Sunday, 10 August 2008

a healing dress

Of all the things I have done in my life, I always felt that Grandma was most proud of the fact I could make my own clothes. Her mother was a dress maker, and she often said that my love of dress making reminded her of her mother.

Grandma often told me about how, when she was little, her mother would take her shopping. When Grandma saw something she liked in the shops, her mother would take her home, draw out a pattern on some newspaper held up against her, and make her a copy of the dress in the shop.

My sewing skills are no where near this advanced, I often struggle to piece together a shop bought pattern, but ,none-the-less, Grandma was convinced this ability had been handed down to me!

With this in mind, I felt that I had to make myself a dress to wear for her funeral - it is what she would have wanted, and I knew she would be proud. I've written more about the process of making the dress on the Burda Style community website.

There is something cathartic about the process of making something in memory of a loved one, the process is ritualistic, you have time to think, and to not think, whilst weaving your memories into your creation. In doing so, you can really place something of yourself into the object, in a way that seems to be almost spiritual - this is one of the ways which the process of craft is more real and more alive than the process of procuring and purchasing. I could have spend (almost!) as much time wandering shops, finding just the right dress to buy for the occasion, but at the end I would not have felt fulfilled.

Erin, at a Dress a Day, has written eloquently about the process of crafting in the memory of a loved one, as has Kate at Needled, her beautiful blog.


Kate said...

This is a very beautiful, and very special garment.

Joanna said...

Lovely Cassie, your Grandma would have been proud.