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Create a new purpose

Turn your something old into your something new

January 29, 2011
By BEN SIMMONS Staff Writer

On the most special day of your life, you want to make the memories last forever. One way to make them last is to produce a keepsake to commemorate the occasion.

When Erin Quint of Elkins was planning her wedding more than eight years ago, she wanted to use the gown her mother, Sharon McQuain, also of Elkins, wore in 1964.

Quint asked her aunt, Elkins resident Judith Jack, to use that material and create a new dress in the style she desired.

Article Photos

WEDDING MEMENTO — Elkins resident Judith Jack displays a Victorian slide purse she created for her nieces from her sister-in-law’s wedding dress. (CU?and The Inter-Mountain/Ben Simmons) © The Inter-Mountain, all rights reserved.

In addition to the new gown, Jack made a pillow for the ring bearer and incorporated some of the material onto the comb for the veil.

"Combining my mother's gown and the family history it embodies, along with the style I envisioned, made my custom wedding dress better than anything I could buy in a store," Quint said.

To ensure Quint's sister, Barbara McQuain of Elkins, was able to have a piece of her mother's gown, Jack designed two-piece Victorian slide purses from the leftover material. She presented one each to Quint, her sister and her mother.

"It is really different. I really loved making the purses. The fact that we could preserve a memory from her mother's wedding dress and pass it on to her was wonderful. These are heirlooms and they can some day hand those down to their daughters," Jack said.

Part of the fun of making the purse was the surprise that her niece expressed when she first saw it, Jack said.

"Erin was surprised and touched by it," Jack said. "It was fun creating her wedding dress and to have something unique like this slide purse is really great. Not everyone is going to have something like this."

According to Jack, making the purses is easy, inexpensive and requires only limited sewing skills.

"The whole project only took a couple of hours," Jack said. "It's a very simple design. It just takes some imagination. You can add whatever embellishments you want. It's an heirloom you can pass down and it's very romantic for a wedding. It's an easy way to preserve something that is really old and pass it on. If you can't use the whole garment, you can use part of it. It's something they will really treasure for a lifetime."

Jack said she got the idea from a wedding planner book.

After seeing the purses, she said other friends have decided to use the idea to create their own wedding memorabilia.

"My friend saw it and thought it was a great idea," Jack said, referring to her friend Gerri Rosencrance. "She made a memento of her wedding dress for her granddaughters because her dress got damaged and she knew nobody would ever be able to wear it."



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