Heirlooms in a Dress Shirt Box

One nice thing about having another place to call “home” is the certainty of finding a treasure you’d forgotten you had.

Such is often the case when we travel to South Mississippi.

Domer and I lived with my mom and my late dad there right after the breakup of my marriage. I needed to heal emotionally; Domer needed the stability of a happy family.

But living out of a suitcase, more or less, meant poor baby Domer never got a chance to use some of the beautiful things he’d been given as “Welcome Baby” presents. Things like this:

Baby bootie

Baby bootie

Look at the intricate craftsmanship, the delicate mint green color, the tiny pom-poms!

This bootie was crocheted by my late grandmother when she learned I was expecting. She didn’t know whether I was having a boy or a girl, so she worked her magic in pastel colors suitable for either sex.

Long before my marriage, I remember watching her work. Her fingers practically flew as the yarn evolved into a bedspread, a baby dress, table runners, doilies, and more.

Each piece bore a reflection of her heart. While all were similar in pattern, they were individual in size, color, intent.

Here’s the set the above bootie accompanied:

Baby set, mint green

Baby set, mint green

A tiny dress, a diaper shirt, and matching booties — all lovingly crocheted for a great-grandchild she would only meet a few times!

And the mint green set was just part of a department store dress shirt-sized box full of treasures I found, hiding in a closet. Look at this one:


Baby set in white

And another, just for good measure:

Baby set in blue

Baby set in blue

Obviously, Domer is FAR too big and grown up to wear items meant for a baby. And, at least for the present, he’s nowhere near ready to tackle the bringing-up of a baby of his own! So what am I going to do with these treasures?

Simple. I’m tucking them back into the box and saving them for the day they might become useful.

Because, while I can crochet, my handiwork isn’t half as pretty as my late grandma’s, yet one day (w-a-a-a-y down the road!) I just might have a grandchild, and it will feel so good to pass these garments on. Every baby needs something soft and beautiful to snuggle in, don’t you agree?

16 thoughts on “Heirlooms in a Dress Shirt Box

    • Yes, looking at the size of their feet now makes you wonder how and when this growth occurred! They’re precious at any size, of course (and maybe more so, now that we’ve had a chance to mold them!) Hope your Christmas was merry.

    • Thanks, Barb, I knew you could relate, having just had the pleasure of welcoming TWO new babies into your own family! I’ll bet by next Christmas, they’ll be all over the place with wide-eyed wonder at all the lights and colors!

  1. OMG Debbie, these are beyond PRECIOUS!!!!!

    There is something about baby clothes that always makes me smile – the tininess of them – they’re so sweet-looking.

    “Look at the intricate craftsmanship, the delicate mint green color, the tiny pom-poms!”

    That’s exactly what I was going mention in my comment before you said that. There is no comparison to the quality of how things were made back then. Back then, they were made so well that you could use them over and over for each child, and yet they still looked brand new!

    “Every baby needs something soft and beautiful to snuggle in, don’t you agree?”


    Thanks for sharing this sweet and reflective post, my friend. LOVED it!

    Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

    • Thanks, Ron. My grandma did such beautiful work. I’ve got a bedspread that must have taken her AGES to complete — and I’m too afraid to use it for fear it will ruin. Can’t you see tiny dog-feet all over something like that?! I can still see her, sitting in her rocking chair and crocheting away as the TV blared!
      Have a beautiful Sunday, my friend!

  2. She did beautiful work – great idea to hang onto these treasures. I fear I wouldn’t have used them because I’d worry about ruining them (babies aren’t exactly neat and tidy!) I have a collection of doilies my grandma made. It may be old fashioned, but I actually use them because they protect furniture from scratches (and I think they are pretty!) I admire the detail and wish I had her talent.

    • Janna, I feel the same way. As I told ^Ron^, I have some of her pieces still in boxes and I’m afraid to pull them out to use them. Oh, I look them over now and then and marvel at her handiwork, but I can just imagine what Dallas’s paws would do to crochet! And since these pieces just can’t be replaced, they’re doomed to life in a box. Sad, huh?

  3. What a treasure your grandmother left you, Debbie. I can visualize her fingers flying as she lovingly crocheted her creations, now destined for your grandchild(ren). They’re beautiful!

    • Thanks, Kathy! Her generation was much more skilled in handcrafts than we are these days (and I think we’re the poorer for not emulating them!). Back in the day, young girls were taught to do needlepoint, crochet, knitting, and so forth. I can almost hear those “old-time” women telling their daughters, “An idle mind is the Devil’s workshop.” Now, we sit them in front of computers, ha!

    • I suspect it might be many moons before a grandchild enters my presence, Monica, but you’re right — these pieces are still treasures! My late dad always used to say the best presents were those made by hand. Besides being original, they carried a piece of the heart of the maker. Thanks for stopping by to enjoy them!

  4. This song came to my mind when I read your blog:

    Memories, like the corners of my mind
    Misty watercolor memories
    Of the way we were
    Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
    Smiles we gave to one another
    For the way we were


    Oh, can it be that it was all so simple then
    Or has time rewritten every line
    And if we had the chance to do it all again
    Tell me.. haha…
    Would we
    Could we

    Memories, may be beautiful and yet
    What’s too painful to remember
    We simply choose to forget
    So it’s the laughter we will remember
    Whenever we remember
    The Way We Were…
    Remember, the way we were

    • I’ve always loved that song, Tanya — thank you for taking time to read and perhaps do a bit of remembering yourself?! Somehow, I can’t imagine what these little items would have looked like with spitup, food, dirt, etc. splashed all over them!!

  5. They’re really precious. All of my baby clothes are gone now – no one to pass them on to, so better that they were moved on to church sales and such. But I do still have my mother’s Christening dress, hand-crocheted and tatted by her grandmother. I think I may have it professionally framed and – what? Perhaps given to the museum in her small town.

    I do have several doilies, crocheted table cloths and such. I do use them – the star shaped doilies at Christmas, the tablecloths all year long. Dixie likes to nap on a dining chair under the crochet – I think because she’s hidden but still can see out. She’s never done a bit of damage to any of it. A little remarkable, now that I think about it.

    What I don’t put out is a crocheted bed cover done with THREAD! It’s the finest work I’ve ever seen, and it weighs about ten pounds. It’s beautiful, ivory-colored. One day Dixie won’t be here – maybe I’ll use it then.

    • I’m so glad you’ve found useful ways to preserve the memories, Linda. I’m not entirely sure my mom kept ANY of my baby things. I suspect they were handed down to cousins and such. I’ve got TONS of Domer’s baby things, along with his TaeKwonDo uniform, golf and tennis shirts, T-ball uniforms, basketball and soccer shirts, and even his old piano recital pieces!! Talk about a pack rat — one day, he’s going to have FUN going through all this stuff, ha!
      I do find it remarkable that your cat hasn’t managed to shred some of your crocheted pieces, though. I’d think the temptation would be just too much to bear!

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