Happy Birthday Grandma, I miss you

I'm going to be a bit sappy and head down a long road of memory lane.  You see today would have been my grandmother's 88th birthday.

Prior to our holiday hiatus, I made one last post: Apple Stuffed Pork Chops.  What you didn't know was the day that post went live I was packing my son, daughter, and myself into our car to start a two day drive so that I could be with my family at my grandmother's funeral.  She had suffered a major stroke and had passed days later with her husband, my dad (and mom), and my aunt (and uncle) at her side.  I'm still a little sad that I couldn't have said goodbye in person but my parents made sure to call me and let me talk to her in the days prior and to say my own goodbyes before her passing.

She was there for my son's first Christmas and first birthday.

She was there for my daughter's first Thanksgiving.

The last time I got to spend time with her was at my own daughter's first birthday almost two months prior.  She got to love and snuggle on her great-grandbabies and spend several hours watching them play and just be kids.

I'm so thankful for the time they got to have together.  More importantly I'm so happy for the time I got to spend with her as a child, as I transitioned to an adult, and then as a mom myself.

After Thanksgiving, my aunt, my mom, and myself started cleaning out my grandmother's side of my grandparent's closet per my grandfather's request.  He wanted us to be about to get the keepsakes we wanted before most of it was trashed or donated depending on the item and the wear and tear on the item.  My grandmother was a saver.  One of the items was her sewing things- mostly notions and a few blots of fabric which I took pretty much all of.

So with the blessing of my fellow SHEs I told them I wanted this day.  A day to remember my grandmother.  And a day to have an outfit made with some of the fabric handed down to me that hopefully she would approve of.

I used Scientific Seamstress's Angie for my dress.  When I was in middle school, my grandmother always chided me about picking dresses that didn't "show off my cute figure."  So with that in mind, I cut the lowest neckline and knew I'd be belting this dress.   Figure=shown off.  Hopefully, she's smiling.

Now for a close up of the fabrics.  The skirt is a grey cotton blend that i can't wait to make a pair of trousers out of (for me).  It would have been great as a pencil skirt too.  Not sure I have enough left on the bolt to do both but we shall see.

The top is cotton embroidery on cotton.  For this dress I wanted a little pop of color so I took a line of the embroidery and followed it with some fabric markers.  It came out more pastel than I was hoping (bought the jewel tones hoping for some nice bright colors but oh well).

Overall I had a great time with this pattern.  My only issue was the elastic back... my elastic didn't want to bounce back (brand new elastic too!) so then with the advice of SS's fantastic Jeanine I made a bias tape casing instead.

I leave you know with a few of my fond memories.
Dentyne cinnamon gum- Grandma ALWAYS had some in her purse and in the cabinets.  To this day my gum, toothpaste, or breath mint flavor of choice is cinnamon.  Cinnamon is a scent that I adore.

Summer-  My sister and I spent several summers with our grandparents.  Grandma always made sure swimming was on our to do list.  I wonder how many hours she spent just watching us play in the water, swim laps, or head down the slide again and again.  The library was another favorite of ours.  Another part of our summers would involve fantastic road trips many times with my aunt and uncle and cousin.  Yellowstone, Disneyland, countless museums, we went everywhere.  One summer I expressed a desire to learn to type so she went and purchased a typing book for me and would sit with me "practicing."

Mail- Every holiday and birthday (and my sister's birthday too!) a package would arrive containing a new dress and maybe a new hat too (hats were a must for Easter!) as well as a few other needed items (underwear anyone?).  She had fantastic taste.  Even through middle school she was still sending me dresses to which my friends would ask where I got it.  Don't get me wrong there were also the occasional Christmas sweater that could be found at the current ugly sweater parties but on a little kid it wasn't so bad.

Bobby pins-  I remember watching my grandmother set up her sponge curlers each night as well as doing pin curls in other sections of her hair.  Grandma never went to get her hair done; she did it herself, she was thrifty.  One summer she bought my sister and I our own sponge curler sets and put up our hair too.

Lipstick-  Grandma was a makeup minimalist.  However she did always have her tube of lipstick, and I remember her showing us how to blot with toilet tissue.

Shirley Temple-  Grandma started my obsession with her movies with the movie "The Little Princess."  Snuggling in her rocking recliner and bonding over tap dancing and curls.

Migraines-  Sadly, one thing I inherited from my grandmother is her migraines.  One thing I will never forget about my episodes while in her presence was her calm soothing hands.  I would lay my head in her lap as I waited for my meds to kick in and her hands, soft and smooth, would massage my face until I could open my eyes and rejoin the world.

All in all my grandma was a great woman.  I'm proud to share my name with her (though I will admit it to being very hard to see "my" own name at the funeral home and introducing myself to those who came to the viewing and rosary).  She raised 5 children while traveling across the globe (Grandpa was in the Air Force and constantly stationed overseas).  She shared her love of learning and reading with me and I miss her all the time.


  1. So wonderful. A great tribute to a woman that seems just as great. And you look fabulous, lady!

  2. Such a lovely tribute! Love the dress on you Vieve!

  3. You'd shared your blog post on Scientific Seamstress Facebook page yesterday. I loved it and shared that my own grandma past away a year ago. I love how you honoured yours. I hope it is ok, I borrowed the quote from the end of your post. I added a photo source credit, that links back to this post. It was just too perfect not to share.


    1. Thank you for sharing your post. I should probably tell you the story behind that picture/quote (which it's fine that you used the picture and thank you for sourcing it). Everyday while we were at my grandparent's house my grandfather had a friend (R) come over to check on him and just spend time with him. R and his wife used to go to lunch with my grandparents every Friday. About 4 months prior to my grandmother passing, R's wife passed on. So Friday lunches were just the three of them. R told us that they would continue the Friday lunch just the two of them now. He also said that after his wife's passing my grandfather called every single day to see how he was doing and if he didn't get a hold of him would leave a message. R said, "Now it's my turn to return the favor." The quote is a card that he was given after the passing of his wife and he keeps in his wallet to remind him she is with him. He wanted us know the quote too to remember Grandma was still near and asked me to photograph it so that we could have it too. -- Viever

    2. That's a beautiful dress, a beautiful keepsake and a wonderful way to honour your grandmother. You're lucky to have had her for so long.