Monday, March 12, 2012

a bohemian layette - thrifted, gifted, homemade and vintage




and this is really just the beginning.....
first off, sorry for the obsessive baby-related posts. i know i promised i wouldn't do that, and i do have normal things to post about too...it's just that baby trumps all else right now. i can't help it. there is no hiding it, the scary truth is i've been baby obsessed since i was a tiny child and my sister and i would watch sesame street and at the very end there would be the tiny sound of a baby cooing (does anyone else remember that) and i would lean in close to hear it, it was my very favorite sound in all the world, and addie would make a loud noise or turn the tv down because it bugged her how much i liked that, haah!

anyway i'm just excited right now because last night my mom and i went through two storage bins full of baby and kid clothes from when my siblings and i were small in the 70s and 80s, and i am beyond thrilled with all the treasures i've found for this little sprout of mine.

not to mention the amazing gifts we've already been given.

these tiny booties were designed and hand-knit by my friend jessie's mom...who i have never even met!
how sweet is that, and aren't they the most precious?!
 from the storage stuff, mom and i dug out tons of baby blankets and afghans homemade by grandmothers and friends back in the 70s.
 we found matching dresses galore, that addie and i wore when we were little. i'm sure i've mentioned this a hundred times before, but we were only 14 months apart and sometimes pretty close to the same size, little twinnies. my mom dressed us alike quite a bit, maybe for simplicity's sake or maybe just cause it was so dang cute.







she made us these matching sundresses out of some vintage mickey mouse fabric she found at a garage sale. i even have a vague summery-wild-n-free memory of wearing these, with saltwater sandals and pigtails.

these were all handmade by my mom too. you just don't see dresses like this anymore, and they are the kind that make my heart happy, remind me of everything sweet and sunny and precious about childhood.
it's crazy. i am surrounded by 70's baby dresses.
these little darlings weren't homemade, but check out their perfection...



i especially love the little playsuits babies used to wear in the 70s. over big round cloth diaper bottoms.

check out the ruffled bum and the adorable print with owls and ladybugs.
here is one that i wore as a little baby:

as you can see right here:

here is something else i loved to wear as a child, this was when i was like three years old though. what is up with the embroidery on this sweater?! what is going on there? i have no idea, but i love it.
tiny shoes, i think these were my brother's. there are lots like these in the boxes, and the little white ones from stride rite with bells on the toes.
 these minnetonka moccasins were a gift from my aunt and uncle in new mexico when my sister was born in 1975. my mom said they didn't fit her so she never wore them, they are completely pristine. turquoise fringe!!!
 debby, darin's mom, gave me a bunch of delicate little handmade dresses that her great grandmother sewed for her when she was born in 1952. the embroidery detail and pintucks are so beautiful it aches.


emily has been bringing me home goodies almost every day. here is a tiny dress she wore as a babe in the 80s.

and other things she has been thrifting for me ever since the day she found out i was pregnant...like these corduroy overalls. oh sweet rose!


seriously, i am overwhelmed with the rad things people are giving us. not only have we been given a moby wrap, a sling, a baby carriage, a moses basket, maternity clothes, bibs, blankets, and a playpen, we are also borrowing a bassinet from jorden and becky that is a family heirloom, as well as a swing and a changing table and carseat. 

and on top of that, little treasures coming from every direction. our friends jacob and alisa, who own local hangout cozmic cafe, gave us these homemade booties. they were hand crafted by our friend elsie's mom.
 when my mom and jack came over last night, they also gifted me this adorable folksy vintage rocking horse made locally:








i never planned on having a lot of stuff for our baby. in fact, i find the marketing of baby stuff, and places like babies-r-us, to be one of the most reprehensible and obnoxious things about bringing up baby in the modern world. all these things that people think you need to have, gadgets and big plastic bold colored noise makers and princess paraphernalia and every little thing you could dream up for convenience or protection or whatever. i don't even know what they're selling anymore because frankly, i try to stay out of it. 

things that friends and family give me, though, that's different. that kind of baby stuff makes us feel loved and welcomes us into parenting with the most generous spirit. and most of all, when we are given things that are old or used, my baby will be part of an ongoing story of babies. that's why i love thrifted and vintage things. they are recycled rather than wasteful, they hold life and secrets and songs in them, and they are waiting for more love and they are often made with great care and concern and attention to detail.

now i just can't wait to see our own tiny child gracing these items with her presence!

