Monday, May 9, 2011

The Party Dress

About thirty years ago my mom made this dress for me. I'm not sure I remember its construction but I definitely remember the way it made me feel. I was a princess. (the funny thing is that it is probably the only pink dress I've ever owned. I guess I only needed one!)

It's best feature was its twirlyness. Never before or since have you seen a girl twirl as much as I, making myself into a flower. If the twirl didn't land just right on the floor I spent lots of time spreading out the skirt to make myself as flower-like as possible.
As Goldie's sixth birthday drew near she knew she wanted a princess party and went searching in her dress up clothes for the perfect dress. She came up empty handed and together we decided that we would make her a new dress. We went through our pattern collection and discarded this particular pattern saying it's call for ric-rac didn't fit into our princess image.
We drew on patterns and continued planning and plotting. When we were satisfied with the idea of what we wanted it was time for bed. In the night hours of sleeping something clicked in my brain and this dress-not it's pattern came to mind with updated fabric I realized it could be just the ticket.
I woke up with a start and ran to Goldie's closet pulling out the OLD dress. I asked her to try it on and you should have seen the look on her face. It was horrifying, "You want me to wear that thing for my party?" Even though there were no actual words, I rushed in saying, "No, no, I want you to try it on, see if the style works and we will update it for you." Relief flooded her face and she was indeed happy. Especially once the the fabric went onto the machine. For several days in a row the question was, "Is it finished yet? Can I wear it today?"

While she was excited to see its completion (as I'm sure I was when I was the child) I was thrilled to take out an old pattern, look at the dress it was made into, and see how my mother deviated. Mostly, I followed her lead rather than Simplicity's (7954). Mom made her skirt from scratch and added the bottom ruffle. I followed. It was a magical moment for me discovering what went through my mother's mind in a way that I know she could not tell me now if I asked her.

In the end, I think Goldie liked her dress almost as I loved mine. At least I hope she did. Happy Birthday my Girl!

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