70 Year Old Pin Up Dress Restored

Rolf Armstrong & Jewel Flowers circa 1940

Jewel Flowers was an iconic American pinup model from North Carolina.  She was a favorite of well-known WWII pin-up artist, Rolf Armstrong, and collaborated on many portraits with him during her 20-year modeling career.  The two met when Armstrong posted an ad in the New York Times and Flowers responded to the ad.  This resulted in featuring her in over 50 pin-ups.  Flowers often wore custom made, elaborate gowns or costumes in her portraits.  

When Lynn Ficher brought in a vintage dress worn by Jewel Flowers – it had been over 70 years since the dress was modeled by Flowers in an Armstrong’s portrait (shown below).  Ficher brought the gown to Treasured Garment Restoration, a division of St Croix Cleaners early November.  Considering the age of the vintage gown, the skirt was in fairly good condition. However, the purple velvet bodice of the dress was deteriorating and not in a condition where it could survive any cleaning or restoration method. 


 

Kat Clobes, our Treasured Garment team member worked with Ficher and the decision was made to rebuild the purple bodice of the dress and restore the dress close to its original beauty.

“The overall integrity of the green skirt was in good shape so we cleaned that to the best of our ability. As for the bodice, we rebuilt it from scratch using a similar but less chemically treated purple velvet that will last much longer than the original”


“Girl on a Beam”



The purple and green vintage dress inspired at least two well-known portraits featuring Jewel.  You can see in the before picture of the boned velvet bodice how the fabric was deteriorating. The dress needed extra support to prevent the fabric from separating from the skirt. Precise measurements were taken of the bust and it was completely remade and reattached.

 This vintage dress that was such a piece of World War II pin-up art history was cleaned and preserved with care and will now be able to be displayed for years to come.

If you have an old or vintage treasured garment tucked away and would like to learn more about restoration and preservation options, we’d love to talk with you!  You can reach our team of specially trained Treasured Garment experts to set up a free garment inspection at (651) 705-8623

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116 Year Old Heirloom Restored

Customer Heather MacLeod remembers seeing this dress for the first time when she was just a little girl. Pulling it from its box, she was immediately attached to its history and sentimental value to her family.  It’s typical for garments over 100 years old to be in less than ideal storage conditions, which can sometimes make cleaning/restoring much more difficult. This heirloom, dating back to 1899 was clearly in more favorable storage conditions making it easier to restore. The before and after pictures speak for themselves:

Before & After template3

What is the background story of the woman in the dress? Mary Ella McIntosh grew up in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. On December 27, 1899 at age 27, she married British-born James Paris Scott (age 33). They settled in James’ home in Massachusetts, and later had one child – a daughter, Elaine, born in August 1914.

When was the first time you saw the dress? I remember my grandmotherMary Ella’s daughter, Elaine – showing me the dress when I was a young child; I was probably about six years old the first time I saw it. After that, she was willing to show it to me any time I asked (at least a few times a year). When she passed away in 1992, the dress was passed to me.

Why did you decide to get your great grandmothers wedding attire cleaned? The dress had been in the attic for many years, and fortunately remained in very good condition. But I realized that a dress that was 116 years old needed proper cleaning and packaging in order to prevent degradation.

Why did you bring your great grandmothers wedding attire to a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists? It was important to find someone who could be trusted to clean an antique dress without doing any damage. Treasured Garment Restoration did a fantastic job of cleaning the dress, and packing it appropriately so that it will last for many years to come.

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Duane, the Treasured Garment Specialist who worked on this dress, says “With older dresses that have oxidized so much over time, it’s sometimes a mystery what color the dress truly was, but with this dress we were able to really brighten it up and restore it. [You can see that this dress was constructed using 2 very different fabrics—1) cotton linen, which restored all the way back to its original color, and 2) silk (the trim) which will brighten a bit, but usually will not restore completely back to its original color.) ] Since this dress is over 100 years old we had to be careful to make sure we didn’t distort any of the fibers in the process. We carefully test all fabrics to make sure we’re using the right process with them. This is especially important to ensure the longevity of the dress for years to come.”

It’s truly an honor for our team at Treasured Garment Restoration to restore garments such as this dress.
We find joy in taking items that mean so much to our customers and restoring them to their original beauty. Our goal is to preserve garments so they last for years to come and can be passed down for generations.

If you have a wedding dress or other vintage garment you’d like us to take a look at– contact us!

 

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80’s Gown Redesigned for Modern Bride

During its time, this gown was right on trend. But now it’s a little hard to relate to the gigantic bows and puffed sleeves! Treasured Garment Restoration has been lucky enough to redesign old gowns to meet modern brides’ tastes and still serve as a great tribute to a mother or grandmother.

