Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summer Whites . . . Dressing up with Nana!


































Two of my favourite bloggers, Sue and Lisa have been featured in this month's version of How I Wear My________, with the focus this round on Wearing White. Check out theirs and other looks on Everything Just So and The Rich Life on a Budget. We're not quite so Stylishly Fashionable here, but we do have some Summer Whites for you nonetheless. . . .

Paul's been clearing out some boxes that have been stored in the basement for years and years. I was dismayed to open several of them and find treasured children's books, many with specially worded birthday or Christmas or "just because I love you" inscriptions, that had taken on a decidedly musty bouquet. I'll try some of the usual tricks for getting rid of that, but I'm not overly optimistic.

However, one of the boxes revealed a few finds that could be more easily freshened up. . . .My oldest daughter's prom dress was in there, and Nola admired its burgundy velvet glamour. What really lit up her eyes, though, was this dress, sewn by me for my oldest (Nola's mother)'s First Communion and then worn in turn by B's sisters. It was a very finicky production, as I remember -- each of those lace panels is sewn on individually -- the lace edges of the ruffle, ditto. Each ribbon strip meant a line of stitches down each edge. And all on delicate fabric that had to be eased through the presser foot.

That effort was first repaid over thirty years ago when my daughter first tried it on and then looked at herself in the mirror. Then three years later her younger sister got to take it for a spin, and after another three, Sister # 3 wore it until it got packed away and almost forgotten for two and a half decades.

Surprisingly, a gentle wash in the machine (Delicate Cycle, of course) and some time out in the sunshine to dry, and the dress looked good enough to delight another generation. I'm not sure what Nola might wear it for other than dress up -- I mean, it's a lot of dress for the 21st century, right?! (Honestly, it was more candy floss than we were prone to even back in the '80s!)  We had a lovely session with the camera, though. It's pretty clear that Nana's dress is too short (honestly, I think it may have shrunk since I bought it, and I promise you that I only wear it at home now), but Nola's still pretty indulgent with Nana's sartorial faux pas.

In other news, I keep forgetting to tell you that That Which Was Lost has been Found! Yes, while Alitalia dropped the torch, KLM came through, and last week, an almost-midnight delivery reunited my daughter's family with their luggage. Six weeks after they checked it for a one-week vacation, but at least they still have perhaps another six weeks for wearing their favourite summer duds. Who knows, perhaps the Time Out will have preserved another little dress enough that it might be discovered 30+ years from now and worn by her daughter. . . .it's possible!

So what childhood treasures have travelled across the generations in your families? Or, alternatively, what monochromatic or otherwise matching dress do you and your children, grandchildren, or even friends, get up to? Or what musty discoveries have had you pausing over whether to discard or try to rescue? So many possible stories -- tell me one, if you'd like. Or just say hello -- comments are always so very welcome.



19 comments:

  1. I'm amazed - and thrilled - that they found the bags. And you and Nola look so cute in your whites. That's one crazy communion dress :-)

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    1. We're amazed and thrilled also, especially considering they lost them 4 times! Isn't it a nutty dress?! Such fun and frustration to make, way back when I sewed.

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  2. My wedding dress has been in storage for 40 years on a metal hanger and some rust stains appeared on the neck which sadly are a permanent reminder that one should take care to store things properly. It will probably never be worn again other than for dress up and when our darling Isla is older I hope she will have fun traipsing around in it. Currently our dress up afternoons are all about tutu's tiaras and princess play shoes!
    I think your white dress looks great and you have fabulous legs so I say wear it with pride. To heck with the Fashion Police.

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    1. My wedding dress similarly has stains on it, and it would never have suited my daughters anyway. Like yours, I suspect my granddaughters will love playing in it for dress up. Your afternoons together sound like great fun!
      And you're too kind re the dress and my legs. Those Fashion Police are hard to ignore, though it does get a bit easier with age! ;-)

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  3. Hi Mater, what a lovely heirloom, Nola looks so proud to be wearing it.If she doesn't already, I'm sure that she'll someday appreciate all the work that went into it. I have the baptismal gown that my brother and I were baptized in; we used it for both my sons. It's, shall we say, ivory now - I'm keeping it just in case, although neither boy is much interested in going to church these days.

    I'm wearing white trousers today and a blush-coloured linen t-shirt - it's my birthday, so this is dressed-up for me! I love the look of white, but I'm so clumsy that I don't wear it very often, at least on my bottom half.

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    1. I had a similar baptismal gown (one from my parents' generation, or even earlier) but had to pass it along to my sister after my kids were baptized, and I'm not sure where it is now.
      I love the sound of your outfit -- blush and white is a pretty, pretty combo. Enjoy your birthday in that summery outfit -- may you have a wonderful day!

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  4. Bonjour Mater, quel petit chef-d'oeuvre cette belle robe, et de vos mains en plus, j'adore, Bravo!
    Et voila. l'autre chef-d'oeuvre, la petite Nola, elle est denenue une très jolie petite demoiselle sous nos yeux. Vous ètes adorables, les deux tout en blanc, et en passant, au diable le 'style police', ma chère ! :) Bonne fin d'été, Mater, ça sera bientôt la rentrée n'est-ce-pas?

    Orane

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    1. Merci! Oui, la petite Nola devient si vite une jeune fille, presque une demoiselle. . . Et moi, avec vous, je dis "au diable" le 'style police'! De vos mots, je prends mon Bon Courage!
      Finalement, oui, malheureusement, la rentrée arrivera très tôt (on veut dire "trop tôt"!) s'il vous plaît, excusez mon pauvre français. . . j'essaie, j'essaie

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    2. Are you kidding, F? Your French is beautiful! (From all of that hard work learning!)

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  5. You and Nola both look great - Nola looks like a faerie, an old world magick girl, which I just love. We have some old clothes from my father's infancy but serious, who is going to put a baby in a peach silk romper these days?:)?

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    1. Oh, and thanks for the mention:). You and Nola are the absolute champions of white wear.

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    2. Thank you! It does bring out an aspect of her character that mix-and-match prints from Joe or The Gap just can't do, I think. . . .As for the peach silk romper, definitely trickier, but perhaps a portrait session -- or a charming shadow-box installment for a nursery . . .

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  6. De grâce Mater, ne vous excusez pas, quel plaisir de vous lire, votre paragraphe est parfaitement clair et de bonne grammaire , bravo et ne cessez pas d'essayer!

    Orane

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    1. Merci! Même pour l'opporunité de pratiquer et pour m'encourager.

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  7. Could white be any prettier for summer? I remember being 18 and wearing a white pima cotton Ralph Lauren shirtwaist that had a perfectly billowing skirt. It felt like wearing a cloud (one that had to be shared with a polo horse, of course).

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    1. Oh, I love the image that immediately forms -- the particular fine-ness of pima cotton, the billowing, the fitted shirtwaist. . . .and, of course, the cloud and the polo horse. . . .I had a white cotton sundress with eyelet trim at about the same age. . .

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  8. how perfectly perfectly lovely...

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  9. How beautiful Nola looks, and these are such happy photos, images to treasure.

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