Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Little Girl Dresses!

Do you ever get that feeling that things were meant to be? When things are more than just a coincidence? I did, today. And, it had to do with "little girl dresses." Several discussions and designs converged today for me.

What am I talking about? Well, it has to do with some new patterns that I am designing, a discussion I had with my daughter-in-law, and my Grandmother's birthday, which was in June, shopping with my nieces, and my granddaughters turning 21 this year.

My Grandmother was born in 1896 and would have been 110 years old. Unfortunately, she passed away in 1975. While she is not here with us now she has left an indelible impression on me, my life, and my creativity. She has also left me with some wonderful memories. One of those has to do with "little girl dresses."

I must have been 4 or 5 and can remember standing in my room and looking up at the rack in my closet that held the "little girl dresses" that my Grandmother and Mother had bought for me.

They were frilly, flouncy, lacy, filled with tulle underskirt dresses and I just loved them. I could stand and look for hours at my dresses.

I, of course, wasn't allowed to touch them - I'd get them dirty. They were for our best occasions which I was hoping would be that day or the next day just so I could wear the dresses. Inevitably, a holiday or special occasion would occur and I would get to wear one of my dresses.

These were the type of dresses that you would twirl in and they would flounce out. I would just twirl and twirl and twirl in them. Around and around I'd go.

In our family room we had some steps right next to a sofa. When I was wearing one of these dresses I would love to stand on the steps and them jump down into the sofa. As I did my dress would fly up in the air like a parachute and then come landing down on me.

Of course, everyone could see my frilly underwear, leotards, slip, etc. when I did this - but, only for the briefest of moments. My Grandmother would "tsk, tsk" and would give me one of those looks of "that's not a lady like thing to do!" I'd just look back at her and smile. I just had to be me. And, then I'd look over at my Mother and she'd be smiling. She knew I just had to be me, too.

Why am I telling you this? Well, I was talking to my daughter-in-law on her way to work as she was stuck in traffic. She was telling me about her Grandmother who stored everything including all of her "little girl dresses" and all of her dance recital outfits. I told her I would love to see them and that she should never throw them away. I'd just love to takes a picture of all of them in a circle laid out in their glory.

I mentioned to her that one of the best shopping trips I had was a "birthday" shopping trip with my niece when she was about 5 or 6. She was so much fun to shop with. You never knew what she was going to do or what was going to come out of her mouth.

We, literally, spent hours in the dressing room while she tried on every frilly "little girl dress" they had, every outfit, hey - everything in the department in her size. She'd try it on then prance in front of the mirror, go outside to look at herself in the three mirrors, and on and on and on it went.

We filled two racks of clothes in the dressing room that day. When we were leaving we looked at the racks of clothes she had tried on and just laughed and laughed. I think we bought one outfit out of what had to be hundreds that she tried on.

During the conversation with my daughter-in-law I mentioned that my twin granddaughters and her niece's would be 21 this year. Where have the years flown?

I fondly recalled how I used to buy them frilly, fancy "little girl dresses." In fact,some of my favorite pictures are of them in their "little girl dresses" or in their dance recital outfits.

We, also, went on "birthday" shopping or "just visiting" shopping trips. They too, tried on many, many "little girl dresses" and other outfits and we always had a wonderful time. We called them our "shop til you drop" girls shopping excursions.

So what does all this have to do with worlds converging?

Well, right now I just happen to be designing and sewing "little girl dress" ornaments. I just happen to be talking about "little girl dresses" with my daughter-in-law. I just happen to be recalling fond memories of my Grandmother and my "little girl dresses." I just happen to be talking about shopping excursions with my niece and "hundreds" of "little girl dresses." And, I just happen to be picturing my twin granddaughters in their "little girl dresses."

Five generations of "little girl dresses." Of course, my Grandmother had THE BEST "little girl dress" as you can see from the black and white picture above.

So, I thought I would share some of my fond memories with you and share some of the pictures.

I don't think it's coincidental that I love Victorian dresses, that I loved staring at my own "little girl dresses", that I loved buying "little girl dresses" for my niece's and twin granddaughters, and that right now I'm designing and sewing some "little girl dress" ornaments. Nope, not coincidental at all.

My Grandmother has certainly left an indelible impression on me, my life, and my creativity. I hope I have done that with my own granddaughters and nieces.

As for my daughter-in-law, well, she is just going to have to get all those "little girl dresses" and dance recital outfits from her Grandmother. I need a picture for my Linda's blog.

Yup! I definitely need a picture of them in a circle laid out in their glory. "Little girl dresses" all laid out in a marvelous circle. Oh, Karen...............I need a picture of your "little girl dresses!" Oh, Karen...........

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