Grandma’s Handmade Lace

crocheted and tatted lace

I recently was given a bag of sewing notions that belonged to my Grandma (my dad’s mom) who has gotten too old to sew. Among a pile of bias tape, old thread, a pleating board, some awfully 80’s patterns, elastic, and other functional sewing items were several gems – pieces of lace that I believe my Grandmother handmade.

hand crocheted baby dress top

My grandmother made so many beautiful things in her life. She was 6′ tall in the 1940’s, so she quickly learned to sew all of her own clothes. (Side note: at one point she was a department store model who sat in the window of the department store all day!). She taught me to sew my first pair of pants. I’ve also seen her crochet and knit beautiful things from sweaters to scarves.

hand tatted baby dress top

There were two handmade yokes, one crocheted (above) and one tatted (here). The skirt has since been cut off them, and they need to be cleaned, but I just can’t ooh and aah enough over such fine work. I can’t wait to have a little girl that I can dress in these.

heirloom lace and silk baby dress

For me, the piece de resistance is this silk and lace baby dress. Although she didn’t make the lace itself, she used heirloom sewing techniques and tiny stitches to make this dress. I’m terrified of cleaning something so delicate, but I know it should be done as soon as possible so that I can get it stored safely until I have my own baby to wear it. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to safely clean it?

gold sparkle acrylic thread holder

Comments 6

  1. Wow, what beautiful lace. I bet your grandmother is pleased to have someone in her family who loves sewing for her to pass it on to!

  2. It’s wonderful that you have such heartwarming memories of your grandmother. I’m sure you’ll pass your own wisdom and creativity along to the next generation as well. Thanks for the lovely post.

  3. For the silk and lace dress, look for a reputable, professional cleaner who does wedding dresses. I would expect them to be able to clean the dress carefully and possibly help with the storage options.

    1. Post

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’m such a DIY-er, it’s often hard for me to think of asking for outside help, but in this case you might be right!

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