Can you tell I was a child of the early 80s? Laura Ingalls Wilder-style ruffles were the fashion! I made this white flannel nightgown, complete with lace and embroidered initials, for a 4-H project when I was about 12. But this nightgown wasn’t this sparkling when I pulled it out recently. Oh, no it was brown and icky. It was living in a dry cleaning bag from the 90s — it must have been that old because my parents haven’t lived near the dry cleaner’s whose name the bag bears for more than a decade! I was lamenting how sad and brown the item was, when my friend Maris lent me her bag of Vintage Textile Soak. She used it to clean her daughter’s christening gown for wear by her granddaughter. She showed me the gown — it’s beautiful, white and as fresh-looking as it must have been the day it was finished!
The package for Vintage Textile Soak says the active ingredient is sodium bircarbonate. I dissolved the powder per instructions, and let it sit “from 4 to 24 hours or as needed.” Well it didn’t need that long. I started soaking at dinnertime, and in the morning the white flannel was sparkling. No traces of brown anywhere. My mom will be thrilled to see it so clean and new-looking. Info below on this product, which could reclaim any number of treasured items in your household.
This nightgown has another story, and here it is: The project was conceived as a 4-H project when I was about 11 or 12. Putting together the nightgown was not a big deal, though it looks detailed. I don’t remember all the details about its construction. My mom and I DO remember the embroidery part. I was SO OVER this project by then. But my mom reminded me of the plans to embroider my initial in pink and the little green leaves. I didn’t WANNA! My mom had to nag to get me to do it. The embroidery is not very well done, and doesn’t do the nightgown justice. Alas, it was finished, and it was entered into the 4-H sewing exhibit. I don’t even remember what prize it won! (Maybe my mom does.) And now I can share it with all of you. Thanks Maris!
Vintage Textile Soak, Arlington, Texas, 817-912-0905