Friday, September 21, 2007

Vintage Baby

I went to an estate sale today. It turned out to be at the home of a friend's mother who had passed away last year.
It felt a bit uncomfortable looking at things knowing that my friend and her brothers wore the baby clothes, played with the toys, ate from the dishes, read the books and hugged the mom who wore the aprons.
There is always a touch of sadness when you look at the objects that are being let go. How hard must it have been for those children to pick and choose the things that would be kept, brought to their own homes to help keep memories, and leave behind others that would now exist in the homes of strangers.
Does it ease the pain knowing that these things, their things, will now be cared for and used by another? I don't think I know the answer to that question.
Upstairs, hanging in the closet of a small, white bedroom was a row of vintage baby clothes. Well-worn and stained, they were the first things that this woman, soon to be a new mom, had purchased for her baby.
How many times did her hands smooth the tiny clothes, pressing soft folds in the fabric, tucking them into drawers scented with baby powder?
How many hours were spent trying to dress a writhing infant in these layette gowns, undershirts, overalls and dresses?
Tucked in between two little outfits was something that looked like a small overshirt. Taking it out, I saw that it was a tiny capelet. I don't know what else you would call it, but it was adorable.
Even though it was a bit threadbare and wore the color of age, it was just too darling to leave behind. And for a dollar, I could not.
It came home with all of the other things I bought. And I could not wait to begin on the project I had in store for this small treasure.
Laying it out on freezer paper, I traced the capelet and made a pattern. Then I put it into oxygen cleaner to see if it can be rescued. It will be tomorrow before I will be able to tell.
But if not, it will live on in a new capelet. One made for a sweet baby girl due to arrive on this earth in November.
Here it is:

Is this not the cutest thing ever? Here it is folded out:

Surprise! No sleeves to cause frustration when dressing the little one. How clever! It must have been a woman who designed this little article. Even though it is made from a vintage pattern, it looks fresh and new in style and very practical. I do hope that the mom-to-be and her new baby like it.
I would like to think that somewhere someone will be smiling as that small part of her past is carried into the future.

Thank you, friend, for allowing me to be responsible for this tender memory of yours. I will tend to it with love.


Denise S. said...

Your so lucky to have frequent estate sales. Where I live we might get 3 a year.

I love the little diaper shirt,thats what I thought it might be. Hope the original one survives just fine.

Utah Grammie said...

Oh, it is sweet!
And I know how you feel ...even though the estate sales I have gone to are for unknown (to me)people, I always feel a little sad- seeing people go through another's "things". I want the children of the deceased to know that I will take good care of the things I choose - that they will be given love and care. Still, it makes me sad. But it's such a complex feeling - like I am somehow "saving" these things, too.
Can't wait to see the caplet you make!

Bright Meadow Farms said...

How cute that baby dress is! And I just love the photo of the wall in your heading. It reminds me of somewhere I've been, even though I can't place it.

I stopped by to let you know about a contest on my blog

MNScrapbookmom said...

Your right, estate sales can be a little odd feeling can't they? Love this little shirt.

Amy Wagner said...

It is beautiful! Good for you for making it and that lucky baby receiving it also.
I love old baby clothes.
I know what you mean about estate sales and all the emotions they stir up. It can be sweet and bitersweet!