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For many years I had my mother’s beautiful pink floor-length dress she wore in my wedding hanging in my closet. I lost my mother, Alberta, to cancer only a couple of years after we married, so fingering her dress from time to time brought her closer to me.
I thought I’d keep her dress intact forever, resting on the satin hangar, whispering memories. But nearly forty years later, I took a bold move to cut it up for various purposes. The scissors trembled in my hand, knowing I could not “un-cut” it ever again. The dress would be forever altered.
The biggest idea that came out of my project was scarves, bowties, and hairbows for our annual family Christmas card photo in 2014. I corralled everyone and asked them to bear with me. And they did, but not without some chortles, raised eyebrows, and funny expressions! Gals got the scarves, guys got the bowties, granddaughters got the hairbows, and even our little two-year-old grandson wore a bowtie.
When I mailed the Christmas card later that year, it became my favorite. Why? The picture had my mother’s presence in it.
A little later on, I made three more scarves from the dress and gave them to my mother’s sisters. They were thrilled and got their picture wearing the scarves.
The scissors came out again when I cut strips to tie on our suitcases when traveling. My husband and I can quickly spot our suitcases when they ride the conveyor belts at the airports. After all, how many suitcases have light pink polyester bows? Not many!
When we travel, I gently finger the pink bow on my suitcase and remember my mother smiling at my wedding. I feel her love, her presence, her heart.
Have I recycled or repurposed her dress? Yes, I suppose I have. But I think I have mostly re-loved it.
Do any of you have more ideas to pass along to me for my mother’s dress? I still have parts of the dress tucked away in a drawer.
Have any of you recycled, repurposed, or re-loved something similiar? Let me know!
After the family photo, we got the sillies!
My mother’s three living sisters in 2017: Mary, Thelma, Sue
I still enjoy wearing my scarf.
Mary L Hamilton
I love this idea, Becky! I made my daughter’s prom dress and couldn’t bear to give it away after she wore it. So it’s been hanging in a closet for 15 years now, and the little seed pearls are falling off. She and I will have to brainstorm some ideas for that material. Great idea!
Becky Van Vleet
Thank you for stopping by, Mary. I hope you and your daughter will have fun doing some brainstorming for her prom dress. It’s very special to hang on to those memories.
I love how you re-loved your Mom’s dress, Becky! So creative and I’m sure it made you feel like she was there with you!
Becky Van Vleet
Thank you, Kathy, for stopping by. It was a very special project indeed!