What do you do with old baby clothes you can't bear to part with?
Faced with this conundrum, 27-year-old Dione started Patchy Polly with her mother in July.
The home-based business makes memory blankets from old baby clothing.
A new mother's dilemma
First-time mother Dione welcomed baby Noah in her family in January this year.
As her baby quickly outgrew his clothes, she soon found herself in a dilemma.
While she donated clothes in mint condition, she found it hard to let go of the pieces that were milk-stained and infused with the smell of her baby.
For her, these clothes were worn the most often and held so many precious memories.
"I couldn’t bear to throw any of them away," she said, "yet it was not practical to keep a huge stash of clothes that wouldn’t be worn again."
After coming across the idea on Pinterest, she approached her mother for help, and Noah became Patchy Polly's first satisfied customer.
Mother and daughter duo
Dione, an associate psychologist working with children with special needs, runs the design and logistics aspects of the business.
"My mother, Jane, has always loved sewing," Dione told Mothership.
"When I was young, my mother would buy cloths from the market and turn them into beautiful baby clothes for me."
Here are some photos of baby Dione in her mother's handmade dresses:
Dione told Mothership that 61-year-old Jane was previously working in a physically demanding role selling household items, and she quit earlier this year to be Patchy Polly's seamstress.
A cosy blanket of memories
"Each patch in the blanket brought back so many memories," Dione said.
"The romper he wore when Noah first left the hospital, the times when we were waking up every two hours to feed him, the time when we brought Noah out to stare at the trees for the first time," she recounted.
"My husband and I couldn’t stop smiling when we received the finished product."
Dione felt that a memory blanket is a great option for parents looking to preserve memories, save space, and reduce waste all at the same time.
Since starting Patchy Polly, Dione said she has received glowing reviews from her first customers, and one of them is waiting for her younger child to outgrow her clothes so they could make one for her.
Repurposing old baby clothes
To make the 96cm by 96cm blankets, around 20 to 25 pieces of baby clothing, including shorts, socks, and bibs, are used.
Soft Minky Dot fabric, made of 100% polyester, is used as a backing fabric.
The process takes two to three weeks, which includes the planning of the design, cutting and stitching the front and back fabric.
If you are interested to create a memory blanket, each piece costs S$160.
The price is inclusive of two-way delivery to collect the baby clothes and to deliver the blanket.
Ready made blankets are also available. Find out more about Patchy Polly here.
Follow and listen to our podcast here
Top images by Dione.