Lori Dress Before (1)

This dress (pictured) is a great example of 80’s bridal fashion.  It features everything from the large puffed sleeves to bows and ruffles. By just looking at this dress, it’s hard to envision an idea of how it could be redesigned. Our highly trained alteration specialists can walk you through a redesign and help you create exactly what want for your big day. Don’t believe us? Check this out:

Lori Dress redesign 1

It’s hard to believe this is even the same dress. Our creative specialists removed the sleeves, bows and ruffles.  They updated the neckline and added new elements to the skirt while keeping the integrity of the original dress.  Brand new lace was added along with new pearl trim. All motifs from the original dress were kept, just readjusted to suit the new design. Look closely the waist line  and you can see that it was changed from the “sweetheart” to a more modern waistline . If you have questions or are interested in doing something like this to your dress give us a call!

We love a new project. To find a location nearest you visit our location page or call one of our 2 bridal alterations’ specialists: 1)Woodbury location off Valley Creek Road (651) 315-8870, or 2)  in Minneapolis-Loring Park (free parking on site) at (651) 927-8198.

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Kathryn’s Wedding Gown Preservation

Kathryn didn’t want her dress ruined over something as silly as not getting it preserved. In hopes of her daughter someday wearing it, she brought it to the experts at Treasured Garment Restoration. Read more about Kathryn’s wedding dress journey below!

When was your wedding and where did it take place?
My wedding took place in Woodstock,IL, the ceremony was at St. Mary’s Church and the Reception was at Bull Valley Country Club on June 20th 2015
When did you know that your wedding dress was “the one”
I went in knowing exactly what I wanted, Something that would be timeless, and still be popular in 20 years. The main style I wanted was A-line and because I had a religious ceremony it had to have some form of straps. I only had to try on 6 dresses before finding the one, it honestly made me look 6 sizes smaller then I was, it was definitely that timeless look I was going for (plus I knew it would totally make my fiance at the time cry when he saw me! Ha!)

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What is your absolute favorite memory from your wedding day?
Honestly, the fact that all my friends and family from all over the country were in the same place at the same time. You just never think that’s possible till it actually happens, and the fact that I’ve never seen Nick (my husband) so happy in his life, I always knew he’d be the guy I’d marry so it was awesome to finally get it done!
Why did you decide to get your wedding attire cleaned?
I literally love my dress, and I would hate for any hidden stains to ruin it in several years. Plus if I have a daughter I would want her to wear it or use some part of it in her dress. It’s one of the few parts of your wedding you can hold on to for a lifetime, and I wouldn’t want to ruin it just over not cleaning it.
Why did you bring your wedding attire to a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists?
It was recommended by my bridal salon in Madison that I need to get it professional cleaned after the wedding, Treasured Garments had the best reviews in the area so I knew it would be in safe hands there. I was definitely not willing to take a chance of my dress getting ruined, and I didn’t see that happening with the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists.

Kat_Nick_0681-625Photography Credit : http://wemakebridescry.com/

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Nichole’s Wedding Gown Preservation

A wedding dress is one of the most important purchases a bride will ever make. To kick off our Real Brides Blogs, we have an extra special interview with Nichole who had her dress redesigned prior to her wedding & preserved after by our specialists atTreasured Garment Restoration. Read more about Nichole’s wedding dress journey below.
Thanks Nichole!
Real bridePictured above is Nichole’s redesigned dress (left/middle) and her Mother in the original (right)

When was your wedding and where did it take place?
The wedding was at the Barns of Lost Creek in Beldenville, WI on June 27, 2015
When did you know that your wedding dress was “the one”?
The dress was my mom’s. My grandma (dad’s mom) made the dress for my mom 38 years ago. My grandma died when I was 14. So, I thought that it would be special to wear a dress that my mom wore and my grandma made.
Real brideWhat is your absolute favorite memory from your wedding day?
My favorite memory was having my friends and family to celebrate the wonderful day with us.

Why did you decide to get your wedding attire cleaned by Treasured Garment Restoration?
The lace on the dress had yellowed and need to be cleaned to appear white again. 
I wanted to have the dress restored and altered/updated a bit from the 1970’s look. Therefore, we had it restored and changed to be more in style.

bridePhotographer Credit: Studio 220

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Third Generation Dress

Here at Treasured Garment Restoration we’re lucky enough to hear
many great stories behind some of the garments we have coming in.
Recently, we received a third generation dress to redesign and
restore for a Twin Cities Bride.

