Speaking of wedding gowns...

krystineSeptember 26, 2006

Hi everyone :)

Like many of you, I've been struggling with organizing my home.

Here's my problem... my mom just recently moved into an apartment and has given me a few things (which I felt I couldn't turn down). The first thing was her wedding gown from 50+ years ago -- the second was her old singer sewing machine in a cabinet (I don't sew).

I just took the (size 2?) wedding gown out of the box, and amazingly, aside from a few areas that are yellowing, it's in good condition. Any ideas on what I should I do with it? I'm already married and don't have children of my own, so I don't have anyone to pass this along to.

I've heard of people making crafts out of old gowns (ie christening gowns, keepsake pillows, etc.) I would have to pay to have this done, as I am not crafty at all! Any ideas you have would be much appreciated.

Should I just give away the sewing machine? It's collecting dust in my basement, and quite honestly, I will probably never learn how to sew.

Oh the guilt!



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RUN don't walk, to the pattern section of any store that sells patterns! Turn to the section that is maked 'decorator items for the home'. There you will find ideas for pillows, as well as tons of other ideas.

I used my DD's beautiful, thought quite narrow, shawl that came with her gown around a lamp shade. When the light is on, all the little crystals sparkle, and i'm reminded of her day and how beautiful she looked. ;o)


    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 3:34PM
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If Mom got married 50 years ago, I don't think you are going to learn to sew at this stage of the game. Sewing is handy if youhave kids who are always ripping a piece of clothing. Otherwise, it takes a lot of practice and determination to learn to sew well enough to make something you would actually wear to a social event. I have given several old sewing machines to people. Usually somebody who is working at your home--plumber, electrician, cleaning lady, etc. may know of a person who would love it. The last machine I gave away the lady was quite thrilled.
Consider asking Mom if she would like a pillow case made out of the dress. She could keep it in her room. You could do that by hand. (or learn how to do a straight stitch on the machine)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 3:05AM
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My Grandmother cut up her wedding dress,which had an attached lace underskirt or lining, then sewed it into a Christening gown for the grandchildren (there were four of us). My own mother has her wedding dress in a closet, but with its 18-inch waist, no one ever fit into it. Out of her three daughters, none of us is a Scarlet O'Hara type!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 8:58AM
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The biggest reason to sew is also one of the easiest projects to succeed at: custom curtains.

You can save a ton on curtains if you make them yourself, esp. if you have odd-sized windows.

Pillows are also really easy; as are tote bags, scarves, and even an elastic-waist skirt. (the secret to pillows it to stop one stitch before the corner, and sew the last stitch of the side DIAGONALLY across the corner, then stitch the next side; this gives you really sharp corners when you turn it inside out.

But if you aren't honestly likely to do that, then I'd seriously consider sending that sewing machine on to someone who could use it. In whatever way makes you feel comfortable--selling it so you don't feel taken advantage of; seeking out someone w/ few resources, like a college student or recent immigrant; or someone who'd value it because of it's contribution to their serious sewing equipment, like somebody who bought a serger and an embroidery machine but wishes she had a basic straight and zig-zag machine as well); or somewhere it can do some social good (like a nonprofit organization's sewing class, or the school, or a junior college, where they'd find it useful for teaching people the basic skills).


One thing about old sewing machines; the ones in the cabinet aren't as popular w/ most folks nowadays bcs you can't put them in the closet, and the older machines have very few stitches. They're workhorses, but they're basic. And most basic portable sewing machines aren't terribly expensive.

So, start looking for a home for it before it gets even more obsolete.

If the wedding dress has pretty fabric, it could become a christening gown (do you have siblings whose kids or grandkids might use it?), a pillow or three, or even a quilt.

Martha Stewart Kids once showed how to do a quilt from a baby's outgrown clothes, and suggested KEEPING the details like the pintucks on the bodice, or the applique, or even the collar, and not just using only the plain expanses of skirt or trouser leg.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 9:32AM
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Thanks to all of you for your awesome responses! :)

And yes, I am 41 and sewing challenged :) I made a wrap skirt and vest once with my mom's help, but that was a loooong time ago! If I have anything done with my mom's dress (ie pillows, christening gown(s) for the great-grandkids, etc), I would definitely pay someone so it was done right.

And thanks for bringing up that cabinet sewing machines are not as sought after due to space issues... makes total sense to me.

Thank you again for all your suggestions!

Kristine :)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 12:24PM
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Kristine, it really depends upon where you live as to the popularity of the sewing machines. Many of the younger set is learning that the $100 models are crap and are more than willing to pick up an older machine with a cabinet. It's much easier to have the cabinet which can also act as a small table, than haul a heavy machine in and out of storage.

If you post it on Freecycle, you'll end up with tons of takers.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 1:25PM
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Good to know Gloria... I know this machine is an oldie but a goodie ;)

thanks :)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 7:23PM
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