Following a “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” philosophy not only protects our planet’s natural resources, but it provides a pause in the consumption cycle allowing for contentment with what we have. In this series I share personal stories of making do.
I received a child’s birthday party invite last week. Running to the store to buy a present would be the normal thing to do, but the only stores I shop at these days are thrift stores. This mama friend of mine loves to thrift and would appreciate a secondhand toy or book for her daughter, but my favored gift is giving something sewn by me using materials I have on hand. Looking through my dwindling fabric stash the choices were meager, but I remembered the beautiful vintage pillow cases sitting in the linen closet. A pillow case dress would be the perfect gift for a sweet two-year-old girl.
It wouldn’t be right to tell this story without telling a little backstory on the pillow case. The one I used for the dress and three others were given to me by a friend. She suspected her Swedish grandmother handmade and appliqued the gorgeous lace on the cases. My friend stored the cases in her linen closet for years, but having never been used she was ready to let them go and offered them to me. Lucky me. Coincidentally she’s also friends with the mother of the birthday girl so the pillow case dress would in a sense be a gift from us both.
All but a small piece of fabric was left from the project, which was perfect for making a little “hankie” pouch. I’ve been wanting to sew a sack to store my special vintage handkerchiefs that were given to me at birth and marriage. Not caring about perfection in design or construction, I quickly stitched up a fabric envelope to hold and protect my old and cherished relics.