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Renaissance to fantasy, creating costumes creates bonds, keeps family connected


I was ten when I first picked up a needle and thread; 10 and 1/4 when my first teacher clarified the difference between cutting and stitching lines on a pattern, helped me thread a vintage portable sewing machine, helped me make those first forays in the realms of sewing and design.

Forty-seven years later I am still at it, but as a grandma with a mission. That mission has become costuming.

My family, first and foremost, are die-hard sci-fi buffs who regularly attend sci-fi “cons” (conventions) such as Mid South Con in Memphis every spring. Rochelle (top right) and Brandi (below left) haven’t missed a convention – with costumes – in years.

I’d done costumes and clothing for years — even did a man’s suit once. Beaded a bridal gown and created a head piece and veil. I made my own wedding gown and those of my attendants, Christening dresses from antique linen and lace, and most of the gowns for my daughter’s wedding too. I made a life-sized Hobby Holly rag doll and a matching outfit for my daughter when she was four.

But when my family discovered sci-fi and fantasy, my first quick, down and dirty job was a fast stitching of a floor-length hooded cape, soon to be followed by assorted medieval gowns, more capes, and all the costumes for my daughter’s Renaissance-style 15th wedding anniversary. But the grandchildren are ever more creative, and this year’s projects tops the list of challenges in my life.

Have you ever made a Care Bear costume for a 5’10” granddaughter? Or a petite Mermaid dress with a long wiggly tail? «Read the rest of this article»

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