Bella’s Betrothal Publication Day The Hope Chest

Hand Embroidered Whitework

Hand Embroidered Whitework

How many of us sat around the fire embroidering linens like these before our marriages?
The Hope chest or Bottom Drawer used to be a major feature in the life of an unmarried girl as she approached marriageable age. It would contain household linens, but also much of the bride’s adult wardrobe. this became known as her trousseau.
My bottom drawer contained several sets of mugs and glasses. The former won in a raffle at the village hall and the latter collected from garage forecourt promotions. As I didn’t drive until after I was married, this is an enduring mystery.
I was also given my mum’s jelly pan and that has been a treasured possession – and much used. I think my husband would find life diminished if he didn’t have some home-made marmalade to start the day.


Bella would have had the benefit of many attics to rifle through in order to supplement her list of wedding gifts. Although having looked in ours when the offspring moved out, I have to say that not everything looks too good to throw away after ‘keeping it for seven years’ as one thought when it went into storage.

Today, of course, many couples will have lived in their own flat and quite likely lived together, so the need for a long wedding-list of basic items such as bed linen, crockery and cutlery, is much reduced.

What did you have in your Hope Chest when you married? What was the weirdest wedding gift you received?

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