Day 35: For Grandma Ruth

Day 36: Shirt is Skirt
Day 34: Gladiator Dress

This is hopefully the hardest post I’ll ever have to write.

Today, I was woken up by a call from my mom telling me that my grandmother died.

She had been sick for a long time, and I knew this day was coming…but my heart is still broken.

My Grandma Ruth is one of my biggest inspirations, if not the biggest.  She came from the most amazing generation of Americans…those who saw the Great Depression and World War II.  She created things.  She made things.  She never stopped making.  She was clever and self-sufficient.  She painted, knitted, and crafted constantly.  When I was a teenager, I would see cool crocheted bags and knitted scarves with intricate patterns in catalogs that I couldn’t afford.  I would show her a picture of the coveted object, and in two days, she would have created an exact replica for me.

My Grandma Ruth volunteered for a charity shop in my home town.  She would pick out things for me that she thought I’d like…all sorts of crazy vintage dresses and butterfly collar shirts that were my uniform during my high school days.  Every few days we’d sort through bags and bags of the gloriously unique and tacky awesomeness that defined my style then, and continues to influence it today.

My Grandma Ruth gave me her favorite pieces from the 1940s…platform pumps, a real alligator skin bag, a fur coat, gorgeous bits of jewelry, and countless silk scarves.  I treasure these things.

My Grandma Ruth was a huge fan of my blog and this project.  She was proud of me, and thought I was clever.  And that meant the world to me.

About a month ago, her health began to decline.  I went with my mom, my dad, and my fella to see her in Indiana.  I held her hand and I told her how important she was to me…how much of an influence she’s had on my life.  I told her that she has been the inspiration for me to make and keep making.  I told her I loved her, and that I wanted to see her dancing at my wedding.

Now she’s gone…and my world is much sadder for it.

I’m continuing on with this project…Even on this incredibly painful day when I would much rather just stay in bed.  Because that isn’t what she would want.  I’ll make something today.  I’ll make something tomorrow.  I’ll keep making for her and because of her.

Today’s dress began as this muumuuish number:

I simply lopped off a bit of the bottom like so:

The polyester fabric was fray-proof, so I didn’t hem it.  I tossed on a silver belt and called it a day.

I’ll probably re-refashion this dress later into a strappy sundress.

But for today, I’m happy to have simply kept this project going.

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