Friday, April 26, 2013

What do you suppose the story was......


In my new journal, I am attempting to tell "my" story and stories about my family. 

Here is one of those stories........

My mother passed away, at age 94, in 1998.  Like her mother, she was an accomplished seamstress and quilt maker.  Needless to say, she had accumulated a lot of fabric, thread and sewing accessories over the years.  As her only child, it has been my job to sort and pass on what I could of her "stash" but some things have been too precious to part with.

This red top is one of them.......



I think it is the bodice of a dress with one sleeve sewn in!  Notice the deep pleats, both the back and front panels have pleats and the sleeve is long and narrow with fullness at the shoulder.  I picture the finished dress having a tailored straight skirt.

I think the fabric is rayon and it is, still, a beautiful shade of red.







This is the back of the bodice.

Below you can see the fine, hand stitching that holds it all together.  It is not machine stitched, she was doing all of this by hand in what I think was the early 1930s.






My parents met in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1933 and were married in 1934.

I think this dress must have had special meaning to my Mother since she held on to it for so many years!  It was not like her to leave a project unfinished or to hold on to something that wasn't finished or useful.

For the purposes of journaling.....I've made up a little story about her unfinished "dream". 

I'm told my parents met at a card party around Christmas time, so maybe, she had started to make this dress for the holidays and fate intervened and she met this handsome, young man and fell madly in love. (My Mother would hate it, if I described her as "falling madly in love" she was far too practical for such things!)

So, as my story goes, the dress project was set aside and the courtship began.  They were married not too long after and began their life together.  I was born, they moved to Oregon and back to South Dakota a couple times before settling in Portland.....the unfinished red dress traveling with them. 


I don't really know, she never showed me this dress when she was alive or mentioned it.  It just seems to me it must have meant something special to her!  She had saved some scraps from a maternity dress she made when she was carrying me but they were in a plastic bag with a note attached.  The red bodice sat alone.....waiting.

This is my journal page.................













The real story behind this lovely red bodice will never be known but......I'll hang on to it, too!  I only hope one of my children remembers its history and keeps Grandma's dream alive.


Yvonne said...

Great story. I need to figure out the story behind something we found after my mother passed. While going through her things, we found tucked in the very back of one of her dresser drawers, wrapped in a delicate hanky, four aces from a deck of cards. LOL Who knows what the story is behind those, but they meant something to her apparently.

Jo said...

Wonderful story. Beautiful garment despite not being finished. Great journal page showing something so intimate and personal. I also have roots in Oregon, Portland.

elle said...

I also have some things of my mum's that puzzle me. I'll probably puzzle my kids as well! :)