July 25, 2011

Family Heirloom Revival

I could spend all day in an antique store and be happy as a clam.  In fact, a few times I've come close!  Antique, craft and fabric stores are my Bermuda Triangle.

The vintage sewing machine pictured above lives in my Grandma's house.  To say she loves antiques is an understatement.  Let's just put it this way - her rotary phone looks out of place.  However, by no means is her house cluttered with her vintage possessions.  Most of them are in use; which brings me to today's blog topic - the re-purposed family heirloom.

A little over a year ago, I acquired a stash of aprons that were sewn and worn by Rowan's Great Grandma Ardiel (AKA Rowan's Dad's Mom's Mom).  I kept one, passed some around to other family members and...hastily took one apart.  Of course, that's the one I used for my project, so unfortunately, I don't have a before picture.  I wish the 'March 2010 Me' had a little more forethought and a little less pregnancy-brain.

I can't imagine how long it took Ardiel to embroider the names of her family onto that apron.  'March 2010 Me' knew that no one would be brave enough to don such an apron for fear of staining it.  It definitely deserved a revamp.  I used the spring tote tutorial from Homemade By Jill to transform the apron into a functional shopping bag.  The little pocket on the apron was removed and sewn to the bag lining.

Add a little Rowan...

...and it's a birthday gift for my mother-in-law!  Rowan's Grandma Avis is moving to Abu Dhabi (after spending the previous year in Kuwait) at the beginning of August to begin a two year teaching contract. We will miss her very much!


Chris said...

That's beautiful Anne! What a thoughtful (and practical) gift.

Avis Louise Dalgarno said...

My mother made everything we wore including an apron to match every dress both functional ones and ones and for special occasions like Christmas or people visiting. I believe, given the names on this one, that this would have been made for a summer visit from the Ohio cousins as immediate family and two Ohio families' names are embroidered on it. Given the date, 1956 and that I was 4 years old at that time, I do not actually remember this particular apron which would have definitely been worn, likely during the serving of food and while eating while the cousins were at our house but not actually during the cooking and baking of the food for the dinners she would have served to them. So this would have been one of her "entertainment" aprons, donned when guests were in her home. Somehow my sister, Terry, had this apron stored away from another era. Anne, I cannot even find the words to say how much this bag means to me. I do hope that you are able to turn something like this into part of your business, offering the opportunity for others with special pieces of fabric or ? to live again in another form bringing new life and past memories together into one lovely decorative or function piece. Thank you, Anne for creating gifts so meaningful, gifts that touch the heart of our family as Garth so thoughtfully and sincerely said this week.