Collecting and Repurposing, Vintage Floral Print Handkerchiefs

Vintage floral handkerchiefs are/were another one of those lovely items which grandma had and I coveted.  From time to time I would be gifted one or two of them which I would use as, little girl “fashion accents”, or flashy “scarves” for dancing, magic tricks, or juggling acts. One of my favorite things to do with them was to lie flat on my back with a hanky draped over my face, inhale as deeply as possible, and slowly, blow a strong steady stream of breath which would lift the sheer floral wonders into the air like a graceful bird, and I would lie still and watch as it came back down, just as gracefully as it went up.

I have a collection of them now, so I started thinking about all the things you can do with these floral beauties. I’ve seen them used to make baby bonnets, small handbags, children’s clothing articles, dream pillows, quilt tops, lavender drawer sachets, and my favorite is a window treatment with each hankie joined to it’s neighbor with a vintage mother of pearl button at each corner. As much as I would love to have a window treatment made from them I could never bring myself to put the delicate cotton in a window to be exposed to the daily rays of the sun, and be forced to watch as they deteriorate, Nooooooooo!!!!
I have used them in my reconstructed clothing designs but have never used one which was in perfect condition, I just can’t bring myself to cut them if they are in good shape.

Here are a few from my collection, these are the ones which are in “near perfect” to “good vintage condition”

It’s said that looking at gardens and quilts (and other stuff like babies and puppies) can give a serotonin release, or endorphins, or dopamine or one of those brain chemicals that make you feel good and contribute to your well being both mentally and physically. I imagine grandmas hankies fall into that list, at least they do fr me.


I knew a woman in the late 1970’s early 1980’s who started a line of lingerie using vintage hankies, she made bras, camisoles, baby doll PJ’s and panties from the squares and triangles.

Below, is an example of my use of a, not so perfect, hanky to make a dress bodice. The imperfection was cut away from the center.


I had a vintage wrap around skirt made of vintage scarves, which I had found at a garage sale, most of the scarves looked to be from the 1940’s. Judging by the “garment” construction the wrap around was probably made in the 1960’s or 70’s. It was lovely! I attached it to a vintage slip and added a halved hanky to the top bustline then positioned some vintage cotton lace trim for straps. This dress became a wedding dress in a hand fasting ceremony.


This is the back view… The vintage scarves were so scrumptious!!


I also added another almost matching hanky to the hemline.


This is a camisole top made from lots of sweet, vintage floral print fabrics, including a vintage hanky as the “featured” top ruffle.


Here are some partial pictures of another scarf dress I found thrifting. It is from the 1970’s or very early 80’s. I found it, as is, in such good condition I had to scoop it up.

This dress is a great example of a gorgeous bohemian style 1970’s or 80’s halter dress made from rayon, and vintage scarves. The bodice of the dress is a soft rayon, with adjustable shoulder ties, the waist band is a stretch cotton band, and the skirt is made from vintage silk and nylon scarves, set on point to create the beautiful handkerchief or butterfly style hem line.







Thanks for reading…




My Own “Resurrection” Telling My Dunkin’ Story

Every morning I walk the dog and there is an empty field near the end of the block where a house has been torn down and the lot is now covered in gravel, chunks of coral, shale. I always pass a little bit of litter and it always catches my eye for some reason. It is a piece of a dunkin’ donuts cup and it says “tell your dunkin’ story”.
So on sight of the litter I ruffle through my Rolodex for any stories I may be able to tell about dunkin’ doughnuts, no files found…and then I decide to change the search by substituting the dunkin’ for any word that rhymes with dunkin’
Funkin’ (and other variations)
Punkin’ Pumpkin
Eventually I settled with removing the dumb dunkin’ all together, and since it’s the internet, I can make it (my Freakin’ Story) look much better than it really is!!! Yay!!

So welcome to the story I’ve made up …. sort of…

I recently got my old patchwork curtains back from my son. It’s been 10 years they have been protecting someone else’s windows. I put them up yesterday, over my bed. They are all luxury fabrics I had collected over the years and all of the fabrics hold memories for me, I could tell you where each piece of fabric comes from and probably what I was “planning” to make when I found it.

I did find it a little hard to sleep under them, my mind began to race like it use to with a million ideas of things I need to do NOW!!! So from hence forth, they will be my magical dream curtains of many colors. And I will wake up each morning grateful for the colored sprinkles on top of the I scream.


Metalics from India and and Greece, plush velvets, rich brocades, double dyed and printed linens, and shimmery satins. All in royal jewel-tone colors that look lovely with the sun shining through this time of morning.

