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.


It has been a long, long time since I last posted. With all the best intentions, life got in the way of my blog. First a college proposal consumed all my spare time and energy. Then my lovely little grandmother, Gladys, died. She gave me this ring shortly before she passed away.

It is now August - I am still studying and, although I may not have been blogging over the last few months, I have rarely stopped thinking about crafts & the web and the relationship between the two. I have also been working hard (although perhaps not quite hard enough!) on the research phase of my studies.

I have resolved not only to return to posting regularly (and frequently!) but also to make the posts more beautiful (Jane Brocket, whom I met recently at a conference made me realise how important it is to care about these things), and to post more about things I have made and my own experiences crafting.