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Custom Design Stories: Memorial Bracelets

Posted by Virginia Fretto on

Some of my absolute favorite projects are custom projects, especially ones using fabrics with sentimental meaning. A few years ago, I started to incorporate scraps of my grandmother's wedding dress into designs for my family members to wear & cherish. There really aren't words to describe the feeling of comfort, love, and sweet memories that are embodied in these special legacy pieces we wear - they just are so so special. Fabrics and clothing have a incredible way of reminding us of very special memories of our loved ones who have left us - they reach so many of our senses & really capture the style and essence of the person who once wore them.  

Last holiday I worked with a family to turn a four-generations-old, handmade crib bunting into bracelets that every woman in the family can now wear to remember their great grandma's legacy. Working with that piece of textile, I felt like I was brought back in time and could see the wonderful attention to detail that their talented grandmother had put into making this quilted bedding. Each design came out completely unique, taking on different sections of the quilt. As a designer & lover of all things fabric, it was pretty amazing to be a part of preserving that amazing woman's memory and talents.

Recently a friend asked me to create some one-of-a-kind bracelets for her mother, sister and herself to wear using a signature shirt of her father's, whom they had lost recently to cancer. When she showed me the seersucker shirt and the photo of her father wearing it, I knew these would be gorgeous, not to mention such special tokens of love and appreciation of his legacy. Could he be more stylish?! And the photo in combination with the newly reworked fabric bracelets - well it just brings a tear to my eye. What an honor to be able to create such incredibly special pieces for such a loving family. 

And the final designs, well they were more beautiful - both sentimentally and physically - than I think we both expected. How can you top getting to re-wear something so special in a new & fun-to-wear form?! It becomes that special little loving reminder of the legacy of someone so near and dear to your heart that you can treasure each day.  Here is how they turned out:


I would love to create a special custom design for you, whether it is to honor the memory of someone special to you, or a fabric or article of clothing that has sentimental meaning to you like you child's first dance outfit or a scarf that you wore on your honeymoon... These re-makes are not only a beautiful way to capture a memory, but are just plain fun to wear.