In reality they’re pretty funky with uneven seams and raw hems, but hey it’s my story I get to embellish it the way I want! Maybe I will hem them someday and they’ll be perfect?

to me they are perfect so I won’t be in a huge hurry.


The metalic fabric with peacocks came from a sweet Greek woman who had been an seamstress when she was in Greece. She was in her 80’s and totally loved me (and everyone else who would stop and make eye contact with her. She rented a little cottage to my good friend Lorraine and gifted me her old sewing cabinet, full of really amazing vintage fabrics, sewing tools, and laces. When I see the fabric it reminds me of her peering out the stoop of her little house every time I visited my friend. I loved talking to her and she always offered a cookie to my young son.


Metalic fabric above was from a Vintage Indian men’s “pyjama” or Kurta, a long tunic with standup collar and matching drawstring pants Maybe it was a wedding Kurta?


My little Dream catcher also shares the window with the dream curtains. and throws rainbows around the room for about 30 minutes in the morning sun.


My little sun worshiping Siamese cat keeps a squinty eye on the neighbors. I love the patina, she’s bronze and is actually a small stash box. (she was also returned to me by my son recently)


This is a vintage length of Seminole patchwork given to me long ago by a friend. I love the colors and imagine they may be natural dyes. The tassels are oversized vintage passementerie found at a thrift store in a grab bag.


This is my head model she flutters from place to place.  She is among the vintage tins filled with vintage jewelry findings and broken pieces.


Here she is wearing an unfinished hat…I intend to finish someday

great-hat-raggedy hat

And my raggedy hat which I also fully intend to finish….some day!


Today I was blessed with free avocados, while walking the dog, they’re in season and dropping everywhere. Really good food!

Custom Made Lace Wedding Dress For My Best Friend Lou

Resurrection Rags custom wedding dress

My Best friend got married when I was in Oregon and she was in New York. I couldn’t get to her wedding in body but I was definitely there in spirit.

She wanted me to make her a custom made wedding dress so I did. All of the elements were upcycled vintage laces other than the under pinnings and layers but those were upcycled vintage as well. The front bodice overlay was from a very old vintage wedding dress possibly from the early 1900’s scattered with some fake pearls. The dress was quite tattered when I found it probably on it’s way to a landfill if I had not rescued it from the garage sale pile of  $1.00 each goodies.

The bodice back closure was from another wedding dress I found at a flea market also on it’s way to the trash at the end of the day. It was silk shantung but the bottom of the skirt was badly stained so I paid 3.00 for it and knew it would go to good use.
The applique cut from the back of the original dress, will be added to the back as a closure, it is a piece from the upcycled vintage wedding dress, beaded flowers on silk shantung. It is just pinned on now and it will not look so sloppy once I fit it into place and sew it on by hand, I love the little fabric covered buttons


Back bodice with applique pinned in place

The back panel after being sewn in place




And the back finally finished

The near finished dress, before I changed the flowers and added a bit of lace for the cap sleeves

Resurrection Rags custom wedding dress

The flowers in their final places, some also on the skirt…


And the lovely Bride with the groom and the groom’s father.

Vintage Image Sources For Inspiration

As a collage artist, I am an image collector, and in my “other life” I find and provide images for papercraft artists.  I have been doing this for over 10 years and it is one of my passions because I just love old stuff! Many of my clothing and accessories are designed from vintage inspiration. In my travels (looking for vintage images) I often find images related to clothing and accessory designs, and instructions and patterns from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Below is a sample collage made from one of my , Image Source image collections for Victorian dressmaking.


Victorian Dress Making Clipart, Digital Collage Sheet

I have put some of these together for myself as a reference to hopefully spur my creativity, and I’m sharing them here so maybe others will be inspired as well, if anyone ever finds my blog.

I love the fancy work and the dainty designs from the Edwardian and Victorian eras and make many of my bags based on a fine detail I’ve seen on a vintage bag or piece of clothing. Here are some of my early bags I really do like the fancy fiddley work. 







Here is a close-up of the bag in the pop picture


and the back view:



The little white bag in the top right side was made from a vintage table linen and has been dragged around for years, and dyed dusty pink at some point. I think the older it gets the more I like it!





This is made from a nice moss green, appliqued and embroidered  linen table napkin and some secret origami handshake folding that I will probably never be able to recreate again. I folded and sewed and turned it right side out and was surprised and a little disapointed at first. Now everytime I see it and / or use it I think…wow I should make more of those! It has become one of my favorites for stashing jewelry.



This little one is made from the selvage end of a length of unbleached muslin, leftover from making a dress.

