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 former 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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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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Professional Photo Session

These are some of our beautiful vintage wedding gown photos taken at our store location in Minneapolis by the talented Jenifer Eligh. We’d love to thank our amazing models for a wonderful day!

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