Pillows A-La-Mode and my Going Away Dress

You know that feeling when you receive a package in the mail, but don’t know exactly what’s in it?  Not the is-that-ticking? kind, but the happy kind.  That happened to me last week.  The only thing I knew for sure is that it contained the remains of my going-away dress from my wedding 22 years ago. Going Away Dress 1991 - Crafty Staci

That’s the dress, with me in it, next to my handsome groom back in 1991.  It was a more casual version of my bridesmaids’ dresses, trimmed with the same lace that was on my wedding dress.  I loved it, but after the wedding was over, it went into a box under my bed, where it remained until last month.

Going Away Dress - Crafty Staci

Why was it coming back to me by mail in pieces?  Well, let me tell you about that.  Last month a favorite sewing blogger of mine, Katherine from Pillows A-La-Mode, was celebrating her second blog anniversary in the sweetest and most generous way possible.  She asked her readers to nominate other craft blogs they enjoy for her Good Neighbor Award.  After reading a list full of other blogs I follow and love, I was more than a little surprised to find my name at the bottom as the winner.  That alone would have been enough for me to float on for a very long time.  But there was also a prize.  The winner could send a formerly loved garment to Katherine and she would transform it into new things to admire and use.

I went through my closet several times.  I had plenty of things I was willing to give up, but none of them had much meaning to me.  I really wanted to choose something special.  Then it hit me.  That dress that was still under my bed would be perfect.  It’s not doing anything for me under there, but I still love it and being able to see even a part of it every day makes a lot more sense than continuing to store it.

You might think it was kind of brave to send this important dress off to someone else to cut up.  But I’ve seen Katherine’s work and wasn’t the least bit worried.  Whatever she did would be beautiful.

When Katherine let me know the box was on its way to me, I watched the mail like a hawk.  I did take a peek when she revealed what she had made on her blog, but that only made me more excited to receive it.  I was out running errands when it arrived, so my daughter took a photo with her phone and texted it to me.  I’ll admit, I might have stepped up the pace after that.

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Even the way it was all laid out in the box was pretty.  Of course, the first thing that caught my eye was that pillow, but I made myself carefully remove each item before stopping to admire it all.

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So many amazing things – where to start?  I think it has to be the pillow.  She kept the bodice of my dress intact, complete with the zipper on the back, then embroidered my logo on the front.  Love, love, love.

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She used a piece of the skirt to make this adorable apron.

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My daughter loves this, so I might have to hide it so it doesn’t “accidentally” get packed up with her stuff.

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I bought a pair of Betsy Johnson sky-high red pumps with a bow on the back last year.  This clutch will go perfectly with them.  Even better is the fact that she kept the original shape of the sleeve from the dress.

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I have some bare wall space in my craft room, and this frame and wreath have already found perfect places where I can look at them every day.

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As if that wasn’t enough, because I mentioned how much I like red, Katherine included a red jewel magnet, a button with elastic that will be perfect for my long ponytail, a red notebook, some adorable measuring tape ribbon and a package of red rick rack from back when you could still buy it for 75 cents.

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I’d like to send out one last, huge THANK YOU to Katherine at Pillows A-La-Mode and whoever nominated me for this amazing adventure.  I’m so thrilled to be able to enjoy my red dress every day.  Without this, it would still be sitting in that box.  Isn’t this so much better?

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