At the risk of turning this blog into a soap opera, we've had another week of dramas around my house. Last Wednesday my grandfather passed away, which given he was 93 was not unexpected but still rather surprising since the last time I saw him a few weeks ago he actually looked healthier than he had in a while. But it is also a relief that he has finally let go - 93 is a long life and he had been rather sad, anxious and in despair at his failing body.
But that is not the soap opera part. My rather obnoxious uncle had organised the funeral in the hours between my grandfather's passing and him informing the rest of the family of my grandfather's death. So not only did my uncle exclude the rest of us in organising the details, he organised it for 5 days after my grandfather's death despite knowing full well that my parents (my grandfathers only other son) are in the desert of Western Australia somewhere on a holiday. For those of you not familiar with Australia, Western Australia is far far away from Sydney. He would not change the day either even though we could not reach my parents. Luckily two days before the funeral my parents finally came into a small town, got some mobile reception and finally heard the news. Several flights later on very expensive air tickets they managed to get back just in the nick of time much to the feigned relief of my uncle.
But that is not the end of the soap opera part. The exact same thing happened when my grandmother died about 4 years ago. Yes, the exact same situation. My parents were on another holiday this time in the Cape York bush (again far far away from Sydney) when my grandmother passed, and my uncle once again organised the funeral a few days after her death without consulting anyone else. And again my parents had to rush home to make it in time for the funeral.
The annoying thing is that my uncle was not even that close with my grandparents, and yet he felt he had the right to try to exclude my parents from being able to farewell them. My grandparents were actually living with my parents before they went on their Cape York holiday, and my grandparents had gone into respite care for two months only while my parents were on holiday and afterwards my grandfather continued living with my parents until recently when he was moved into a nursing home.
But this is a sewing blog, and despite a glimpse into other people's family politics being fascinating in much the same way as driving past a car accident, let's have a look at the cute dress I made for Anna to wear to the funeral. I ummed and ahhed about whether to take her, but I did in the end because the service was held an hour and half away from her childcare and I didn't want to be in a rush to get home to get her in case things went too long. She behaved herself well though, sitting quietly through the service and then being cute and bringing some much needed distraction and levity during the wake.
Since all of her clothes are brightly coloured in typical toddler fashion I thought about making her an old fashioned style black dress with a white lace collar but was worried that would look too Wednesday Addams! So I made view 1 (the black dress) from this vintage Style 2168 pattern, which is from 1979:
from this fabric which is actually a maxi skirt my mother made and wore in the 70s. It's a lovely brushed cotton with a pretty floral and graphic print and suits the dress perfectly:
The fit is spot on too, which surprised me since I've found that commercial sewing patterns, especially the vintage ones seem to run large but this one was perfect. It has an ultra cute peter pan collar, bell sleeves which are cinched in at the wrist with elastic and puffy shoulders.
Paired with some purple stockings (my choice) and a leopard print jacket (her choice) it was the perfect choice for a sad day.
And now I hope to get back to some regularly scheduled posting. Life without dramas is always best don't you think?