Tuesday, 3 May 2011

My mom's dancing lessons dress

Remember the yellow belt I wore with my Miss Barbora outfit? It comes from this dress:

It was my mom's dancing lessons dress. It's a tradition here in the Czech Republic to attend dancing lessons around the age of 15. (Which I gladly broke, because I had no taste for spending Friday evenings with my classmates and the rest of the town. I preferred going to Christian youth meetings which usually take place at weekends. It was more fun. So now I can't dance.) Anyway, that's why I deduce it's from 1972. It looks quite like that time, too.
It was made by my grandma. It started out with a short full skirt, then that skirt was replaced by this long one. I have the short one, too, but I didn't take a photo of it. Maybe later. It has a very generous hem, about 10 cm (4 inch) folded down, so I'm contemplating cutting a bit of that and making it a waistband and a wearable skirt out of it. I have remnants of the lace, too, so I could also make myself a headband to match the belt... possibilities.

I don't think I'm going to wear this dress. With a squint, it fits, but not quite. It's too tight at the neck, and generally a teeny bit tight, probably because I'm not 15 anymore (it might have fit me at 15, but at that time it was still lingering around my grandma's house, forgotten by the whole world). And it's a bit too long. For the photos, I wore shoes that are not mine (they're waiting to go to Oonaballoona in a swap - sorry, Oona). They are conveniently yellow. They also have about 8 cm high heels - much too much for my comfort, which shows in my stiff posture in these photos. Still, I was stepping on the skirt. That long. I have shorter legs than my mom, although otherwise I've inherited much of her looks.

There's a pleated row of flowers cut from the lace running down the front, embelished by rhinestones. You can't see much of it in the photo, but it's there. The same thing goes on on the loose ends/ties of the belt, and on the bottom hem of the short skirt, where unfortunately some of the rhinestones are missing.


  1. hey, i thought i recognized those shoes :)))!

    what a beautiful heirloom you have there. to be made by your grandma for your mom... wish i had something with so much of my family history & love in it!

  2. I absolutely love that dress. It is very pretty the way it is but I can understand wanting to adapt it. Your mother didn't save it for you not to wear it.

    I also wish I had learned to dance. I am clumsy when I go to them and I can tell many others have had practice.

  3. I love how joyful that yellow is. And yes, I love that it has history. We haven't had many items with family history - we were the ones who moved out, so we had mostly new things. Now it's slowly coming to me and I enjoy every little bit of it.

    I'm not sure what to do with it; for now, it's simply hanging in my wardrobe. I really like it the way it is, too, but it does not quite fit me, so there's a problem. (Plus the lace is synthetic and rather scratchy.)
    It has the correct width, more or less, but not in correct horizontal proportions... The skirt is too long for me and the bodice, on the contrary, too short - as if mom's torso was generally shorter than mine - not just that my waist is lower, but the bust point on the dress is higher than mine and it's as if her neck was higher and slimmer or something, too. Maybe it's the position of shoulders? And the sleeves are a tad short, now that I look at the photos.
    Another example of how we're all different...

  4. It's a nice dress, though - with classic lines.

  5. I think making it into a skirt would be very nice!