DRESSCUE (Dress Rescue)

When my friend Sophie bought a farm to turn into a writers’/ illustrators’ retreat she accidentally owned its derelict cottage. This house has history: the family raised seven generations there, a dozen people at a time living in its two bedrooms. They left in 1942.
Sophie was the only person who’d gone inside for over 70 years. This is a very specific kind of heaven, for clothes rescuers who aren’t afraid of no ghost. Sophie had already taken a couple dozen dresses, including a wedding dress. I restricted myself to two, plus some fabric.
After a very careful handwashing in baby shampoo, and air drying (never, ever put vintage in the dryer! The washer on cold and ‘delicates’ you can just about get away with –only, don’t), it was mending time. I used the fabric I’d found–also washed, of course–and rows of running stitch, because that ring around the collar was permanent. Here’s the result.



Kate Sekules
Kate Sekules

Author



55 Responses

Kathleen L Sitzman
Kathleen L Sitzman

June 11, 2021

I love what you have done with this dress. The flowers are genius and the collar stitching is wonderful too. I also appreciated the washing tips. I have unfortunately ruined a few things by washing them inappropriately because I did not know the best way to do that until reading your book and blog, but now thanks to you, I know better!

I have been mending things since I was 10 years old—my mother thought I was a little “different” for doing that but I had to do it—I was born that way despite the fact that my mother and extended family members were strictly fast fashion enthusiasts. I am so glad to have found that Visible Mending is a “thing” and I am not alone in my lifelong path of mending, deeply valuing textiles, and insisting that my clothing reflects who I am rather than what is currently popular. I feel like I have found my people :-)
I have to admit I am desperate to see the entire dress! Is there any way you could post another photo that shows the whole thing?
Thanks so much for this website, your book, and for what you are doing. It gives me hope and a sense of belonging.

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Trishy

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Great story!! I would have loved to check out such old leavings. Love your collar!

Dagmar Karppi
Dagmar Karppi

March 15, 2020

I just love what you have done. I recently threw out a plaid shirt with a few holes in it…Never again.
And I love the floral patches. They make it a whole new thing… as does the stitching on the collar. years ago I cut the
collars off and turned the neckline into a “Nerhu” type neckline. You rock!
It reminds me of the 70s, when we all wore creative clothing. hugs… dagmar

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