So …

I do kind of have an obsession with the little dainty bags and what the Victorians use to call “fancy work”. 

I have gathered a bunch of vintage images for handbags and purses, most are from the Edwardian era  Here are a few I have fixed for reference and hopefully I will be adding more routinely




The images below were from an advertisement for a department store which carried lady’s Fancy Bags and Novelties. 


The Designs are quite cute and could easily be translated to today’s wearables



There will be more as long as I can remember to blog …enjoy!







A Trip Home and Antique Shopping

Antique Store In Labelle Florida. Wagon Wheels and Ox harness

I was born in a small town in South West Florida, many of my relatives are still living there and have added a few generations of new relatives along the way. My sister whom I had not seen in over 30 years came down and we made a trip to the old town to visit and we went antique shopping, because a tiny old town is always a great place to find antiques:

Antique Store In Labelle Florida. Wagon Wheels and Ox harness
Antique Store In Labelle Florida. Wagon Wheels and Ox harness

            This is so much better than Disney World!

Stuffed Alligator
You know you’re in Florida in the “booneys” when you find a stuffed gator on display at the local antique shop
Alligator on Jack Daniels Whiskey Barrels
Alligator on Jack Daniels Whiskey Barrels


 Good old Underwood typewriter

Vintage mixer 1930's or 40's
Vintage mixer 1930’s or 40’s
vintage mixer
I remember the smell of the motor running mixed with the smell of chocolate cake


Vintage nic nacs, china, and glassware
Vintage nic nacs, china, and glassware

 I especially liked the elephant

Carousel Horse
All the pretty horses, …there was actually just one of them but I liked it all the same 


Classic Antique Piano, Just Lovely!
Antique player Piano
Dusty old player piano found in an antique store in Labelle, Florida
the workings of an antique player piano
one of the original “computers”

Cotton and Lace Camisole, Altered Couture From Vintage Laces and Fabrics


Cotton, Crochet and Lace Camisole, Altered Couture, Tank Top, Boho, Gypsy, Prairie-Girl,  Made From Vintage Laces and Fabrics 

Cotton and lace camisole, prairie, boho style top, altered couture from vintage laces and fabrics. Vintage style loose fitting top is perfect for layering over tanks or bralettes, or could be used as a swimsuit cover.The front panel of this vintage inspired top is embellished with a vintage embroidered table linen, with Battenburg tape lace edging, and a handmade fabric flower. The back has a crocheted middle panel which adds a little bit of stretch and interest.

This top was made from a previous mistake in measurement for a small skirt and since I hate to let anything go to waste I found a way to salvage the mishap. The back panel crocheted piece is a vintage “chair arm cover” doily which was handmade. The lace trim along the edges and straps is from the Edwardian era as is the front embellishment of embroidered cotton with battenburg tape lace trim.



Thank you so much for reading, leave a comment if you have a few minutes to spare …much love,

You can find more of my work at


Altered Couture Lace Bolero Vest Reconstructed Vintage, Bridal Shrug

Altered Couture, Lace Bolero Vest, Reconstructed Vintage Wedding Shrug


Lace Bolero vest, altered couture from vintage laces and fabric by ResurrectionRags. (this item is no longer available for sale, but  similar items may be custom made to fit your needs

I like to tell the stories of the clothes that I create, especially when I use handmade vintage linens and laces. I started this piece years ago and got stumped and buried it among the rest of my unfinished projects hoping someday to have that Eureka! moment that would bring it to life.

 It started out to be a little cropped top made from crepe rayon left over from a reconstruct of an 80’s grunge dress, remember the big floral Maxi length dresses with the empire waist and tiered skirts?  This was the bodice, what was left of it, after using the copious ruffles in several other projects.  The front panel is a vintage hanky made of fine Irish linen with very intricate hand embroidery using a technique called Dresden Work, drawn thread embroidery.  

For me it was a little too plain and seemed too delicate to wear. I stashed it away and mostly forgot it.
Fast forward to when I recently moved back to Miami Florida, my home town and had to organize my stash of vintage fabrics into a much smaller place and sorted all of my unfinished projects and decided I needed to finish them. Unfinished business is not good for the soul and it’s really not good for creativity. 


I auditioned a few possibilities before the aha pieces fit together for me.  part of a Battenburg lace collar (above) on the right side and a very delicate handmade tatted doily on the left side. I liked the doily but the Battenburg lace was too bold and a little stiff for the backing.


