Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blogtober 22 - Costume Redux

I think I have mentioned (and Dearest Sister has, more than once...) that my mother was an extraordinary seamstress. She could make anything from nothing. She could duplicate a garment by making brown paper sack patterns that she could alter for a perfect fit. She made all the 'special occasion' dresses (and the ordinary occasion ones) when DS and I were little, and for my older sisters until they could sew for themselves.

She made this dress...

...but not for me, originally.

It was a formal for sister V when she was in high school. Later, Mama reduced it for me to wear when I was five or six. It is not a dress made from the fabric of the previous garment. It is the same dress, altered from a misses size 8 or so, to fit a five year old! The exact same dress, down to the details of the rosettes in the net skirt!

It wasn't strictly a Halloween costume, but it was for dress up. (I really didn't have any formal occasions at age five!) I never asked her about what made her decide to do it. I believe DS had a similar 'formal'. I guess Mama just thought it would be fun for little girls to have a really cool dress up dresses!

This is Ms A in the dress, 25 years later, age four. Of course, it is all about the accessories with Ms A! The hat and wand are from the renaissance festival and the gloves and jewelry were from my early days of vintage collecting.

Halloween the year that she wore the dress, was a very cold and misty evening, temps were probably in the 40's. She went out wrapped in a warm shawl, but just before ringing the bell and announcing 'trick or treat', the shawl would be handed over for me to hold, so that no one would be denied seeing the effect of the whole ensemble!

When I was in elementary school, I always wanted (and never got) a store bought costume from the dime store. They always 'looked like' something. I wanted a plastic face mask - (the see-thru kind that looked so creepy!) I always envied the kids who got to trick or treat as the latest 'character'. But I doubt that many of those costumes survived for future generations!

(of course, if they had, they would be worth a lot of money on eBay...)


Iron Needles said...

The parasol you carried was quite an accessory. I don't remember it, though.

I wonder if any photos survive of my 'formal'? Mine did not survive. I remember wearing it from the time it was 'formal length' to 'tea-length'. Seems I must have just lengthened without gaining in girth.

Gaynell said...

I had a formal when I was 5. Mom took a picture of me wearing the formal with the boy next door who was wearing overalls.

I guess she thought little girls should have special frocks, even if we did not have formal functions to attend!!!

Allie said...

WOW!!!!!!! That is amazing! I have a friend like that, she taught me to sew - she can make ANYTHING, including wedding dresses, from no pattern. I can't sew like that - she just taught me the basics, like how to thread a needle, lol - but I really admire anyone who can. That dress is BEAUTIFUL.

Martha said...

Your mother really was a talented seamstress, and I love the fact that she cut down that pretty formal and it's been worn by so many girls in your family -- what a nice mom...and a sweet story.

Lynne said...

You look like a Southern Belle! How sweet is that photo? Your Mom certainly knew how to make do with things. How lucky for you!