Sunday, 18 May 2014

It’s amazing what you find

Last week I mentioned that I found the wedding ring shawl in a suitcase along with our summer clothes. Also in the suitcase were a couple more items that I’d either forgotten about or never knew they were there.

The first was this:

The jumper pattern and the yarn were bought from Liberty in London in the late eighties. With it having batwing sleeves the jumper is knitted crossways which gives the cable design an interesting effect.

My mam made it for me and apparently it was a ‘bugger’ to knit !!!!! She was used to working with mohair as she made my sister a lot of mohair jumpers and cardigans. However the complicated cable pattern and the fine mohair did test her knitting skills and stress levels.....

It became my ‘Sunday best’ jumper as it was too delicate to wear every day. I even wore it on my first date with Mr Gertie – how sweet !!!!

Because of that, and the blood, sweat and tears that went into making it, is the reason why I’ve kept it.

The second and third finds were these:

When we were clearing out Mr Gertie’s dad’s house several years ago we came across a tatty carrier bag which contained these. Not having time to look at them, the carrier was brought home, put in the loft and forgotten about.

Now that we finally had the time we found inside the carrier bag were a long slip and a christening robe.

The slip was in pretty good condition, though there was evidence that the elastic had been replaced several times. 

The christening robe sadly had some damage to it.


Both of the slip and robe had been exquisitely handmade – the seams were far too neat to be shop-bought....  I dread to think how long it must have taken the sewer to hand embroider the lace on the robe.

They were both rather grubby and musty so I gently gave them a quick hand wash. I might have changed my mind had I known exactly how old they were....

Mr Gertie explained that the slip had actually belonged to his great, great grandmother. She had worn it on her wedding day (around 1840) then future brides-to-be would wear it under their wedding dress as part of ‘something old’ and ‘something borrowed’.  

The robe also belonged to his great, great grandmother. It was used for her christening in 1820 then subsequent baptisms, including Mr Gertie, after that.

I’ve decided to have a go at repairing the robe. Given its history it seems such a shame not to try.

It’s going to be quite a project as there is a fair bit of damage to it. However I love a challenge.....

Have a great week.

Gertie xx

PS why not pop over to Handmade Monday to see what other fellow craft bloggers have been up to.


  1. Your jumper looks gorgeous, lovely and soft. I bet your Mum had a hell of a time knitting it. I'm glad you managed to wash the slip and christening gown without any disasters. I have a couple of baby items made by my Great Aunt. They just sit in a cupboard which is such as shame as they should be enjoyed. Have a lovely week.
    Ali xx

  2. Are they silk or cotton? -- BTW, being about 2 centuries, keep them OUT of ANY "direct" sunlight!! And perhaps, before doing any restoration work, *consult* with Someone from a "TEXTILE" Museum..? - Any further "freshening up" should also probably be done with a bit of Steaming...

    I'm quite impressed really with their "condition"!

  3. Oh my, Gertie - what a wonderful find! Lucky you xx

  4. What precious pieces of history you've uncovered! The jumper is in great shape, i can see you've taken good care of it. I think its a lovely idea to try and repair the robe, good luck! x

  5. What fabulous things to find, I'm glad they survived the handwash!