packed full of memories

Thursday, June 28, 2007


While at my parents over spring break, we came across this gem. (Sorry to break it to you sisters, but I brought it home). In our family, you see it, you want it, you better take it before your sisters beat you to it! :)

I know it doesn't look like much, however, this bag is packed full of memories. Literally. It is the bag my mother used to take to the beach every year and to the pool everyday during the summer. My mother used all of her old scraps and lined it with vinyl to protect it from water and sunscreen. I told my mother I wanted to replace the strap. Of course, she thinks it adds to the charm of the bag. She is correct. Mothers always know best.
Well, Libby had an idea. She wanted to use all of her old dresses that my mother made her, and have me make a bag for her. I resisted for a while, thinking it would be better to save them. However, Libby convinced me that it would be a great idea to give her old dresses a new life.

I just couldn't cut the bumble bee one.
Putting that rotary cutter to the dresses was really hard!
Organizing the squares was her job.
Yesterday, we picked out the lining. Up soon, a new bag for Libby already packed full of memories.

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46 comments

  1. Cool bag! I love the idea of a memory tote. I wish I had some of my daughter's old dresses now to make something we could keep and remember by.

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  2. i love it! my mom used to take t shirts we bought from our travels and when we outgrew them, make pillows out of them. moms are so clever when it comes to giving new life to old memories! i am sure one day, libby will do the same with her daughter!

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  3. www.knittingnutter.com6/28/2007

    What an excellent idea - the squares are arranged beautifully by your daughter.

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  4. What a fabulous idea! The bag is going to look great. The bag your mom used still looks like it is in great shape....what a special token of memories.

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  5. I would have had a really hard time cutting up those dresses too. Good for Libby for knowing a bag to use everyday was a better tribute to her dresses than storing them in a box.
    Can't wait to see it finished.

    You are really tempting me to dust off my ancient sewing machine.

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  6. OMG...that is too cute!!! Since you confiscated my memory bag. I'll take one just like Libby's. Way to go Libby...You are just as clever as your mommy. :)

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  7. What a great idea and a perfectly-timed post (for me). I've saved all the clothes (and fabric scraps) I've made for my daughter over the years. I intend to make a quilt for her one day, but I really like the idea of a bag, too.

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  8. Omigosh - this makes me totally teary-eyed. I love the full-circle feeling of it all -- how your mom made the dresses and now you're making a bag for Libby -- just like the one your mom made.

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  9. So beautiful. I wouldn't be able to cut the bumble bee either.

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  10. So sweet! that's the perfect way to keep those memories alive, every day. i love those dresses, too...did your mom just free-hand the pattern?

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  11. I have got to build up the nerve for this wonderful charm quilt idea - I keep thinking I'll just do it - I mean, what am I saving these little outfits for? :) If I can't cut them I sure can't give them away...thanks for the inspiration.

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  12. It's so charming. What fun, to make a bag with growing-up memories.

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  13. I think I just felt what you must have felt just before cutting into the dresses. But it is a really beautiful tribute to your mom, and show what a sensible person your daughter is.

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  14. Very neat! Nice way to treasure those memories of 'dresses mama made for me when I was growing up....' Am saving my girl's dresses to for a future project too. Recently, I also went through my african outfits that don't fit anymore but can't bear to part with and a quilt will be made out of them sometime in the near future.

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  15. I love it! Libby is a genius. Such a great keepsake for her, and she helped with it. Sweet memories all around.

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  16. goosebumps here. i so admire you, your mom, libby....i just don't know that i could cut the dresses. maybe if i gave them to someone else to cut, then it'd be ok.

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  17. What a perfect memory for Libby, both the dresses and putting the bag together with her mother. I'm sure she will cherish it into adulthood.

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  18. Go Libby! What a wonderful way to make something old new! Nothing ever comes back the way it was to begin with. She will get so much enjoyment out of the bag and it will be a great reminder of all the beautiful dresses!

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  19. Your mom's bag is so great...and I love that you snapped it up before your sisters! I know how ruthless sisters can be ;)

    Those dresses are going to make a darling bag! Can't wait to see it.

