Been given " heirlooms"

Artytarty Posts: 2,642 Forumite
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edited 21 March 2014 at 12:58PM in Crafting
My mother has had a clear out and given me some stuff! I don't know what to do with it,
It's all ancient and hand made , some baby cotton dresses with tiny pin tuck pleats , the crepe do chine bloomers my grandmother wore under her wedding dress in 1920! , hand made stoles, evening gloves that my hand won't go into, a big lace shoulder cover thingy, you get the picture!
What would you do?
The options include, being harsh and dumping the lot as useless stuff from a bygone era.
Folding and storing it away in my hotpress for my children to have to deal with, dressing like Miss Havisham, or trying to display some of it but I don't want to live in a museum, anybody had a similar problem?
Norn Iron Club member 473


  • Artytarty
    Artytarty Posts: 2,642 Forumite
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    Ad to that, some wood and a nice BOAC paper fan, christening caps, various bits of random lace, several silk Jabots i think they are called. Pieces of embroidered silk that ladies pinned inside their top to conceal cleavage? I can't think what else they may be.
    I would feel a heartless SOS and so throwing out some of this stuff. But it's not in mint condition and it's pretty useless.
    Norn Iron Club member 473
  • Katiehound
    Katiehound Posts: 7,521 Forumite
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    edited 21 March 2014 at 2:32PM
    I'm sure somebody somewhere would love it! For starters do you have a local museum, you might offer it to them? Otherwise maybe contact a larger museum which specialises in textiles and ask them who would like? There are also collectors of such items.....don't throw away!

    In the past I have had "historical" items such as 1930s case, hatbox etc. and my local amateur dramatic society loved to have them for their wardrobe/props dept as they put on period plays from time to time.

    Or a charity shop which specialises in period stuff- we have 2 with vintage departments.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!
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  • Floss
    Floss Posts: 8,224 Forumite
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    How about a local college? Or your nearest National Trust / English Heritage property?
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  • DigForVictory
    DigForVictory Posts: 11,905 Forumite
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    Start with a textile museum, or curator thereof.
    If there's nothing they would love you to donate, then you can move onto those who'll turn them to use, like costume departments, schools & even other crafters.
    Someone may be able to make you things you are delighted to have, wear & use, remembering the well dressed women in your family.

    (I inherited my grandmother's needlework odds & bits collection, & it's added ruffles & flourishes to hats, school play costumes, extended the life of shirts by adding an extra inch at the wrist & so on. Loads of fun & I think she's chuckling at her great grandsons so enjoying the admiration!)
  • qwiksave
    qwiksave Posts: 4,456 Forumite
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    If you don't want to keep them yourself (which I personally think is a bit sad) for future generations, it might be a nice idea before you get rid of them to take some photographs of each piece so your children will have a record of part of their history.
    I don't want to make money, I just want to be wonderful
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  • flea72
    flea72 Posts: 5,392 Forumite
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    I would be tempted to turn it into a quilt or rag rug. That way it is being used, with the sentimental value being retained. You could add newer stuff to it, such as mementoes from your own life(wedding/christening stuff)
  • sethsgran
    sethsgran Posts: 2,855 Forumite
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    I would contact a school as I am sure the textile department would love to have such a fabulous donation.
    Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes
  • Some of that could be worth good money so before you do anything I'd find out the value. Vintage clothing collectors will probably be very interested in these (this coming from a vintage clothing collector), so pop into local vintage shops especially any that deal in pre 1960's clothing.
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