I wish I could say this ivory baby dress had been mine or is a priceless family heirloom, passed down for generations. but the truth is, I found it in a favorite thrift + junk store of mine. it was a steal at just five bucks! however, the day I found it, I already had several other items I was purchasing. I guess that little dress would've put me over, so I hid it on a rack between some old quilts, with the intention of coming back for it.
a few nights later, my family and I were celebrating my birthday over dinner. we dined under the trees in my parents' backyard, feasting on shish kabobs at a pretty table my mother had set. after I blew out the candle on a homemade molten chocolate cake, I began to open my gifts. wouldn't you know each of the little treasures I found days earlier while shopping with my sister were wrapped up in a cardboard box? among them was that sweet little ivory dress. my sister snapped photos of things that caught my eye, hid them when I wasn't looking, and then sent my mom the pictures and the hiding places. then, my mom went on hunt to find these items and surprise me with them for my birthday.
it makes me smile remembering this. I'll never forget the thoughtfulness and intentionality of those sneaky girls. and even though it's not an heirloom from my family, per se, it's still a family heirloom from someone's family and I am more than happy to give it a place in my home.
the fabric + frame are from Hobby Lobby. the fabric is a beige linen and cost $16.99/yd. with my coupon, I got a yard and a half for about $16.00. typically, I would have searched for a frame at a yard sale or secondhand store, but large, chunky, gold frames are hard to find. I had been eyeing this frame for awhile, but was waiting for the right time to buy it. the right time is obviously when there's a sale. regularly priced at $79.99, that's more than I would usually [read: ever] spend on a frame. so when the frames were marked 50% off, I snagged this baby and a smaller 8x10, as well. the frame was backless; so after giving my husband the dimensions, he cut some cardboard at work and brought it home to use as my backing.
I wish I could say this involved a fancier process, but maybe the simplicity of it will make it a more attainable diy project. first, I measured my fabric against my frame, leaving a little extra around the edge, and cut it. I just eyeballed it—no rulers or measuring tape needed. I had a good bit of fabric leftover, too. next, I steamed the linen fabric. then, I stretched and wrapped the fabric over the cardboard and hot glued the edge of the fabric onto the backside of the cardboard. after steaming the dress and using my straightener to iron out the collar [doesn't everyone do this?], I laid the dress onto the fabric covering and arranged it how I wanted it to look when hung. using straight pins, I secured the dress onto the cardboard—first along the top, then along the bottom. I then rested the frame against the wall and fastened the rest of the dress to the fabric. it helped to stand the frame up so I could insert the pins completely through the cardboard and I was better able to see how it would look, rather than laying it flat on the ground.
once the dress was secured onto the fabric covered cardboard, I called my husband into our bedroom to ask him what he thought. he was sweet, as always, and told me he loved it. I mean, what guy doesn't want a framed baby dress hanging over his head? literally. I know he probably could not care less about this project or many of the things I do around our house, but he always humors me and is complimentary about these kinds of things. this is how I know he really loves me. that, and one time he went to Walmart at night to get me coffee ice cream. because for whatever reason, Blue Bell coffee ice cream is "not available" on Walmart's grocery pickup in our area and we had run out [aka it was an emergency]. this might not seem like a big deal, but this is the same guy who buys our dog food from a drug store, meaning he pays substantially [$3ish] more, just to avoid stepping foot in Walmart. that was the night I knew he really loved me. we've been married nearly four years and I thought he might before that, but this is how I knew.
I love the way this project turned out. I tend to lean towards a more southern, traditional style and I think this embodies that. I already had scissors, a glue gun, and straight pins; so between the frame, the fabric, and the dress, the grand total comes to $55ish. not too shabby if you ask me.
what do you think? would you ever hang a framed baby dress in your home? or drop everything to run to the store to pick up ice cream for someone you love?