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  20. Divine bag and I LOVE the idea of the new one you're making. It must be hard to cut up those dresses but what a memorykeeper for her! I look forward to your picture of the finished tote.

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  21. What a wonderful gift to give her. It's truly a treasure for many special reasons. Such wonderful memories :)

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  22. I love it - great idea! Hard to cut into those dresses though!

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  23. Such a cool idea! I have a friend who made a baby quilt for her new baby out of scraps of her husband's shirts. As a non-sewer I'd never imagined a project like that but think it's such a lovely idea.

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  24. what a wonderful idea to carry on the memories in the fabric! now she has not only the memories of the dresses, but will of the bag as well!

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  25. I think that is so neat! It's going to look great.

    The one you got from your mom is really cool. Vintage, love it!

    You saw the bag I'm knitting out of my grandma's fabric scraps on my blog - thanks for commenting - I would love to see the garment you talked about on your post!

    *Your profile photo is really cool

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  26. Thats so great! Its awesome, actually. Much better than a quilt in my opinion. Its more functional, and give a chance to tell everyone the story behind it, because you KNOW they will ask where you got it!

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  27. I can see how it would be so hard to cut the dresses, but on the other hand, it's so great to re-purpose them into a wonderful bag!!

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  28. Oh, I just love it! What a great use for those adorable dresses.

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  29. Anonymous6/29/2007

    super great idea! my great-grandma made a picnic out of my great-grandpa's workshirts. great way to carry on memories.

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  30. Anonymous6/29/2007

    (last comment was from another leslie. how many of us are there? http://goodness.typepad.com)

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  31. That is going to be one smart bag! Love the fabrics. *note to self: I need to sew more dresses for La.

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  32. What a wonderful memory for your daughter when she is older.

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  33. Anonymous6/29/2007

    Leslie,
    You have a wonderful eye for color. I LOVE how creative you are. I may need to borrow your muse someday.
    Have a great weekend!
    Mimi

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  34. The tote is really nice.. and love the idea of treasuring memories through fabric. Now Libby has me thinking of my daugther’s clothes I’ve stored away.

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  35. i love the bag idea, though i bet it was hard to chop it up. i'm sure she'll treasure it.

    and now i MUST make a summertime tunic!

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  36. What a beautiful bag and idea, but I totally understand how hard it would be to cut the dresses up. But thinking about it, seeing pieces of the dresses is a lot better than having them packed away out of sight! I may do the same as my youngest is leaving for college next month and she'd love something like that!

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  37. it's sad and beautiful. and a new memory created & carried on :)

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  38. My you are a talented woman! I have a sewing project I would like to do somwtime & will definitely need some help!

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  39. I LOVE the idea of making a bag with Libby's dresses. Smart girl she is...must take after her Mom, just like you do. Can't wait to see pics of the finished product.

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  40. How very sweet! She will love it for all the memories it holds!

    tee...hee... for getting a family item before your sisters - we do that too!

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  41. Cute bag and the pink dress is beautiful! Have a great weekend :)

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  42. What a fabulous idea! My family has all sorts of old clothes and scraps of blankies and stuff hanging around... just waiting to be sewn up into something new! We'll have to make memory totes for the wee ones...

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  43. What a fantastic remembrance bag!!!! Libby's also inherited your creativity.. You are truly blessed.

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  44. Thank you so much for posting about this memory and project...it's such a wonderful idea. My sister passed away last October and I have been hoarding her clothes and my 4-year-old niece's clothes to make a memory quilt for her but this is a fantastic project we could do together. Just her summer clothes and Mommy's summer clothes, too. Now all I need to do is learn how to sew. Thanks again for such a great post.

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  45. What a great idea Libby had. I can't imagine how tough it would be to cut those cute dresses though...

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  46. Sorry for the late comment - I am trying to catch up but I am SOOO behind in my blog-reading!! But what an amazing project. I think it is SO great that you are passing your passion for creating on to Libby and that you include her in so much of what you do. What a gift!

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