About a year ago, my mom brought me this dress for my daughter. It was my grandma’s, is in great condition, and she thought Lauren may like to wear it.
From my research, it was produced in the late ‘40s or 50s, and I could only find one other like it online…. an amazing treasure. But, in order for Lauren to be able to wear it, I had to size it down quite a bit. Scary! I really waffled back and forth about altering this dress, but ultimately, it was either going to keep sitting in the closet untouched, or I was going to adjust it and let it out into the world again.
While examining the structure of it, I found these little hand stitches that were made to adjust the fit around the bust and neck strap. Presumably, they are my grandma’s stitches, and most likely 50-65 years old. I didn’t know my grandma well, as we lived across the country from each other and she died when I was in elementary school. But seeing these stitches really made me feel a connection through the years. I imagined her sewing this all those years ago. She was obviously in a rush, maybe trying to finish this task between chasing around her kids… she never would have dreamt that a future granddaughter would be admiring and then taking those stitches out 50+ years later. It makes me wonder what of my sewing will be left after I’m gone and who is coming after me to take up what I leave behind. And it reminds me of how thankful I am for this craft that ties generations together.
I sized the bodice and skirt down about two inches each, taking lots of pictures as I went to refer to later and leaving all the original fabric in the seam allowances. That way, the dress can be sized back up in the future. I chose to leave out the bodice boning for comfort and removed the belt loops that were on the sides as there was no belt with it. Those are both saved for the future if needed. I am so glad to have this lovely piece of wearable history for my daughter. And Lauren is super happy to finally get to wear it! Scroll down for her ‘It has a pocket!” pose.
Happy sewing, friends! ~Lorinda