Thursday, April 5, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Lou Nora's Dress

I wanted to write about the dress Mother made for Lou Nora.  I remember it hanging in my closet in the house we lived in when I was in fifth grade.  I'm not sure where it was kept before that.  It was a bright yellow satiny dress with the typical gathered skirt and puff sleeves - very similar to this one I found.  The yolk was white cotton eyelet.  I couldn't wait until I was big enough to wear it and I think I did get to wear it a time or two.
Mother died in 1983 and I have saved a few of her garments.  For years I have thought the yellow dress was wrapped in with them.  When I undid the bag after all these years, the dress was not there.  I do not remember what happened to it.  I'm so sentimental about things I can't imagine that I would have disposed of it even if it were in tatters.  I've searched my cedar chest and have been going through Mother's looking for other things, but have not found it, so I was unable to take a picture of it as I had planned and unfortunately I can't draw.
There's another part to the story.  Mother entered the dress in a sewing contest.  She was an amazing seamstress, but only won third place for the dress.  Hopefully I have the comment card and swatches stored away and just haven't come across them yet.  The reason she placed third was the judges didn't think the cotton eyelet was the right fabric to go with the yellow satiny material and took away points.  Mother was somewhat embarrassed and humiliated by that comment.  Hopefully it made her feel better that I thought it was a fabulous dress.  She had made all of my clothes the years she was a "stay at home mom", but I loved the dress before I knew the story behind it.
Another thing that may have made Mother feel better about the dress she made was a comment I made a few years later when I bought (well Mother bought for me) a dress that had a dark blue denim skirt with a long-waisted bodice made of white voile and lace.  I told her she was just ahead of her time when she made the yellow dress and wondered what the judges would have to say about my new dress that had denim, voile, and lace!  We joked about it almost every time I wore the denim and voile dress.  Precious memories...
After writing this, I looked in a box of pictures and found the third place ribbon and samples of fabric pinned to a picture that was used for the dress. 

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