I truly love books, and I love to look to them for inspiration. I have previously mentioned and recommended Make Your Own Contemporary Quilts. Not only are there fantastic ideas and instructions in there for making quilts, the styling is also very inviting. Like this little vignette of antique dresses pictured at left. An image like this kindles an immediate desire in me; usually my response would be to try and make what it is that I have seen and responded to so strongly.
Actually, most of my needlework efforts and endeavours are about making my own versions of antique/heirloom-type pieces because they are so difficult (and expensive) to come by otherwise. If I can't acquire a piece of hand-made gros point de Venise lace then my first thought is to make some myself.
Anyway, having not yet gotten around to sewing any heirloom christening dresses just for show or mastering smocking, my own antique children's dresses vignette has been sadly lacking. That is, until this Sunday past. I went to Fremont Market to say hi to my dear friend Heidi, a fabulous potter about whom I will do a more comprehensive post shortly, and spied a white lacy something as I walked by a second-hand wares stall. You know when you see something and you know that it is just right, that it is just what you want and you mentally suck in a breath of air and wonder, 'how much do they want for it?'
There was another second-hand wares guy across the way who had a couple of vintage-looking cotton quilt tops for sale. As I usually do, before asking after the price I determined how much I'd be prepared to pay. I decided on thirty dollars (that's how much it would have been worth to me and if I really fall in love with something I'll often go fifty per cent over what I am 'prepared' to pay), he wanted one hundred. No thank you.
So the white lacy something (incidentally in pretty poor shape and badly discoloured) - I decided that I was prepared to pay fifteen dollars. She only asked for ten - hooray! I snapped it up, happily paid for it and gave it a good long soak in oxy-action stuff. A lot of the discoloration disappeared and after a gentle steam iron, here it hangs on the inside of little miss bear's closet door - the beginnings of our own antique children's dress composition.