Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Subtle non-conformity in action.....

This morning, I went through the photo album to catch a glimpse of the First Communion outfit I made for my youngest.  Martha had commented that she would like to see a picture of my daughter in her outfit.

Let me preface this entire posting by saying 1) my daughter LOVED her Samantha doll as well as the Itty Bitty baby doll she named Eleanor, 2) she was very happy and excited to have an outfit that looked like her doll, 3) this was the early '90's, 4) ......   can you see I'm trying to justify having my sweet, sensitive little girl get in those button up boots and march down the church isle to the beat of a different hymnal?

I'm sure you can pick her out of the line-up.

With her glasses, she looked more like a Molly than a Samantha, but nonetheless, she was (and still is) so cute.  So yes, there was a gasp when she walked in and I faintly remember some pointing (I believe Vatican rules had eased up by this point in time).

Having been brought up Methodist, I had no attachment to the Catholic rituals and hence I was able to break self imposed conformity rules with ease.  While I am a deeply spiritual person, religious structures often find me questioning the system.

So yes Chris, it is wonderful when a child will wear what you create on your sewing machine!  To get them to wear these creations when they are older and are more vocal is even more amazing.

This got me thinking about what I made for her older sister, six years earlier.  Again to the photo boxes.....

This photo before going to church was so painful to see, I had to include an after church picture.  My daughter was an avid gymnast by this time and spent more time in a leotard and rarely wore a dress.
I used a Laura Ashley pattern for a girl's sailor dress.  It was made in a fine cotton batiste with a small cotton trim to dress it up.  It was a perfect blend of her personality and the need to wear a dress.

So for any mother out in cyberspace who is confronted with the satin miniature bride dresses out on the market...... you don't need to conform to the dictates of mass produced clothing on store racks.  Find a dress style that suits your child and make it in white.  Make it comfortable, make it to reflect their personality and if there is any pointing or gasping among the pews, hold your head high and repeat this mantra - thank you, thank you.


  1. You daughter looks so adorable (and confident) in her amazing Samantha dress, especially standing next to all those shiny bridal dresses. I can't believe you found button-up boots, and in her size!

    Her older sister's dress is darling, too, but she does look a little sad in that photo, so I'm glad you showed the cute "after" picture as well.

    My mom made most of our clothes when we were young, and I always loved the dresses best.

  2. Martha,
    What a beautiful family! You and your sisters are just adorable in your Easter dresses. Your mother was quite an accomplished seamstress as the dresses fit all of you perfectly. Don't you just love the detail to the clothing of decades past. I'm wondering if you had a pair of gloves to wear when you went out? Thanks for sharing your link!

  3. Oh, I love this (and you know I can well imagine the crowd reaction in our town!) Carrie's Bitty Baby was named Matthew. I like that we have nonconformist daughters.