Opinions Change–Hurrah!

Children’s Corner Gwen with lengthened sleeve ruffles.


Granddaughter Vivian Rose, 4 yo, has always had strong opinions about her wardrobe.  Her taste in fashion has been less than classic, requiring bribes  for her to wear many of the garments I have made her.

But now she has changed her mind!!!!  She is asking for more Nana dresses!

It’s like she is recognizing her femininity, the flip side of her (Tarzan’s) Jane or Moana Strong Female persona.



I love this picture, taken when the family was on a camping trip last weekend. She looks like an Amazon girl, bringing home the 5 yo “man” she bagged!

Last week, I sent a package with Harry Potter clothes for her 8 yo brother, Alastair.  This lace trimmed second-hand Rose confection was included just so there would be something for her.  Better to receive something she did not like than to receive nothing at all and assume Nana didn’t love her as much as Big Brother.

Her mother was shocked when Vivi squealed, “I love it!”  Hurrah!  She would wear it at her school program in a few days.

When Vivi came to breakfast the next day wearing the pink smocked bishop, Rebecca reminded her that they were saving that dress for the school program.  Vivi was not happy. She wanted to wear it to school that very day.


This is not a face you want to see at the breakfast table.


But Rebecca relented and Vivi was delighted, willingly posing for pictures before heading off to preschool.


The ruffle sleeve edge is trimmed with lace, pinstitched in place.


Back is closed with plastic snaps. Ribbon bows are tacked to the snaps at the end of each ribbon inserted into the smocking.


Of course, I was thrilled with this change of opinion.  I was doubly pleased because the dress has been hanging in the nursery closet for some time, waiting for Vivi to grow into it.  When I showed it to her when her family was here for Easter, she told me “no, thanks.”

But as she said when she called to thank me, she said, “I didn’t like it then, but I love it now!”


The same lace was inserted above the hem, also pinstitched.


The lace is one of my dearest treasures. Mr. Russell, owner of the renowned lace wholesaler M.E.Feld Co., always generously shared his wealth of knowledge about the kinds of lace and its history. He always patiently answered my many questions when we spoke on the phone as I placed my order. It was his practice to send his customers a huge box of lace from which to choose. The unwanted, or in my case, over budget items were then returned.



In one of these boxes, whose arrival usually put me into a state of hyperventilation, there was a bolt of lace, wrapped on a blue card and marked “Made in France,” just like the others. But this one said “100% nylon.” Mr. Russell explained that these were called “levers” lace (though I have since seen it spelled “leavers”) and were just as fine as the cottons, but intended for lingerie or other items which would be subjected to heavy and/or frequent laundering.

Technically a galloon with a decorative edge on both sides, it is straight enough to be used as an insertion as well as an edging.  For more information about galloons, check out this post Antique Lace Galloons.  You will see that other galloons have been used as edgings as well as insertions.

This is especially appropriate for a dress for Vivian Rose.  Her mother’s aversion to ironing (I’m talking about my daughter–this is clearly a genetic mutation) means that not only the cotton batiste which tumbles nicely but the lace will be presentable right out of the dryer.

The dress was made about 20 years ago for our god child whose mother returned it for Vivian’s use.   So I was doubly pleased for the dress to have a second chance at being worn.

FYI, Rebecca asked Vivi’s teacher for mercy with regard to the dress.  This sweet lady directed Vivi in such a way that the dress came home on our rough and tumble little student from school totally unscathed and intact.  It required nothing more than laundering to be ready for the school program.  What a miracle!

Sigh…I am one happy Nana.


16 responses to “Opinions Change–Hurrah!

  1. Happy story! Congrats Nana.

  2. This surely made me happy, Cheryle. Hope you are well and busy sewing.

  3. Jeannette Wilson

    Love this little dress and so happy our Vivi has changed her mind about wearing it. She does have an unusual sense of fashion so it’s nice to see her in one of your creations. She looks lovely in your beautiful dress.

  4. Thanks, Jeannette. She does look like an angel in this dress.

  5. from Martha Pulllen forum: Wonderful dress and even better story! I LOVE the paddling photo…she really is a gem! So pleased for you that she has decided to love Nana’s precious dresses…maybe there is hope for those of us with 4-year-olds who still like jeans & ugly t-shirts?

  6. Vivi is a gem and is shows every indication that she will be a strong woman! We’re getting the paddling photo printed and framed. It seems to capture the essence of this child. If our rough and tumble little gal has had a fashion change of heart I think there is hope for the jeans & ugly t-shirts set!

  7. from Martha Pullen forum: Oh my gosh! What a face at the breakfast table ! She appears to be a very determined young lady! I am so happy for you that Vivian Rose has changed her mind about the wonderful clothes you make for her!

  8. It has felt like Christmas since Vivi had her change of heart. Her breakfast table face is the one she used to wear when forced to wear Nana clothes. I am one happy Nana!

  9. Vivian is a VERY determined young lady. Difficult as it is to deal with her “determination” now, I think it is a trait that will be an asset as she grows. I am so excited about her enthusiasm for Nana clothes that I can hardly stand it!

  10. Rheeta Booth

    It seems Vivi is the perfect model for little girls-outstanding in athletics with a very soft ,feminine side as well. Perfect in jeans or ruffles and lace.

  11. Rheeta, I’ve been told that Disney is getting away from the delicate princess presentation of their heroines; thus characters like the the star of the movie Moana, a girl who saved her island people. That’s really encouraging. Maybe some day there will be a movie or a story about strong Vivian. You are so right that she is perfect and perfectly comfortable in jeans or ruffles and lace.

  12. from Martha Pullen forum: I am thrilled for you and with you. So many of us long for that day which never comes. I have one dgd who loved all of her pretty dresses and had photos taken of her wearing all of them and one dgd who won’t get out of shorts and ugly tee shirts for anything, well she wore a dress to her brother’s wedding but THAT’S IT! I was sorry to read of your troubles with those footprints on the HP shirt, do you think it was ultimately a problem with the size of the design? I’ve had problems with tiny lettering but another problem with tiny dots turned out to be that my machine needed adjustment. I didn’t know that until after I’d experienced what you had, thread breaks, hair tearing, a couple of bad words, etc. Carol

  13. Carol, we love our grandchildren whether or not their taste in clothing matches ours, but sewing for one who loves what we make is a special joy. I’m glad to know you have one.
    I have concluded that my problems with the glow thread on this design were caused by 3 things. One is that there are sooooo many tie off stitches at the beginning and end of each portion of the footprint. I have to redo that design on another shirt and will remove all but two of those tie offs before I begin. The second reason is that the footprints are so small. On this second shirt, I will enlarge the footprints and perhaps use fewer of them. The third cause of my thread breakage was the 2 layers of knit fuse I used for stabilizer. I think the adhesive and the knit itself created a lot of stress on the exotic thread. Still, I am going to use the same stabilizing technique on the second shirt, hoping that the first two solutions ( fewer tie offs and enlarging the footprints) are enough to give less stress in the sew out. And that, dear Carol, should generate fewer bad words!

  14. from Martha Pullen forum: Strange what we go thru with our little ones. This Nana has a 6-yr old blonde blue-eyed bombshell that can do anything the boys can do – but it must be done in pink or lavendar, and definitely in ruffles!!!

  15. I’m pretty sure I love that little girl!

  16. Janice I love this story, you have one smart little lady

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