May 5, 2014

How About Some Sewing for a Change?

Me, Annie and Amy in the back yard
When I was growing up, Easter meant getting a brand, spanking-new dress, handmade, from my Grandma Miller. It was a highlight of the year for me. She would not only make a dress for me, but one for my mother and one for herself as well. They were always spectacular.

My mother and I would get up Easter Sunday morning and dress to the nines. On that day, I was allowed to wear nylons (instead of tights, as a young girl) and a grown-up style slip, usually on loan from my grandmother. My hair, done the night before, was carefully arranged by my mother, who would be wearing her red "dressing up" lipstick and her very coiffed wig du jour.

I would step with my family out into the sunlight of the morning in new white leather shoes--sometimes patent leather for extra shine--and head to church to meet my grandma. When all of us women gathered outside the baptist church on those mornings (for I was a woman on all Easters), my mother and dad would pull out carefully transported corsages from the car and remove them from their plastic containers.

My mom or dad helped me to carefully pin the flower onto my dress, so as not to squish the fragile petals of the orchids or lilies. And I, who rarely felt beautiful as a child, felt glorious, if only for that day in the entire year.
Annie has searched high and low
to find a Peter Pan collar!

I want my daughters to have that experience at least a few, if not most, Easters.

This year, I sewed dresses for Easter.

Annie chose an old fashioned, vintage style from around the 40's or 50's and Amy Rose received a special dress, pattern designed by my friend Jona Giammalva (sewist and designer extraordinaire). Amy Rose's dress has the last remnant of ric-rac from Grandma Miller's original stash. She also happens to have some vintage thread on there (magenta and right off the wooden spool), along with some Daisy Kingdom fabric I purchased from the downtown Portland store as they were going out of business several years ago.

Annie's dress has her favorite: a Peter Pan collar.

Both girls loved the dresses. Annie even wore hers the very next day to school (with Doc Martins, ala Molly Ringwald era style)  and Amy nearly slept in hers that night.

I loved watching them feel beautiful. And I knew Grandma Miller was smiling...even without the corsages.


Jona said...

This makes me so happy! Both dresses are darling. You did a flawless job on Amy Rose's dress and I love the "Alice in Wonderland" attitude of Annie's dress. I'm a sucker for a pretty collar. Cute pictures!

Janelle Serio said...

Thanks Jona. That means a lot to me since I sort of worship your mad skills!! Thanks for the constant inspiration!!!!