This (above) was a piece from a vintage peasant top which was made of patchwork vintage laces and handkerchiefs. It was beautiful but way too delicate, for wearing. 
This was a corner of a vintage table runner, it was strong enough and fit perfectly. The floral lace trim along the top was leftovers from a wedding dress I made a few years ago. All of the elements were sewn on by hand, beads were added and VOILA!


Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed the story. I use to sell at a farmer’s market and I miss telling the stories and the interaction with the new owners of my pieces.


Feel free to visit my Resurrection Rags Facebook page to see more altered couture designs, vintage jewelry, reconstructed jewelry, handmade flowers and accessories, and much more…


So You Want To Make Raw Vinegar From Scratch?

Plum Vinegar

This is the “quick and dirty” version, forgive any stupid spelling or grammar errors.
If you have apples, blackberries, plums (or any fruit) to use, grab them and smash them anyway you can, with berries and plums I just used my hands, apples get shredded in the food processor. I remove the pits from the plums, apples you can seed or leave the seeds in. Put them in a sterile, large glass jar or crock (no plastic or metal), with a wide mouth and belly. Hopefully your fruits are sweet and juicy if not you can add some water and sugar (about 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 quart of water).

Apples shredded processed in food processor

Put a cloth over the jar, cotton or several layers of cheese cloth is good, you want air to get in and to keep the fruit flies and other things out. Secure the cloth with a rubber band or elastic.

I don’t recommend using chunks but some say it works fine

Now you let it sit in a warm dark place for about a week stirring down the mash at least once everyday.
This is Blackberry and mixed fruit vinegars, I keep them in their own cabinet    

***If you’re adding water use de- or un-chlorinated water. If the water has chlorine, heat it and let it sit over night so that the chlorine dissipates.

***White table sugar is best and it will all be gone in the end, but you can use other sweeteners too, honey, molasses, raw sugar or succanet etc. I don’t think stevia would work, it’s not for flavor but to turn the juice to alcohol. You can fill the jar almost to the top with the fruit mash if you have enough fruit but leave a few inches of head space. In a few days the mixture will start to bubble and the fruit will look gross and puffed, floating on top.

This is plum pulp after 4 days

The fruit will float on top until it is finished with the first ferment

Give it a sniff and/or a taste (if you’re brave), every day while stirring so you know whats going on in the fermentation process, and keep stirring down the mash every day to prevent any mold from taking over and to introduce oxygen. 

Stirring introduces oxygen and releases CO2    This helps prevent mold from colonizing

After a few more days you should start to smell alcohol, that’s what you want to happen. Eventually, depending on your surrounding temperature (warmer is better), the mix will stop bubbling and the fruit will sink to the bottom.

Plum fruit settling to the bottom

When this happens it’s time to strain out the fruit. Don’t worry if the thick sediment gets through just strain out the solids and squeeze the juice out, I use a muslin bag to strain, you can use several layers of cheese cloth with a strainer or a good sieve.

Strain out the solids

Put the juice back into the jar

Put the juice back in the jar, cover again with the cloth secured with a rubber band, and put it back in a warm dark place. You should still stir and sniff  it everyday. If everything goes right in a few days to a week, you’ll start to see a film on the top, it might look like a silky white powdery layer, kind of wrinkly and bubbly, it might look like an oil slick floating on the surface, or a few white jelly fish looking globs floating near the surface. As long as you don’t  see any fuzzy black specs or fuzzy white specs, or smell mold  you’re fine. If you see them fish them out and/or strain again and make sure you stir it often until you see one of the films described earlier.

When the film starts to form:
Stop stirring everyday and let it grow.
Always check for molds, black, green or white and fuzzy. Make sure it either smells like fruit, alcohol (wine) or vinegar. A slight yeasty smell is okay too.

1) when you see the silky type film first (it may also be bubbly), it’s kam yeast and it’s going to turn into the “mother” which makes the vinegar. Browning or dark discoloration, in the bubbles in lighter colored liquid  is also normal as long as there is no fur.  You might smell yeast also instead of alcohol. It’s going to be an ugly lumpy, bubbly looking process and you might think it’s ruined, just let it go and it will start to congeal, and thicken into a funky looking, under cooked, english muffin that covers the entire surface of the liquid.
Yeast on the surface before the mother forms


Yeast and sugars turning to cellulose  Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast  aka Scoby, mother, vinegar plant…                                                    





Fully grown mother protecting the liquid below and doing her magic, transforming sugar and yeast to acetic acid                                         

2) The transformation is not as ugly when you get an “oil slick” looking film *lol* The film just thickens and looks sort of like solidified fat or oil sitting on top of liquid and covering the surface.