15 comments:

theequinebovine said...

those clothes are beautiful. I would have to say my favorite is the mickey print. what wonderful treasures you have for baby!

baby dresses said...

Wow! great collection I must say and also the pics are also cool and all the things are so perfect for gifting at the time of baby shower.

Heather said...

Right on great stuff! And I agree avoid the babies r us....the stuff you have is fantastic! My mom did the same and my grandmother knit lots of beautiful sweaters and blankets and booties and hats for my daughter and that stuff is just priceless! Love Heather

S. said...

What you said at the end was my favorite part of this post. Generosity and bringing a new baby into this world go hand in hand; people gift because they love you guys and the wee one. It's a way of welcoming her, I think, into the fresh air.

She's going to be so beautiful!

xo

bonfire of my vanity said...

yeah, you don't need much beyond clothes for them to shit and puke on, diapers and baby carriers. i did an old post a million years ago on all my favorite baby carriers, if i wasn't lazy i'd search it for you. but i'm lazy. :)
my kids hated swings and bouncy chairs, unfortunately, so i had to have them strapped on me at all times. maybe you'll get lucky and your kid will let you put her down sometimes. wink.

Celynne said...

When a college friend of mine was pregnant, I went to visit her. I gifted her one of my baby blankets, my most favourite, one that I had played with for years and years as I grew up. We both nearly cried when I gave it to her. I never plan on having children, and it made me happy so give to her something I had loved, to give to her wee one when she finally graced the world with her presence. If I'd just gone out and bought some baby blanket at Walmart, you can bet it wouldn't have meant nearly as much to either of us. Gifts from others, voluntary ones given solely for the pleasure of giving, those are the best, especially when they are gifts welcoming a much-loved baby into the mix of things :) Those dresses are soooo precious! Holy crow! Lucky you (and your girly!) to have all that lovely stuff.

AlphaBetsy said...

Oh how lucky your little girl will be with so many beautiful things to wear. And the little shoes. Eeee!! So sweet.

mo marie said...

I just can't get over how wonderful it is that your family has all these beautiful little wee one things from your childhood. It's this sweet window into the magic of our being. When we were small, life was big and imaginations were wild and free. Hopefully most of us keep all that alive even into our adult ages. I am touched by all the beautiful handmade things, (booties and dresses etc.) because they were made with love. The work each womyn put into each piece, knowing as a seamstress the fine detailed work and time it takes to make a creation. My family divorced many years ago and all my childhood things got lost into the abyss including my baby book. My brother brought me one box that was left that my dad had found and in it contained my mocassins made by an eskimo on my mother's side of the family. It's all I have left and is such a treasure to me. Thanks for touching on the fact that we don't need all the baby hype stuff. Most of my mountain goddess friends here in Covelo couldn't agree with you more. It's so awesome to see womyn own into their power as a divine goddess. Knowing that all is well. That many womyn before them birthed in small huts or tribes out in the wild. They didn't have boxes of babies-r-us things waiting for them. Instead, maybe a rattle made from seed pods wrapped on a stick with feathers. love you heather!

Zoe said...

These things are so lovely!! I was having a clear out the other day and found old baby clothes of my own. I'm going to pack them up safely and put them away for when I have children!

ZombieLace said...

Some of these things are so cute, they make me want to cry. Why are vintage baby clothes that much more adorable than modern ones? Them having been yours makes them extra special, too.

Andrea said...

wow, what a treasure trove of beautiful hand-me-downs :) i am always amazed that someone (usually a Mom somewhere) thinks to save these things? And in what good condition? how wonderful!

Milla said...

My goodness Heather! I mean I never had any doubt about how well-dressed that baby of yours would be, but this is even more amazing than I could have dreamed. Those little matching outfits! I can just imagine you and Adie in them. What loves.

Violet Folklore said...

THIS IS WHY you gotta save your kids' cutest clothing- for your grandkids! How grateful are you that your mama kept these? Her handmade pieces are so, so sweet! I had to pin some :-)

And I really, really don't think that anyone minds the baby posts...

Oh, and the thing about you loving the baby sound on Sesame Street is the most endearing thing I've ever heard ♥

Shirley Borel said...

It is because of people like you that I continue to do what I do.

Thank you.
Shirley Borel
www.handmade4babies.com

Missa said...

The matching dresses!!!!! Man, your girl is set. She is gonna be one well-dressed baby for sure :D

Can't wait to one day be saying "Awwwwwww!!!" over the pics of her wearing these :)