When writing about the Group of Four acting out scenes from Romeo and Juliet the other day I didn’t mention a small detail which delighted me. The acting was great, they really stepped into their roles, they made their props and organised their costumes. The extra little bonus for me was seeing A10 and L12 in dresses I had made for myself many long years ago. These dresses are not worn by anyone at present but neither have they been relegated to “dress up box” status. They hang with the formal dresses from the wedding years.
L12 wore my 21st birthday dress. I designed it and made it out of white voile with lace inserts, pintucks and a blue sash to go round my waist. A10 wore the dress I made for my older brother’s wedding. It was violet and gold shot silk with lace inserts (yes I did like lace inserts) in the sleeves and a very full skirt which A10 spread dramatically about her on the couch as she acted. It was made from a dress which my great aunt had made herself. Aunty Dot was one of three aunts who taught and encouraged me to sew from an early age. The material is really quite beautiful, the light catches the violet, then the gold as the folds of the skirt move.
As I was describing the history of the two dresses to one of the other mothers she mentioned how she had slightly altered her mother’s 21st birthday dress to wear to her highschool graduation. I did exactly the same thing for my highschool formal. We still have that dress in the dress ups and it has been worn by many a “princess” or “bridesmaid”.