I'll let my sister Joyce tell her Sister's Choice story.
Sometime after Grandpa's disabling stroke, Mom moved him to the Glen Ellyn house so she could take care of him in his last years. Grandma still lived in the Elburn house but eventually, when she was in her nineties, taking care of the old house by herself was too much. As she prepared to move to an apartment in Kaneville, her daughters all helped to go through her possessions, including the boxes in the attic. Among them, everyone was surprised to find a silk dress and the shoes I photographed for Cheryl's Week 19 - Old Maids Ramble post. Grandma was surprised too - it was her wedding dress and she kept saying it was not possible because, she repeated, "I burned that dress!" (In those days, people in the country burned their household refuse.) Obviously, she had not burned it - perhaps Grandpa was designated to do the job and couldn't bring himself to? In any case, the dress came down from the attic, where it was examined in detail. I tried it on so Grandma could see it.
|Joyce in Faye's 1913 Silk Wedding Dress|
|Image courtesy of the New York Public Library. Their record at this link.|
Silk is very strong, but unfortunately, it used to be treated in a way that destroyed the fibers. Hiding in the attic for decades undisturbed, the dress held together but by October 1988, when I was going to get married, it had shattered and was not wearable. Mom copied the design, making a pattern by tracing off the seam lines of the original dress, so that I could wear it more than 75 years after Grandma and Grandpa's wedding.
|Joyce and Don|
Unlike the silk, the original lace was in good condition. Mom was able to use it to trim my dress. The sleeve detail is shown in this photo of Dad walking us down the aisle.
Cheryl made her dress and chose a pattern that repeated the gathered hem detail of the original dress in her lace over-blouse. She also copied the decorative buckle on Grandma's dress best shown in these photos.
Although Grandma did not live to see me get married, Mom finished the remake about a month before the wedding, and Grandma got to see me in it when it was done. It was wonderful to be able to wear the dress for my wedding as a tribute to my grandmother and her long lasting marriage to my grandfather.