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Thread: 50 year old christening outfit

  1. #1
    Junior Member colleen1978's Avatar
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    Smile 50 year old christening outfit

    I'm a new grandma! My daughter had a baby boy, Cashton. She asked me to make him a Christening gown out of my mother's (who has passed) wedding gown. My sisters decided they each want "a third" of it...leaving not enough. I could use part of it and add to it but it is from 1957 and was not stored appropriately so it is very yellowed anyway. My brother passed several years ago from the big C too and I have his Christening outfit from 1962. It is a tiny white cotton shirt with blue piping trim and a little hand embroidered stork carrying a baby. It has a little diaper cover too. My daughter asked me to see if I could get it as white as possible and she would like to use it. It was stored in a cardboard box in a cedar chest for 50 years! I know I may not get it totally pure white again. My dilemma...I'm afraid to try anything! I bought some borax as I read somewhere that that would be good. I'm afraid to fade the piping. Please share any advice or experience with me on how to get it as white as possible again! Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    Try some Oxyclean first...soak the little outfit in it. Maybe you can make a little vest and hat out of your Mom's wedding dress...if the blue fades it will be OK...just remember this is a family heirloom and not perfect.
    Tink's Mom (My name is really Susie)

  3. #3
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    I had my grandmothers doiles given to me recently..UGLY yellow, beautiful stitching...after a HOT water, Oxiclean bath..they look like new! Try it, That should not harm the fabric & hopefully work!

  4. #4
    Super Member alwayslearning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tink's Mom View Post
    Try some Oxyclean first...soak the little outfit in it. Maybe you can make a little vest and hat out of your Mom's wedding dress...if the blue fades it will be OK...just remember this is a family heirloom and not perfect.
    Agree, totally. Good luck.
    "Only those who know enough is enough can ever have enough." Lao Tzu

  5. #5
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Not to make waves . . . but please be careful with the Oxyclean, as too much of it CAN harm fabric! Voice of experience, here!

    You might also try washing it, with a mild shampoo, in cool water. As for the wedding dress, try "washing" a spot, with a baby wipe/wet wipe (a plain one, with NO aloe or other moisturizer). Depending upon the fabric, some wedding dresses can even be gently washed (cold water, mild detergent, air dried)! Since you'll be taking it apart, you can then repress the fabric, with a barely warm iron.
    Neesie


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  6. #6
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    A site I just googled: http://reviews.ebay.com/Removing-Com...00000003837863

    Check others, too, by googling vintage textile soak. It sounds like you have a real task ahead, both challenging and precious.

    I have my own christening dress from 67 years ago! I'm scared to even take it out of the acid-free tissue for feat it will just disintegrate. It was tissue thin batiste to begin with all those years ago. Thank you for causing me to think of it after many years!

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
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    peacefully colors my world.
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  7. #7
    Super Member mountain deb's Avatar
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    Several years ago I tried Cascade dishwasher detergent and it worked like a charm. I poured some (1-4 tablespoons) into very hot water to let it dissolve COMPLETELY, try liquid Cascade and skip the dissolve method. Once dissolved then add cold water to make about a gallon of mixture. Soak overnight.
    ABCDEFG

  8. #8
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    Try "Restoration". It can be found online at The Vermont Country Store.

  9. #9
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    I was going to say "Restoration" also. You can purchase it from Nancy's Notions, Colitide, or even maybe some quilt shops. I know it does help to clean up my cross stitch pieces before being framed. No matter what - the outfit will be special to all just because of it's history.

  10. #10
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    My gandmother and mom, still uses a bar soap that is called fels-naptha. Made by the Dial company....it is great for stains....you get the garment wet, then work the soap into the stains....great whitener also....on delicates, I get the garment wet, then just work the soap onto my wet hands (small amount) then work the area in my hands...that way you only get a small amount, but can add more, and you are not directly applying it to the cloth.....it is a bar soap...their 1-800-258-3425 or their website...www.purex.com...my grandmother says the ingredients have not changed since she started using it...many many years ago...with a wash board....(which I have now as an antique). Good luck

  11. #11
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    I also like BIZ to whiten items. I usually soak overnite.

  12. #12
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain deb View Post
    Several years ago I tried Cascade dishwasher detergent and it worked like a charm. I poured some (1-4 tablespoons) into very hot water to let it dissolve COMPLETELY, try liquid Cascade and skip the dissolve method. Once dissolved then add cold water to make about a gallon of mixture. Soak overnight.
    Doesn't Cascade contain bleach? Most dishwasher detergents do.
    Neesie


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
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  13. #13
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    My local Wal-Mart carries fels-naptha.

    Quote Originally Posted by tanderbear View Post
    My gandmother and mom, still uses a bar soap that is called fels-naptha. Made by the Dial company....it is great for stains....you get the garment wet, then work the soap into the stains....great whitener also....on delicates, I get the garment wet, then just work the soap onto my wet hands (small amount) then work the area in my hands...that way you only get a small amount, but can add more, and you are not directly applying it to the cloth.....it is a bar soap...their 1-800-258-3425 or their website...http://www.quiltingboard.com/general...purex.com...my grandmother says the ingredients have not changed since she started using it...many many years ago...with a wash board....(which I have now as an antique). Good luck
    ~Charlotte~
    This is the day that the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.

  14. #14
    Super Member slk350's Avatar
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    I remember years ago this stuff called laundry bluing/whitening ?? It was actually a deep blue liquid. Anyone know if it's still available? It did work pretty well at cleaning whites without bleach.

  15. #15
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    If it doesn't come out blazing white, remember it is an heirloom and for that reason, it will be perfect.
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
    Done is better than perfect.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Barbshobbies's Avatar
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    My grandmother gave me a beautiful gown for my first child, things be tuff when we were first married, I used it for all 5 of the kids. When they had kids, it just was not what they had in mind to use, but my friends daughter said she would love to use it. Boy time goes fast, that friends daughter is now a grandma and her children used it for all of their kids, but then 2 were Christened on the same day! What to do, well it turned out O.K. One baby wore our dress and the other wore her fathers dress and wouldn`t you know, it was identical to the other dress. A mirical!

  17. #17
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    To restore vintage white fabrics before putting them in my antique booth, I soak them in a mixture of hot water, Cascade (original, granular type) and regular Dawn dish detergent. I also used this mix to soak my sons' baseball uniforms. They complained because they said their bright white uniforms made them look like "bench sitters" before the game. I ignored that and told them to play so fans would know differently once the game got going. I got this tip from Martha Stewart years ago. Many of the antique linens I've used this soak on were embroidered with lots of colors. The soak never faded the colors.
    Last edited by MillieH; 09-18-2012 at 05:16 PM. Reason: left out a word

  18. #18
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    Several years ago I watched an older woman on a tv show say to soak your treasures, especially baby clothes in Dove dishwash and water. She promised it would not harm the clothes and would come clean......Of course I had to try it on a baby dress I had saved for 48 years and it worked!!!!!

    Good luck!

    delma

  19. #19
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    My dad was born in 1906 and I have his Christening gown. The fabric is intact but it is very yellow. I also have the pair of long stockings but no shoes. The fabric is just like a regular cotton, unlike the imported cotton batiste that many people use today.

  20. #20
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    These hints on cleaning vintage christening outfits are most welcome! Now, can anyone tell me how to get the odor of cedar out of clothing? I have a couple of items stored in a cedar chest and would like to use/display them again.

    Thank you!
    When someone mentions quilting, I go to pieces!

  21. #21
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    Out of curiosity - How do you devide a wedding gown into 3 pieces?

    Does one get the bodice, another the front skirt, and the last the back skirt?

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