Baptisms and child dedications are a big part of my family’s history. I rely on and search for baptism dates regularly when doing genealogical research. Also our family actively participates in the practice.
When I had my first child we didn’t have a family heirloom dress that was passed down. no one close to us had one we could borrow either.
So I went shopping for just the right outfit. At this time, I was not thinking it was going to be a family heirloom. I ended up purchasing an affordable off white satin infant dress with buttons and lace trimming. It also came with a matching hat.
I was relieved to have this part of the day taken care of.
Side note: 2 minutes before my sweet baby went to be baptized she filled her diaper. My Grandma Ila insisted she had to be changed, ‘…before our Good Lord anoints her.’ I tried arguing that he anoints the other end but she wouldn’t budge. I did manage to get her changed and didn’t get her dress caught up in the brown fray.
Two years later my first niece was born and she ended up using the dress. My second niece did as well and so did my second daughter 12 years after the first.
Now here is where I had this idea to make this dress into an official Family heirloom.
You see, it already was an heirloom. I could have done something simple like put copies of each child’s baptism or dedication into the box with the dress and called it complete. Or I could have just done nothing and let oral tradition follow the dress until it fell into obscurity and was donated to goodwill in a few generations. Sigh.
So I hatched a plan to do something a little more solidified and a lot more special.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could get the names of each child who wore the dress sewn onto it? May we can add their baptism or dedication date? This sounded simple enough. I started asking around to find a person who could accomplish this. I cannot sew and don’t own an embroidery machine. The first few places I went too turned me down saying that they refuse to sew into satin.
The last place I went was a colorful and fun business called the Daily Disco. It is a St. Louis based company that is tucked into the heart of The Hill neighborhood.
Check them out here.
At first, the owner and designer said the same thing as the other embroiderers in town had said. As I was fluffing with the dress I noticed a shorter but cotton underlay that was tucked out of sight. At the immediate notice of this she said, ‘Now this material will work just fine.’
It wasn’t what I initially thought I wanted but actually, it’s turned out very sweet. We decided on an antique gold color thread and I gave her the names and baptism dates for the embroidery.
Less than a week later the dress was ready for pickup.
She had it boxed so cute! I excitedly opened the package. I was blown away at how much I loved the result. The crisp yet honeyed thread against the timepiece was beautiful. I am so pleased with how the Daily Disco took my idea and made it come to life.
I am forever thankful for our created family heirloom. i can’t wait to add names as the tradition moves onto the next generation.
Do you have an item you could turn into an heirloom in your collection of things? Have you already done something like this? Let me know below!