VINTAGE IS IN!
Check out this NEW show on TLC – and guess what, we can do that! Our newest Treasured Garment Restoration location in the Loring Park Neighborhood of Minneapolis (10 S 13th St, Minneapolis, MN 55414) features vintage-chic decorations, a wall of bridal gowns, and a studio for altering a wedding gown and wedding party.
To follow up on Monday’s post about Mary K Larson and her fantastic story/uniform, we’d like to share another piece of Mary’s story. Below is a list of all the medals and insignia that Mary earned while serving in the Navy WAVES.
We would once again like to thank Mary for her service to our country and for allowing us the honor of cleaning her prized garments!
“A very proud American woman.” That’s how former Treasured Garment Restoration specialist Duane describes Mary K. Larson, a former Navy WAVES service member who allowed us the special privilege of cleaning and preserving her uniforms.
Larson joined the U.S. Naval Reserve (Women’s Reserve), or Navy WAVES for short, in 1943, with the intent of serving her country during the trying times of World War II.
Founded just a year earlier in 1942, the WAVES, which was short for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, was a division of the Navy consisting entirely of women. It marked the first time women had been accepted into the Navy, or any U.S. military branch for that matter.
Though the Army had its own version of the WAVES, called the WACC, these women were considered to be serving with the Army, not in it! For all intensive purposes, WAVES members were an official part of the Navy.
Members of the WAVES were not allowed to serve aboard combat ships or aircraft, but this doesn’t mean their contributions weren’t important. For example, while serving, Mary was a Cryptologic Technician Interpretive, or CTI. CTI’s specialize in communication and intelligence work, all vitally essential military functions, and even more so during wartime.
Treasured Garment Restoration was honored to work on Mary’s uniforms, which included a blue grey pinstriped seersucker uniform and several “dress blues”. The garments definitely needed some work, as you can see in the before and after photos below.
“The uniforms,” Schumann said, “give us a great glimpse into history, and 1943.”
From all of us at Treasured Garment Restoration we’d like to thank Mrs. Mary K. Larson for her service to our country, and for allowing us to preserve such prized possessions!
Betty Altheide 1953
It was a warm Saturday in Minneapolis, July 18th, 1953. Betty Schuler arrived at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church in her beautiful white eyelet layered wedding gown and she was a bit nervous, yet excited as she was about to become the bride of John Altheide. Betty recalls that it was rather warm that day and that there was no air conditioning; “I don’t remember the temperature exactly, but I do know that no one fainted” (as was the case in many hot, summer weddings in those days).
After growing up in Edina, MN, Betty went on to college at William Woods University, an all-girls school in Fulton, MO. John grew up around St. Louis, Mo and attended Westminister College, also in Fulton, MO. How did they meet? “It was December 3, 1949, we met on a blind date going to a Fraternity party”, she blushed, as John stands by, in disbelief, that she even remembers the date!
After they finished school, John went into the Air Force. They got to see each other only about 3 or 4 times in the ensuing 2 years that he was enlisted. After 1 year, he proposed to her.
Betty proceeded with all the wedding planning on her own since John was not around. The ceremony was held at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, the reception was held at the Edina Country Club. She purchased her dress at Dayton’s in downtown Minneapolis and remembers that the dress plus the hoop skirt she wore with it was under $100.00. She was careful with the dress at her wedding, no cake spilled, no punch spilled, no drinking at the reception—so it was looking great after the big day.
The newlywed couple then spent their honeymoon at Maddens Resort in northern Minnesota where they actually were able to spend some time together to really get to know each other. John, having been in the military for a couple of years, had been doing his own laundry, and Betty was alarmed to find that he didn’t spend much time sorting his colors—all of his underwear was pink! They then moved to St. Louis, Missouri after the wedding. It seems that everything worked out through the years — Betty and John just celebrated their 59th Wedding Anniversary this summer—and they’re looking forward to number 60 in 2013!
In the spring of 2012 when Betty and John and their children were cleaning out their nooks and crannies, they came upon the dress, yellowed and stained, and it was sent to Treasured Garment Restoration for evaluation. If the gown was so well protected the day of the wedding, what happened, then, with the horrible spills we saw on it when it came to be restored? “Well”, Betty explained, “35 years ago –when the dress was 25 years old—there was a party amongst our friends and the requirement was to bring or wear something from your wedding. So, I wore my wedding gown!” Amazingly, Betty was still able to wear the gown after 25 years and 2 children and her only comment was “yes, I fit into it, but I didn’t sit down all night”.
