Friday, 5 October 2018

Vintage Baby Clothes and Lace

Hello again friends,

Vintage baby clothes have always tugged on my heart-strings - especially gentle whites and creams, even those yellowed with age. I've been collecting since I got my first job as a teenager. I could only afford charity shop prices - back then 50 cents or $1 was the norm. My Hope Chest gradually filled with little items that I hoped to see on my own babies one day. 

I had to wait at least 20 years for it to happen, so that's a lot of collecting!!! Below is a cotton petticoat on which I embroidered a pink bow and some rosebuds. 'Sugar Britches' is the model here, a porcelain ad cloth life-sized baby doll I made in my twenties.

I can't believe how people could throw out beautiful heirloom items. This pure wool blanket is light and warm and soft, tastefully embroidered with cream flowers.

And yes, I did use it, as a pram blanket in the old cream cane pram I bought from a shop called 'No Horse, No Wife, No Moustache' about 30 years ago, which served my three beautiful babies.

Here's the old pram - it was a Summer and too hot for a woolen rug...

And another Summer baby! 

Here is a detail of the flowers:

This dress below is superb - in a soft, light wool crepe, in a golden creamy tone with fine white cotton lace. What a glorious find!

Here are some lace details:

And here is my daughter Roisin wearing it years ago!

Next is a 50's or 60's synthetic and lace dress in white with a bonnet to match. I do prefer natural fibres, but it's sweet. You don't see them much any more, even in opportunity shops. 

This dress is also synthetic, but beautifully hand made, smocked and embroidered.

These baby shoes are modern leather in a vintage style. I altered them (not permanently!) by putting some lace held in by pictures of vintage babies... a fun decoration.

Below is a card I made a while ago using a stamped image, a feather and some lace pieces.

And a wedding collage...

I'm joining Wen for Simply Neutrals #49 at her blog AppleApricot. Come over and join us in celebrating neutral beauty of all kinds.

Stay well, and I'll see you soon.


  1. Dear Jesse, Oh My Goodness! What a wonderful post~~ I can scroll through again and again.
    Lovely lovely vintage baby clothes! Thanks for the pics with all the sweet details~ (swoon)
    Your photo's of the kids is such a fun and wonderful memory to have. Love the baby shoes! and the beautiful card and wow! that wedding collage is vintage perfection~ Love the mix of fabric and paper; so authentic~ Hugs to you, karen o

    1. Thank you, Karen, you are just too kind! I'm so glad my post gave you such pleasure! Lovely to hear from you, and I hope you are happy and well.
      Jesse X

  2. Thank you so much for your visit and lovely comment... No, I don't like orange either - autumn really is the only time of the year when it puts in an appearance in my crafting, and even then I think of it as "rust"! To answer your question about the acorns, they came like that. The cups are real, as far as I can tell, but then the "fruit" is artificial (foam, I think, with a coating). I've just sourced some which are a much darker brown, so I'm looking forward to using those when they arrive. Of course, real ones would be even better, but just at the moment I have nowhere to go scavenging for those.

    The vintage baby clothes here are simply exquisite - such craftsmanship, including your own with the added embroidery. How lovely that these family heirlooms have found their way to a family who will treasure them. I'm so impressed by the doll you made too, she is so incredibly lifelike. And your card and collage capture a romantic vintage look perfectly. A lovely post.
    Alison x

    1. Oh Alison, many thanks for visiting my blog too. I've followed you, and I will enjoy browsing your blog more and learning some new techniques from you. I love your style!
      Have an artful week!
      Jesse X

  3. Hello dear Jesse, thank you so much for your sweet email, I will try to reply to it very soon! You are very talented, the dolls you made are stunningly real! Do you still make dolls?
    The dresses the dolls wear are so gorgeous, the details like the smock are pure art, such beautiful handwork! And I love the beautiful embroidery you added. Your collage and card are very gorgeous as well with the beautiful ladies and flowers, feather, gorgeous laces and fabrics.
    Wishing you a wonderful week! Big hugs and love sent your way, xx

    1. Dear Wen, Thank you for your kind comments. I haven't made a porcelain doll since I had babies of my own (too busy!!!), but I have picked up a few second-hand - the other doll in this post isn't one I made, but one whose face called to me at an op shop. I love to dress my dolls in the baby clothes so I can enjoy them. My teenagers think I'm mad! I've always loved playing with dolls since I was very young. My daughter doesn't - she thinks it's strange. dressing the dolls and making baby-themed art brings me great joy, probably because of my own joy at being a mother.
      Hugs to you, too, for an art-filled week!
      Jesse XX

  4. What a wonderful collection of heirloom baby clothes, rugs and shoes you have acquired over the many years since 16 years old. Yes I think you are a natural mother Jesse!
    You have presented and preserved them so beautifully!
    Love your card and collage too. That sure is a beautiful stamp. I love it too!
    I wonder whether there could be a turn around with your daughter one day appreciating your collection!!!
    Take care and hugs,

    1. Thanks, Suzy. Yes, I hope my daughter might appreciate at least some of the special things I've saved, perhaps when/if she has a need for them. I will just enjoy them now, and not feel guilty!

      I can just imagine that stamped image in your collages. She is beautiful.

      Are you getting heaps of rain? I have spent 2 hours fertilising the garden today, as we are due for rain tonight hopefully. Hope I haven't scared it away!
      Love and hugs,
      Jesse XX

  5. Oh My Goodness! What a wonderful post - these are all so lovela and unique! Gorgeous! Wishing you all the best! Hugs, Susi

    1. Thank you, Susi. I'm looking forward to our next Simply Neutrals to see what everyone has been up to. See you very soon...
      Hugs, Jesse


Thank you so much for your friendly comments. It makes my day to hear from you about my artworks and topics.