I decided it’s time—past time, in fact—to clean the upstairs closet. The closet in the “spare room”—you know which one I mean. It’s the closet where you’ve stored all the boxes from the other closets and bedrooms, where the bits and pieces of your life that you just haven’t been able to toss away, have ended up.
Jennifer’s prom dress is there, and a hoop that went under another gown. There’s one half of a shelf devoted to yearbooks and notebooks full of formulas and dates. If I open those yearbooks now, I won’t get any further. Denise’s wedding headpiece is boxed up on the top shelf, next to a box of 4-H mementoes.
The special stuffed animals, books, children’s school papers, doll clothes and blankets were sorted some years ago. Only two tubs remain. I can’t look in these right now either. Another box holds “dress-up” clothes—hats, costume jewelry, impossibly high-heeled shoes, a sparkly vest. These could be tossed, and yet….maybe there’s still a grandchild or two that will want to spend a rainy afternoon acting out a handwritten play.
Three bags of fiberfill. Did I forget I had some and buy more? Crates of fabric, a long roll of upholstery material, a bag of yarn, and … patterns.
I can throw these out.
I don’t make my own clothes anymore. These are old, old, old. Not my size and…
Here’s the pattern I used to make my wedding dress. Back in the late 1960’s, dresses were short and shapeless—with narrow sleeves that widened into flowing cuffs. I stitched up this white velvet creation on a Singer Featherweight in my college dorm room, after we’d driven nearly to Canada to find the right fabric and lace.
A few years later, as barely-scraping-by young marrieds, I used this same pattern for maternity dresses.
…And here’s the pattern for the blue corduroy housecoat I spent cutting out one Sunday in 1974. The fabric was just the right weight to go over the old nightgown I’d packed in my “take to the hospital when I have the new baby” bag. I remember I had to keep stopping to rub my back, because bending over seemed to make it ache, and that 2 year old Denise had gone with her dad for a special trip on a fire truck….and they came home with a couple of baby ducks. Oh, the memories that keep coming as I look at this simple pattern…the realization later on that those back pains were coming with regularity and the housecoat would have to be finished after the new baby’s arrival…early the next morning.
Patterns for little girls’ warm flannel nightgowns, matching sparkly holiday jumpers….Halloween costumes…
The 4-H years! Here are the patterns for all those Dress Revue creations—I wonder how many stitches were taken out and replaced before these hit the runway? It seems now that every spring in the 1980’s was a rush to hem, edge stitch, press. I don’t think many of these outfits were ever worn publicly either—seems like they were put away until the summer county fair and then—they probably were outgrown. My thoughts move along the years in my mind…from gathered skirts and drawstring aprons…to lacey satin prom dresses and 3 piece suits…remembering all the patterns as the cute little girls with clumsy fingers grew into beautiful, precise young women.
HAHA! I remember struggling over this sports jacket…wide wale corduroy…one of the front panels had to be cut twice because the grain was going the wrong way. I suspect it was never worn much because the sleeves may have gone in the wrong way, too. It looked great on the hanger, though!
The dress I wore for my best friend Sue’s wedding…dark blue calico with a matching bonnet. You can’t tell from the pattern just how many teeny-tiny pleats are in that bonnet. She wore linen, I remember, and we carried fall flowers..
Re-used patterns…for more flannel nighties and sparkling costumes…as grandsons and granddaughters arrived….
Every one of these guides has a memory or three connected with it…stories that I needed to remember and share, of the patterns that have shaped my life. Why, the original tote bag pattern is even in this box!
I truly believe I can dispose of them now.
Cleaning the rest of the closet will have to wait for a while, though.
This post is shared with Simple Life Sunday (Trayer Wilderness).