Saturday, April 23, 2011


Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

- Mark Twain

And oh boy, does Baby Girl have some clothes. Yesterday afternoon was like Christmas! Below isn't a quarter of what Mom brought from her stash in her cedar closet. All of it hand-made, smocked, knitted, appliqu├ęd, and embroidered. There are a few Feltmans thrown into the mix, but that was usually because my grandmother liked it and wanted to purchase it so she could derive a pattern from the dress itself. Then she could turn around and make dozens for me. And every dress has matching bloomers! I remember wearing some pieces: you can tell my favorites because of the wear and tear on them.
My maternal grandmother, Cha-Cha's, first degree from Auburn University in 1942 was in Home Economics with a minor in textiles, and my mother's first degree from Auburn was in fashion merchandising. I come from a long line of seamstress wizards.

It's a pity too because the streak is ending with Mom. My talent is in the kitchen: sewing, crocheting, knitting, tatting, all that stuff makes me crazy. I was fussing with Cha-Cha all day long yesterday: I'm beating myself up at not having learned at least a little bit of this important trade, but I can hear her right now: "You can make fudge and divinity better than anyone in the family. That's where your talent lies, Honey."

Either way, Little Bit likes her hand-me-downs from her mama.

This pink dress is particularly important: the lace was made by my great-grandmother Leila, for whose son and favorite brother Avery is named. We have more pieces with lace made by Avery's great-great grandmother; they're still safely tucked away. Mom made the dress, and her mom smocked it and stitched in the seed pearls. It's a family affair - I suppose my contribution will be the little girl who will wear it.


Gerry said...

Fran, I have lots of boy stuff stashed away that nobody wanted! :(
So look out, if you ever have a baby boy!

Smiles . . .

P.S. Lovely post; such beautiful clothes, such special memories you'll pass on to Avery.


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