In July, I started making Christmas dresses for my granddaughters (age 4 and 18 months).
I was at a “Christmas in July” seminar, and on the advice of a veteran sewer (and fellow grandmother), settled on a red and white print for dresses to be smocked and could also be worn on other occasions.
Actually, I cut out three dresses because the girls would be spending Christmas with another young cousin. If two’s good, three’s better and I had plenty of time.
I cut out the dresses in August and carried them all over the country, but rarely found the time to work on them. They weren’t my best work anyway (I’m not a good smocker), and if daughter Anne decided to purchase others, I wouldn’t have minded.
In the meantime, however, I made a dress for Thanksgiving for my oldest grandchild Jeanne.
Because I was short on time I knew the younger one (Mary Malcolm) could wear one of Jeanne’s Thanksgiving hand-me-downs, and I made Jeanne a simple printed corduroy jumper that turned out beautifully.
Since that jumper was so easy to put together (and the labor-intensive smocked ones were hanging heaving over my shoulders) later that afternoon I put together two more jumpers with a winter theme made of pink corduroy I purchased applique snowmen (complete with Swarovski crystals) from Stitchers Playhouse in Smyrna as an adornment.
These grandchildren live in New York City where many of their friends don’t celebrate Christmas, and I try to find appliques that are politically” correct.
By Dec. 14, I had totally finished two of the three smocked ones and knew it was now or never. There was too much work spent to abandon them, so I plopped myself down in a chair at 8:30 a.m. determined to get them into the mail by day’s end.
My goal was to send them to Charlotte, N.C., where Anne and family would be the following Tuesday.
Rushing seasonal clothing to the the post office before a holiday is a “game” I often play with myself, and by 4:15 p.m. finishing touches were made on the last one.
The post office was closed by then, but I told husband Tommy I was going to use the self-service kiosk just in case packages were sent on Sunday.
In the meantime he was downstairs with movers.
Anne, Chris and daughters are in the process of moving to Charlotte, and at Thanksgiving she worked like a Trojan to pack up all her wedding gifts, furniture that has been in storage and everything else she’s had here for eight years.
She was very organized and scheduled movers in Murfreesboro and New York, even making arrangements for the Tennessee movers to pick up furniture in Knoxville on the way. Deadlines were pressuring her, too.
When daughter Beth asked where to mail Anne’s Christmas gifts I said, “Just bring them here and we’ll put them in the pile for the movers where I had mine.”
I offered the same advice to Tommy’s brother David and he arrived while Tommy was orchestrating the movers downstairs, just before I was leaving the house for the post office.
Right before I rushed out the door for the post office I started guffawing ‑‑ hysterically.
I asked Tommy, “Why did NONE of us figure out that the movers would be in Charlotte overnight and I didn’t even think once about putting these dresses on board?”
Past experience, I guess. You can imagine we all had some belly laughs over that.
I guess they got to Charlotte.
Anne’s been so busy flying the girls down there and returning to meet the New York movers that I haven’t bothered her by asking.
The box the dresses are in is easily identifiable and I have a feeling they’ll be worn on Christmas Day.
And about my not being able to think outside the box? Oh, man.
It’s really hard to teach us old dogs.
’Til next week.