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:

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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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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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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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Steps to Re-designing a Vintage Gown

This is such a popular topic these days, that we’re re-blogging this post from earlier this year.  Here’s our “8 Steps to Re-designing a Vintage Gown.”

 

So you’ve received the heirloom wedding dress from your mother and have thought about wearing it.  But wait.. it doesn’t fit!  Or perhaps the style is just a bit out-of-date for your liking? Don’t completely turn down the dress yet – you might still be able to wear it, and make it your own!

Many brides these days are turning to vintage wedding dresses from their mother or grandmother.  It’s become a big trend over the last few years, and only continues to increase!  Think about it – wearing a special gown that embodies the strength, wisdom and compassion of the women in your family down the aisle on one of the biggest days of your life.  But where do you even start if this is something you just *might* be thinking about?

We’ve put together 8 Simple Steps to Redesigning Your Mother’s Vintage Dress to give you a better idea of what the process looks like!  The entire process can vary in the time it will take to fully complete your dress, and really depends on the amount of changes you are wanting to make, but it’s a good idea to start around 9-12 months out.

1. Is There a Possibility?

The first step is to bring the vintage gown to us so that we can determine whether there is even a possibility for you to redesign and wear it!  We’ll examine the fabric, beading, lace, examine any stains, and how it has been handled and preserved through the years (ie, was it placed in a box, or in a pile on the floor of a closet?). Depending on the gown’s age, we may need to work with our vintage restoration department to clean and restore it before working with it.  Sometimes the entire gown can be worn, other times, only parts of the gown or certain fabrics are able to be used for your gown.

2. Let Our Designer Get to Know YOU!

Darcy, our Wedding Gown Designer, would love to learn more about you, your likes, dislikes, things you are drawn to, so that she can get a better idea of what you might like.  This step usually includes sending Darcy pictures of other dresses you like – whether it’s parts of a dress (ie. the neckline, or a certain type of beading).  It can also help to share a Pinterest board with Darcy and some of your overall ideas for the wedding, pictures of architecture or places, or any beautiful images that you really feel drawn to!  Darcy is then able to draw a few sketches and come up with some ideas for transforming the gown into something you would love.

3. Meeting #1 – Talk Design and Take Measurements

Next, you’ll set up a second meeting with Darcy to see what she has come up with.  She’ll usually have a few ideas and options for how she thinks you would love the gown to look.  You can then edit the designs from there and talk more about your preferences.  During this meeting, Darcy will take your measurements as well.

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4. Show Actual Changes on the Vintage Dress

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Once the final design is agreed upon, Darcy will use your measurements to mark up the vintage dress to show where changes will be made.  This could include safety pins, bits of fabric, or ribbon to show the changes.  At this time, the dress will be altered a little to fit your earlier measurements – this could mean the dress might get cut in certain areas, but not always.

 

 

 

 

5. Meeting #2 – First Fitting

You’ll set up another meeting with Darcy to come in and see the dress as it is marked up.  You will try on the dress to make sure the measurements are accurate and that everything is lined up in the correct locations.  This is the moment when you can begin to really visualize and see the dress becoming YOUR dress!

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6. Sewing

This is where Darcy begins to sew your gown – to place lace or fabric in different places, and to fit the dress perfectly for you.  Throughout this period, she may be in contact with you for minor tweaks or other measurements.  This is your dress, and you want it to be fabulous!

7. Final Fitting

At your final meeting with Darcy, you get to see the final result!  You are able to try on your dress, make sure it fits, and to show it off to all your best girlfriends!  If there are any minor tweaks to be made, we make sure to leave a little time to complete them.

8. It’s Wedding Time!

Once your gown is complete, we press it to perfection, and give it to you for your big day!  You are going to look beautiful!

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Wedding Veils 101

 

We’ve cleaned just about every style of wedding gown and accessories you can think of. If you’re lost on what style veil you want you’ve come to the right place.
The diagram below shows a few ideas of the various styles you have to choose from. When choosing, make sure the style is in sync with the style of your dress as well. You want to choose a color that is either exactly the same or slightly lighter than the dress. It looks best to not go darker. Longer veils are the most common, however today many brides are choosing the vintage look with shorter veils like the birdcage or blusher.

Veil

Here are some great example of some vintage looks we’ve seen

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These are two ideas if you’re looking for a shorter headpiece or veil. On the left is a gorgeous floral headpiece. On the right we have the birdcage mentioned above.

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If you want to go a little longer so you can still flip the veil over your head, the shoulder length is a great way to go as well. Its short enough for it to not get in the way and is a style many brides are going to today.

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The cathedral veil is a gorgeous, longer set veil that has a lacy or more detailed around the edge

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Lastly, this version can come in various lengths. It has a very mid 20’s, Gatsby feel to it which some brides love to use as a vintage and classy touch to their wedding outfit. This look is often called the Juliet Cap.

 

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Bridesmaids Dress Themes

If you need help getting started on ideas for your bridesmaids dresses, start here! Bridesmaids are meant to compliment you on your big day. Having a fun theme among the girls can make the wedding day more fun, meaningful and of course, memorable. See if any of these ideas are themes you could use!

1.Different colored dresses in the same style
Different-Pastel-Shades
Having different colored dresses can be a unique way to satisfy all bridesmaids.
If you choose to do this you should pick a palette that makes sense together and compliments the theme of your wedding as well

2. Same colored dresses in different styles
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OR you could do the complete opposite and let everyone choose a style that better suites their body, but in a color approved by you.

3. Statement items
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Even if you do all decide on different dresses, you can pull all the looks together by having one common statement piece.
This could also serve as your gift to your bridesmaids. whether its a headpiece, necklace or even some kind of fancy footwear.

4. Have a common item among the bridesmaids AND groomsmen
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We’ve all seen the wedding party theme where they all have the same sunglasses or socks
Maybe you wont do this idea, but you can find your own way of bringing the entire party together.

5. Have an overall theme, let them choose the dress
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For example you could choose the roaring 20’s or maybe another decade.
This way everyone can find a way to represent themselves in a unique yet similar way.

 

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Vintage Tablecloths

We recently had the opportunity to clean some very beautiful tablecloths that came with an even more interesting back story.

Believed to be brought over from Ireland in the 1900’s, these tablecloths belonged to
Eleanor Jane Hall Adams. A grandmother of a well known St. Paul local.

Eleanor married the boy next door and moved to St. Paul in 1947, bringing these intricate tablecloths with them.
Her husband eventually moved on to being the first Champlain of Macalester college.
They have survived in wonderful condition while being passed down through 4 generations and plan on continuing to do so for generations to come.

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Shown above is the tablecloths after being cleaned and preserved by our treasured garment specialist

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