Light Impressions archival boxes:

University products archival storage products:

The following books may be of interest:
Your Vintage Keepsake by Margaret T. Ordonez

Preserving Textiles: A Guide for the Nonspecialist by Harold F. Maitland

Saving Stuff: How to Care for and Preserve Your Collectibles, Heirlooms, and Other Prized Possessions by Don Williams

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sewing Workshop Trunk show by CFA Members

On Tuesday, May 4, our meeting room was filled to the brim with garments created by CFA members using patterns by The Sewing Workshop. More than 80 garments using over 40 patterns were displayed. Below is a small sampling of photos taken by Barbara Gordon of our trunk show.

Cheryl Jordan shows us her Zigzag Shirt.

and two bags she made using the L2 Bag pattern and upholstery fabrics.

Gwen Spencer displays her Bells Shirt.

and her Liberty Shirt,

Below is Gwen's 8th Avenue Skirt - she used both sides of the fabric.

Gwen and Nancy each made a Chopin Blouse in silk dupioni.

Nita Phillips made the Joplin Pullover.

and a bright green Inventor Shirt. The solid green "apron" can be unbuttoned and shirt worn without it.

Julie Oughton models her Plaza Jacket.

and Nancy and Julie each hold one of Julie's Mimoso Tops. You can see a bit of Nancy's Now shirt. It is made from an ikat fabric from Thailand that she purchased when Charlene Toman from Sojourn Collection came to our January CFA meeting.

Karen Tornow shows us one of her MixIt Shirts.

And below is one of Gwen's MixIt Shirts.

Karen holds the San Francisco Coat made in her favorite color.

and her Soho Coat below,

Below is Karen's Ikena Jacket,

Monine made the Hong Kong Vest using both sides of a lovely Asian fabric, below:

By far, the Now Shirt and the Zen Shirt were the most popular patterns amongst our Sewing Workshop fans.

The trunk show ended with a discussion of some fitting tips about crotch depths, neckline circumferences, jacket lengths and overall fit of some of the patterns.

Karen brought some of the most popular patterns as well as some specialty notions and fabrics swatches for purchase. We could also order patterns postage-free at the end of the program. We had a lot of fun and hope the audience did too!

Nancy Bryant
photos by Barbara Gordon