This mother of apple cider vinegar was disturbed before it covered the surface but you can see it looks like oil or wax  floating on top   

Mother of Plum vinegar just beginning to form 4 days after straining out the pulp                                          

Mother of a Beer vinegar experiment, silky smooth and white

Blackberry vinegar mother, they take on the color of the liquid

Sitting on top conformed to the shape of the opening and nice and thick (blackberry) 


3) From floating globs, the floaters will stay near the surface and begin expanding until they cover the surface All three types are fine, they just begin in different stages of the ferment. 
Floating mother blob, usually happens when the mother is very young and gets disturbed (stirring or bumping) she will try to stay as close to the surface as she can to make a new mother

Now the mother will be eating the rest of the yeast and sugar in the alcohol and changing them to acid. You can move the jar around to check on it, but try not to bump it if you can help it. Don’t poke at the mother, you want it to keep floating and it sinks if you jostle it too much. It’s not a disaster if it sinks, another one will grow back right away but my theory is, while it’s growing you might be losing some of the strength of the acidity.

The mother has fallen and a new one has taken it’s place

So leave the mother sitting and try to take a sniff daily to see what’s happening, eventually you’ll start to smell vinegar just faintly, then one day you’ll take a whiff and feel your nose hairs burn and know you’ve got vinegar!
At this point I get a clean drinking straw, put my finger over the top of the straw,and very gently slide it between the mother and the jar down into the liquid to trap a bit in the straw for tasting.
Do the happy dance if it makes you pucker!
When you taste it you’ll probably disturb the mother, it might sink or part of it might go under the liquid, it will grow back and replenish it’s cover though in a few days. If the mother grows back quickly it means it is still working hard so let it keep sitting, keep sniffing etc. Usually I know it’s done when it smells and tastes good and sour and the mother sinks straight to the bottom from the slightest disturbance. That’s when I strain it again, bottle it (in glass) and cap it. I put mine into big wine bottles. A mother will always grow back as long as it’s still in the open container, and sometimes it will grow another one after straining and bottling…not a problem, it won’t be as thick, just a film or jelly like floaters, it’s good to have it in the vinegar. The vinegar can be stored in a cool dark place and you can let it age,or you can start using it when it’s finished.. Some makers age them for years, I don’t know the benefits of aging yet because I haven’t had enough time, patience or experience. I’ll let you know because I have a lot of batches finished and finishing and I know I can’t use them all at once, so I’ll find out.
Good luck and I’ll answer any questions I can.


Hand Made Reconstructed One of a Kind

Handmade OOAK Deconstructed Crocheted Bohemian Skirt


This skirt is a one of a kind deconstructed piece, the yoke of this skirt is from a pair of vintage 1980’s, Gloria Vanderbilt,cotton blue velvet, jeans, and four crocheted cotton, rectangular doilies. The top skirt is from a vintage 70’s cotton crocheted mini-dress and it has an under skirt which was salvaged from a vintage, girls, cotton gauze, dress to which a crinkled taffeta ruffle with raw edges, has been added for that great layered bohemian look.. The original pants zipper is still in use as the front closure and a decorative lace up application has been added to the back yoke. The watch pocket has been appliquéd with a sequined flower patch in deep royal blue (hard to see in the pictures), in order to cover the swan monogram that is Gloria Vanderbilt’s insignia. All of the original pants pockets are still usable, as the crocheted rectangles were sewn on by hand with sturdy quilting thread,or tacked on with vintage buttons in the back.




Handmade Reconstructed Patchwork Apron Top of Vintage Laces




This is a hand made deconstructed/reconstructed patchwork lace apron-style, top, made from vintage laces, vintage cotton eyelet lace, and a bit of satin, the upper edging is cotton crocheted edging, (made by myself), and the upper yoke is vintage, crinkled satin, stitched with random running stitches, it buttons in the back with a pretty vintage brass button, and a loop closure. The upper bodice ties halter style, and the bust is lined with a soft satin lining material. This is a very delicate piece but is well constructed, for durability. and the open back and halter style neck line makes the size slightly more adjustable.





This beautiful gauntlet/wrist cuff is made from a vintage, green and cream, cotton lace, with leaf and flower motifs, and a sturdy, White Chantilly lace from a vintage wedding dress, it is embellished with little pink ribbon roses, the lower edge is embellished with a moss green, free form, hand crocheted and beaded, bracelet with faux pearls, Australian crystals,glass beads, and malachite chips. It’s closure is a vintage rhinestone button, with hand made cotton loop. A ribbon is used to cinch in the lower arm corset style.
this cuff reminds me of Marie Antionette,and pretty little cakes, and fairies, and tea parties in gardens