Monday, December 13, 2010

What's the OLDEST handsewn item that you still have?

For those of us over a certain age (ahem), there are things we made back in the days before blogs and digital cameras, that are now long gone from this world, things we have no record of. It's kinda sad.

But some things persist. I'm delighted to report that I still have a down vest that I made ... how long has it been? ... over 30 years ago at least. It's a vest that I just LOVE and I wear FREQUENTLY in the chilly weather. Especially now with our Florida weather being so unseasonably cold. Tonight they're predicting a hard freeze. We pulled in all the potted plants and will cover some of the more fragile shrubs with blankets tonight. (The bananas are always the first to freeze, ... there's no saving them, but they never die totally ... they get all brown and crispy, but then just as quickly, they spring back with new green growth).

Here it is... my Frostline Kit down vest.  Do you remember Frostline kits?
I asked Mr. Summer Gypsy to take my photo in front of the ONE evergreen in our yard, a lovely Norfolk Island Pine... so it would look a bit like Christmas...

This vest is one of my favorite things of all time. It's so ultra lightweight and so warm. (I made it back when I lived in Minnesota and it saw many a winter under bulky ski jackets on really cold days, and as an outer garments over a sweatshirt on chilly fall days. The pockets are two-way... from the side: nice and warm for your hands, and from the top under the flap: for stowing treasures.

The kit included a label, with size and care instructions that you were to sew in ... which I dutifully did.

It's been so cold in the house these past few mornings, that I've been wearing my trusty down vest while I sew. (Daisy is begging for something amazed by whatever it is she things I'm doing). She makes me think of the slogan I love:

"May I be the kind of person my dog things I am." 

 So, I hope you're all are keeping warm and cozy on these blustery cold days. And I wish you all a peaceful and happy and wonderful holiday season.

(By the way, this vest doesn't hold the record for my "oldest" handsewn item ... that would have to be the tattered patchwork quilt I made as an 8 or 9 year old at my grandma's house. She showed my how to cut the patches from a cardboard template, and then she BRAVELY showed me how to use her sewing machine. I'm sure she was cringing, sure I would sew my finger ... But I didn't, and instead developed a life-long love of sewing.)

What's your OLDEST handmade item? ... either something YOU made yourself or maybe something made by someone else ... aren't they the most special?


  1. I actually still have 2 items that I made in Home Ec class - a gingham apron and a book bag. I was about 11 at the time that I made them. They're rather tattered, but that just means that they were well used.
    Actually - I never heard of Frostline kits. Where were they sold?

  2. Irene... My memory is foggy, but I think the kits were sold at fabric stores, and also there was an official "Frostline" storefront in my neighborhood. But like I say ... foggy memory ... I'd love to see your apron and book bag... how special to have such things.

  3. Ooh, I could use a vest like that right now. Brrr!

    Oldest things I made? Assorted (handmade) doll clothes and stuffed creatures when I was 5 or 6. (And yes, they were terrible). I remember my mom letting me "try" her sewing machine, but I don't remember really using it until I was a teenager.

  4. Hi Anita! Thanks for become my follower!
    About the oldest thing I have, well, I just started sewing about 5 years ago, when my daughter was 3 yrs old, as I didn't have a sewing machine I sewed by hand!! hahahaha and it is all bad done but I keep it as nice memory, it's a pair of pants and and a blouse for my daughter.

  5. I have the first item that I made in 8th grade home ec class. It's my apron, no pockets but took me eons to finish. Crooked stitches that have deteriorated and all, I love it.

  6. Your vest still looks great for all the wear it has seen. I have a doll posted on my blog. I think that it is the oldest thing I still have, made in jr. high I think. I also have quilt squares handmade by my great aunt. Some day I would like to put them together into a quilt if they are not too fragile. But I love your Norfolk Pine. We have those here to and I am lucky enough to have two on my property. I just love the look of them.

  7. Daisy is beautiful! The oldest handsewn items I have are a huge stack of handmade quilts--made by my grandmother and great-grandmother. The quilts are stored in a box in the garage--I have no idea what to do with them! Many of them are made from depression era fabrics and from scraps from a pajama factory. Ok, your headline did say "oldest item you still have" not made :)

  8. I do still have the oldest thing I made, but I haven't posted a picture of it on my blog, I think I will!
    I've never heard of Frostline kits, but your jacket looks snuggly and warm. hehe, by Northern hemisphere standards, it doesn't look at all Christmassy around here! Of course, by our standards it does!

  9. I remember .... the first decent thing I sewed was a little dress for my sister. I was twelve years old. Now I am 46 years old ... many years ...


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