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We had the chance to get the full story from the brides mother (pictured above on the right) who worked with Darcy Zeppernick, our Treasured Garment Restoration Wedding Alteration & Design Certified Wedding Specialist.

“Each generation has modified how the headpiece and veil were worn. In 1962, my mother said she never liked how far forward she wore the headpiece and the line of jewels that dangled on her forehead. In 1987 the veil was completely replaced (it didn’t age well). I had to purchase a hoop slip since it was not saved from ’62. This year (2014), my daughter removed the poof and reversed the direction of the veil so she could wear it backwards. She wore the same hoop slip that I wore in 1987. We both noticed how much larger the hoop must have been in 1962.

What I like is that even though it is a vintage (timeless in my opinion) dress, each bride was able to make it uniquely hers by modifying how the veil was worn. Although my mother’s parents bought the dress for her and they were able to see me wear it, they passed before they could see their great granddaughter wear the dress. I know they would have been very pleased!

We learned from Darcy that people used to dance differently compared to now-a-days. People didn’t use to dance with their hands and arms over their heads like they do today so our daughter had to keep that in mind when she wanted to “raise the roof!”

I have one more daughter that may want to wear the dress so it will be preserved for her and any future generations.”-Jeanne Giles

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We love to hear the history of the pieces we’re cleaning. If you have a piece you’ve been meaning to get restored, let us know! We can help make your item look its best and be preserved for years to come.

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Diamond Awards

Congratulations to our Treasured Garment Restoration team for winning the
Mpls St Paul Magazines Diamond Award for Outstanding Bridal Preservation
This is a huge honor for us and we would like to thank everyone that voted for us!

“The expertise with which this eco-friendly company cleans your gown was not lost on our panel of judges. Their museum-quality preservation process and impressive customer services were an added bonus. Said one judge: “Brides can rest easy knowing that their precious gown is in good hands.”

See other winners of the Diamond Awards here and visit our Treasured Garment Restoration Gallery page to click through a gallery of other preservations we’ve done in the past.

Diamond Award Judges Choice Diamond Award People Choice

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Get a Designer Dress for Less!

Have you found the perfect wedding gown – but it’s a bit out of your price range?  Or perhaps you’d like to buy a cheaper gown, and tailor it to make it your very own?  Or you just don’t plan to preserve your gown and would rather someone else enjoy it too?

To the rescue – PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com!  It’s a unique site to buy and sell wedding gowns – complete with sizes pictures and more.  Find out what your dress is selling for, whether it’s in your size and more:

http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/dresses/calculator

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Happy Veteran’s Day!

We have been so honored over the years to clean, restore and preserve some amazing vintage military uniforms.  Here are just a few:

Mary Larson – 1940’s Navy Uniform:

B4AfterLarson1  Mary K Larson in uniform-cropped (2)

 

Above you can see the before and after photos of her military uniform.  She also provided us with a photo of her during her service.  She was featured on Fox9 last spring for her service to our country.  You can watch the segment here.

 

 

Vintage Hat

 

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You can see the before and after of this hat.  It was hand cleaned and it was required to use several different cleaning processes as there were different textures and fabrics making up this hat.

 

 

WWII Bomber Jacket

 

WWII Bomber Jacket-half cleaned WWII Bomber Jacket Restored & Preserved

 

Above, the jacket was half-cleaned using our expert cleaning techniques.  Next to it is the finished jacket, on display in it’s preservation box.

 

Korean War Uniform – Cleaned & Preserved:

Korean War Uniform

 

WWII Veteran Uniform in Preservation Box:

 

 

 

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Thank you to all those who serve!

 

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Mpls. / St Paul Magazine’s Diamond Awards

Voting for Mpls.St. Paul Magazine’s Diamond Awards – People’s Choice has begun, and we need your help to ensure that St. Croix Cleaners’ Treasured Garment Restoration is recognized!

Treasured Garment Restoration is St. Croix Cleaners’ premier specialty cleaning division, specializing in the cleaning and restoration of delicate, vintage and specialty garments, including wedding gown preservation and alterations. Treasured Garment Restoration has been recognized by the Pioneer Press, Mpls.St. Paul Magazine, Fox 9 and WCCO.

To cast your vote for Treasured Garment Restoration, follow these quick instructions:

  1. Go to http://mspmag.com/Weddings/Diamond-Awards/
  2. Click on “People’s Choice Vote Now”
  3. Click on “Outstanding Bridal Alterations” and “Outstanding Bridal Preservation” (two separate awards – voting is open for each)
  4. Click “Vote” next to Treasured Garment Restoration

Thank you for supporting St. Croix Cleaners and Treasured Garment Restoration. We hope to see you soon!

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