Sunday, 11 October 2009
Audrey - vintage fabric estate collection
Every so often I get a poignant reminder of what product - vintage fabric - I deal with. Retro Age Vintage Fabrics is the business name, our product is vintage fabric and we are suppliers. That is what we are on paper. But to others we are much more.
This vintage fabric estate collection was dropped off to us yesterday. It was an unwanted collection - the family didn't want any money for it - they were just glad the fabric would eventually find its way into new homes and be wanted, needed and used. If we didn't take the fabric it was all going to the tip.
This fabric was Audrey's. Audrey worked in television in costumes and this was her fabric stash. Audrey is now in an aged care facility suffering full-blown dementia. It is now time for the family to finalise her estate and clean out the family home.
Most of the collection is lining and lingerie fabric etc - there are some special embroidery pieces in there, too, which I will take some shots of later on. There was also an amazing Edwardian Christening dress with the most divine lace I have seen. And some old coins. And these photos. Like most estate collections, the family hadn't gone through the fabric to double check what was there.
I love the photo of Audrey above. Her dress is gorgeous, isn't it? And she looks so happy. I took a close up - see below - as I love the neckline. So feminine.
All too often I lose sight of the fabric vintage fabric has been previously owned - not by a business like us, but by a crafter, a seamstress, a lover of linen, a farmers wife, a young lady, an old lady - someone who loved it and adored it. Unpacking this estate collection today reminded me how special vintage fabric truly is. Each piece has a story.
There were lots of old patterns, too - most of which we have already given away to a local pattern collector (no Weigals for all you Weigals collectors!) - in one pattern were photos and in another pattern was this poem. I have researched it to be written by Rudyard Kipling in 1896.
There is a lot to think about in this poem. As a Mum of two boys in does hit a chord. But it is Audrey's hand-written note to her son at the bottom of the poem that is especially beautiful...
I could give you no better philosophy for living that this. I made it my creed years ago as a young Mother. Life presented each verse to me in its turn, and I tried to measure up to this creed and think. I succeeded with the exception of one thing and it I have marked. This one tosses me still and I guess it always will. Everyone has an 'Achilles Heel' - that is mine. Do this for me, Jim - read If and learn it well. It contains some very fine truths.