Monday, February 22, 2016

Vintage child's apron . . . strategy?

Hi, all of you Lilypad friends!

I need some advice today . . . a recent find has me worried. Let me show you some photos:

(Please disregard my kitty cat slippers. Yes, kitty cat slippers. I'm quirky that way. I hope you don't judge me for it, but I'm not going to change my ways if you do.)

To me, this looks like a child's apron, made from feedsacks. You'll see the texture in another photo. Isn't it cute? It's embroidered and has the blue binding to mark the seams and outline the whole thing. The ties are missing -- looks like it was an ongoing problem, since there are safety pins there!

The middle is just so dirty -- I think when this little one was helping mom or grandma with the cooking and baking, little hands were wiped on the front many, many times!

I really like the outline for the tiny pocket, above.

A sweet shade of pink is stitched around the bib, and the flowers there are adorable.

Love the old-fashioned basket of posies, too. And somehow I am comforted by the fact that someone else's reverse side is not as tidy as it could be . . . my embroideries are not so tidy on the back, either! (Grin)

There's one spot that looks like it might be something that was printed on the feedsack?

From the back, it looks like "R A P" but I could be wrong.

Here are my questions . . . should I try to clean this carefully? Should I try to restore it, making little ties and trying to re-create the blue binding, and all of that?

Or, should I just think of this as a possible pattern for an apron?

Some of you have much more experience with these vintage finds -- maybe you can advise me!

Looking forward to some discussions, here!



  1. I have no experience with restoring vintage finds, but if it was mine I think I would have a go at restoring it. They do restore old paintings and this is the same thing. Hope this helps and I love the Kitty slippers! Hugs, Susie x

  2. This is very heavily damaged. I don't think you could clean it up without further damaging it. And the amount of repair would take away from the authenticity. I would keep it for a pattern and for the love it.

  3. I do not have experience with restoring vintage linens, either. However, if it was mine I would try to get the stains out by soaking it, maybe even up to several days in a solution of liquid Tide Stain Release and cool water. That is a pretty amazing product (and no, I have no interest in the company). I don't know how colorfast the embroidery floss is, so I would have to be willing to just use it as a pattern if it didn't work out. Good luck and post again to let us know how it turned out!

    1. Thank you, Latayne, for your suggestion. Your settings are on no-reply, so I hope you stop by and see this!
      Thanks so much!

  4. Latayne has a good idea, but I would try original blue Dawn dish detergent first. My reasoning is that it is used to clean up wildlife that gets in oil spills, etc. It is mild but takes out lots of things. (I learned this in my career in Emergency Preparedness.) If that doesn't take it out then you could rinse well and more on to something stronger.

  5. I agree that if you can clean it without further damaging it, that would be preferred- I think the stains and dirt could possibly cause further deterioration of the fabric. It sure is cute!

  6. I'm not sure if this will help, but Coloradolady had a blog post about cleaning vintage linens.


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