Making our own family traditions


I love traditions. I love the repetitive sense of looping time in each event. Unfortunately unless you count my long deceased Nan’s ( RIP Nanny Kath) recipe for cheesy potato bake that has been handed down in the family, I can’t really think of any traditions in our family. So I decided to create one of my own.

When my eldest daughter was born, ( she is now 23, where did the time go? ) I had a bit of time on my hands so my fiddly fingers turned to embroidery (when I wasn’t drawing her ( here is a very indistinct drawing of my daughter drawn while she was breastfeeding)

Somehow the flash adds to the picture?

I’m really not joking when I say I have fiddly fingers and need to be doing something with them all of the time! While baby was sleeping, I embroidered her name on a piece of calico and surrounded it with flowers. I had memories of my beloved Nan embroidering flowers for table runners. Somehow it made me feel connected to her. Once the embroidery was complete, I turned it into a simple dress which baby wore quite a few times. Now I have it hanging on my living room wall, since  her 5 foot 10 frame wouldn’t fit it anymore!

My baby grew up so beautifully

The first dress

Embroidery detail

Second baby arrived and I had no time at all! I had a three year old and a new born, my fiddly fingers were very much being used to full capacity. So I never had the chance to make one for my lovely Allegra Jane.

Me and Leggy-Loo

Fast forward 18 years and Allegra Jane had a baby of her own. Erykah-Rose made me into the world’s proudest grandma and I knew what I had to do. The tradition needed to extend down the generations, here was my perfect opportunity. I embroidered her name and flowers representing her name ( Erica/a form of heather and Rose) and then crocheted long lengths of white cotton lace to decorate her completely hand sewn garment; a garment made with dollops of love from her doting grandma.

Here it is.

Made with love

Detail of embroidery

So, I hereby claim to have started a family tradition of the name dress. ( We only seem to make girls on this side of the family, so if a boy came along I’m sure we could adapt to suit).

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