Preserve that wedding dress heirloom

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 9, 1999

What does someone do with a wedding dress that’s been worn five times and is no longer usable? How about create a memory?&t;!—-&t;.

Saturday, October 09, 1999

What does someone do with a wedding dress that’s been worn five times and is no longer usable? How about create a memory?

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Margaret Lillico Myers was the second person to wear an ivory satin and lace gown when she married Robert Myers on June 17, 1938. Her sister, Dorothy, had been married in February of that year and had worn the dress. Her sisters Frances and Ruth, as well as her brother’s wife, Bette, also wore the dress. The fifth sister, Katherine, was not able to wear the dress because she was too tall.

Margaret had the dress in her possession, and because of its frail condition, couldn’t even hang it up.

So Margaret decided to have pillows made from the dress.

&uot;I thought, ‘Why not do something with our dress? It will mean more than giving it to a museum,’&uot; she said.

The idea came about this past summer when Margaret’s granddaughter wore the wedding dress Margaret had sewn for her daughter, Judy, in 1965. Margaret found some of the white linen that was left over from the dress, and asked her friend, Elaine Seath of Freeborn, to make a pillow from the fabric for the bride.

Margaret and Seath go way back. Seath had made the cake for the Myers’ 25th wedding anniversary, and had also made wedding cakes for two of their daughters.

Margaret was so pleased with the results of her granddaughter’s pillow that she decided to have pillows made for all the women who had worn her dress.

She gave Seath the dress, as well as five pillow forms, some round, some square.

The backs are corners of a tablecloth from which Margaret had intended to make napkins.

&uot;The Lord provides,&uot; Margaret said. &uot;I was just led to them.&uot;

Margaret’s pillow also has three pastel flowers in the colors of her bridesmaid’s dresses, and the back is made from hand painted silk fabric leftover from her 25th anniversary dress.

Seath only had to add lace, ribbons and pearls to complete the pillows. She even found ways to incorporate the satin buttons and button loops.

Margaret said she’s extremely pleased, and plans to give the pillows to her sisters and sister-in-law at a birthday celebration in October. Her sister, Dorothy, has died, but Margaret had a pillow made for Dorothy’s only living daughter, Janice.

Margaret has had a valuable lesson reinforced from the project.

&uot;Don’t throw anything away,&uot; she said.

&uot;I’m sure my sisters would have thrown everything (used in the pillows) away,&uot; she said.