Mother’s Day and Night

Skating Costume 1

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share one of my happiest memories. I don’t have many things saved from my childhood, but I do have this beloved dress made by my mother. Barbie was the doll when I was growing up, and oh how my sister and I loved playing with ours!

We put them through the tortures and triumphs of every book or TV plot we knew – and invented even more. They pioneered across raging rivers, got lost in space, and escaped drowning in  birdbaths. Once we discovered that flour paste hardened into the perfect cast for a broken limb, our poor Barbies fell out of so many trees that they looked like mummies on crutches.

But best of all was dressing them. You hadn’t really played Barbies until you’d changed their clothes at least a dozen times. One special Christmas my mother made Barbie clothes for us – and if you have two little girls close in age, you don’t make a few different ones for each child. You make two of everything, both alike.

To a seven year old, surprises just happen. I never wondered how the splendid array of doll costumes came to be under the tree. But my mother told me later that she had to sew late at night, after we were asleep. Two. Of. Everything.

Here’s the skating costume that she made out of red satin, lined with white flannel. She couldn’t have known the night she sewed this that her work would still mean so much, so many years later. I’ll be sure to tell her today.

Skating Costume 2


4 thoughts on “Mother’s Day and Night

  1. Yes, they are and yours was awesome! We did have tutus, and my sister had an Indian costume, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine a flamenco dress. I am sooo jealous. I wonder if it’s too late now…


  2. I admire that. Barbie’s clothes were a pain to make. So fiddly. I was a teen with a book full of patterns for her and I gave up. I ended up making shapeless bag-dresses for them instead. There was one book which had directiosn to make clothes for her from socks and with a gluegun instead of sewing! It was fun!


    1. That sounds like my kind of book! Gluing is certainly easier than sewing. Unless of course, you do the artistic kind – have you seen the historically-inspired dresses by Isabelle de Borchgrave? Wow.



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