We, at Treasured Garment Restoration, have seen a number of things show up on vintage wedding dresses that can re-ignite memories of the day… and we are truly passionate about restoring and preserving the each unique dress along with the memories it symbolizes for our customers!
One thing remains constant– it’s all about THE DRESS! Brides will spend countless hours looking at photos, magazines, (now Pinterest) and shopping for the one dress that makes them feel like a princess for the day. Each dress is unique and could tell a story of its own—if only a dress could talk!
We recently had a very special guest at Treasured Garment Restoration Spa and Salon – Super Sammy the Sock Monkey!
You may have seen Sammy relaxing in our lobby recently while waiting for his town car to pick him up.
While staying with us we were able to get an exclusive TGR interview with Sammy.
TGR: First of all Sammy thank you for taking the time to sit down with us. We know how busy you are!
Sammy: Not a problem; I’ve been having a wonderful time relaxing and getting “refreshed”!
TGR: Sammy, can you give us your full name and title to start?
Sammy: Sure! It’s Super Sammy, Ambassador for Genuine Monkeez and Friends.
TGR: Can you tell us a little more about the work you do as Ambassador?
Sammy: I spend most of my traveling. I’m a pretty busy Sock Monkey you know! I spend a lot of time in showrooms across the country, having my picture taken, greeting people, and, of course, eating bananas!
TGR: Sounds glamorous!
Sammy: It is. I love spending time meeting new friends, helping out with charities and visiting specialty retail shops. Truth be told, it does get a little tiring though.
TGR: Oh, how so?
Sammy: Well, one of the reasons I stopped in here was to get some much needed rest and relaxation. You may have noticed I was a bit dirty when I arrived. I even had a few… tears!
TGR: Can you talk a little about what we did for you here at the Treasured Garment Spa Sammy?
Sammy: Of course. I started with a luxurious soak, a great way to let the cares of the world melt away. We moved on to some deep fabric work to really get all the dirt I had collected out. This was followed by a nice warm towel and some time in the “dry room”. Finally, all my little tears and nicks were tended to; before I knew it, I was good as new!
TGR: Well Sammy, again, we really appreciate the time you’ve taken to speak with us. It’s been a pleasure having you! Please come back and see us again!
For more information on Sammy and Genuine Monkeez & Friends, please visit Midwest CBK’s website.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…as the old saying goes! Some brides are making the “something old” the cornerstone of the wedding–her dress! More and more I see brides pulling out Mom’s or Grandma’s gown from the attic and discovering that it’s in pretty good shape, but maybe yellowed, a few dark brown spots, and a few little tears. They come in wondering if, somehow, it may be salvageable?
My answer–most likely! Since each gown is different, has been cleaned (or not cleaned) differently, and has been stored differently–some in boxes with tissue, some in cedar chests, some hanging in the back of Grandma’s closet–they all come with a variety of challenges. But, unless the integrity of the fabric has been seriously compromised (i.e. brittle and crumbly or tearing with little tension), it’s probably a great candidate for restoration and re-wearing.
The restoration process involves removing the oxidation (yellowing) and returning the fabric to its original color and luster. Yes, this is possible and done quite frequently by professionals who know how to handle vintage and age-damaged fabrics. It may also be the most economical choice for the bride, as well. Since each wedding dress differs dramatically, prices may also vary, but usually can start around $399 and up!
Check out a couple more examples:
Now, I’ve seen some interesting marketing ploys before, but I’m not quite sure what this one is after!
I sure hope the bride who wore this gown didn’t spill anything on her gown at the ceremony or the reception! Seriously, I’m not aware of any textile that would spontaneously combust when introduced with water. As members of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists, Treasured Garment Restoration and our parent company, St. Croix Cleaners, can certainly care for this dress and any other gowns with wild labels on them.
Thanks to Forever-TV! TGR will be featured in an upcoming episode about cleaning and preserving your wedding gowns! We had a blast during the filiming…!
Forever TV is a bridal media group that uses the power of internet television to promote local wedding vendors and educate local brides-to-be.
Be sure to check back here and on Facebook for updates… We’ll keep you in the loop!