Thanks, Mom, for Teaching Me to Love Sewing

My mother sewed my prom dress for me. It’s a MASTERPIECE. It was 1988 and we were big on, well, BIG. Big hair, big flounces, and lots of taffeta.

Taffeta prom dress

Look at that sweetheart neckline and that flattering drop waist. And there’s boning in that bodice — boning!

But wait, there’s more icing on the back:


Look at those layers, and that BOW!


Points to anyone who can identify the pattern this came from! I don’t have the pattern anymore, but it would’ve been one of the big 4 pattern companies, published around 1988 or so. Mom and I picked it out at our local Fabricland where we also bought that gorgeous teal taffeta.

Here’s the dress in action in 1989. My friend Sue took home the award for biggest sleeves, and we both got honorary mentions for having had our shoes dyed to match our dresses exactly. 😉

prom dresses

I *looooved* this dress. I still do. The taffeta is crisp and makes wonderful swishy sounds when I move in it. If you look closely you can just make out a sort of wood-grain pattern in the fabric. And that colour? Best. Ever. What are the chances 80’s gowns will come back in fashion so I can wear this out somewhere?

I can’t believe my mother made this for me. She spent countless hours, and did such an amazing job. It’s hard to express adequate gratitude for such an extraordinary and personal gift…but here goes:

Thanks, mom, for your effort and sacrifice in making this dress! And for teaching me to sew when I was young. I think the first thing we sewed together was a few small stuffed Christmas ornaments that showed up on the tree year after year, remember those? Then there was the Grade 8 graduation dress you made for me:


You taught me to knit, too, and I still remember that ridiculous forest-green “scarf” I made, complete with unintentional dropped-stitch “eyelets” and featuring a “stylish too-short-for-a-scarf look” because I got too frustrated to knit a full length scarf. I think dad might’ve actually worn it out. I’m still blown away by the curling sweater you knitted for dad in the 60s — I found it in the cedar chest in the basement the 80s and wore it religiously for a while — even in the rain, sorry! — and it’ll be a cherished keepsake for years to come.


Mom, you’re a great role model who instilled in me a love of creative arts such like sewing, knitting, and baking, too. Thanks for making those things part of my life as a kid growing up. And thanks for giving me your old Singer sewing machine when you finally decided you wouldn’t be doing any more sewing yourself. Having that in the house allowed me to dive back into sewing when the notion took me a few years ago. Thanks for all of that, and for being the best mom ever. I’m a very lucky person to have a mother like you. Love you! xo

Mom & dad on their wedding day in 1957
Mom & dad on their wedding day in 1957

Ok, you didn’t think I’d be able to write another sentimental post without adding a little smart-alecky-ness here at the end, did you? This may actually be my favourite photo of me wearing the prom dress in 1989 (sorry, mom):

Flipping the bird in my prom dress
A little teenage contempt was just the right accessory for this frilly dress.

21 thoughts on “Thanks, Mom, for Teaching Me to Love Sewing

  1. Super post! Wow, you have been lucky. Your mom is a rock star! (And your a great kid 😉 …”she did something right” as we used to say back in the day.
    This has been a flash back for me, cause I made my daughters graduation dress too ( likely your age). It had a little bit of a train, gold with black sheer overlay, lace on the bodice, sleeveless with boning .
    Thanks for shareing your memories of your mothers wonderful talents. That sweater is terrific. What a great lady! Happy Mother’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thanks for your lovely comments, Joyce. I’ll pass your compliments on to my mom who is indeed a rock star! I would love to see pictures of the dresses you made for your daughters. What an incredible gift for a mom to give to her daughters.


  2. Wow, this is amazing! The 80s pics, the pic of your mom and dad when they were young (1950s?) I love vintage stuff/ old photos (I am a child of the 80s!) so thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How lucky you are to have her! My mum also taught me to sew, but she left 18 years ago, so young, and I still miss her. Having the exact same figure as in your prom is also another issue to cellebrate!


    1. I’m so sorry you lost your mom far too soon. Sewing is a wonderful gift she gave you to remember her by. ❤
      Getting that dress on is definitely cause for celebration, but if I'm being honest, I'm on the verge of passing out from lack of breathing in those photos! Lol


  4. Wow, you still fit your Prom dress?!?!? I would wear that poufy thing out to celebrate, fashionable or not.


    1. Thanks, Charlotte. That last photo makes me laugh. My mom was horrified by it when she saw it. I haven’t spoken to her since this post went up so I wonder if she’s still disappointed in me for it! Lol

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ooh wow.. Lucky kucky.. blessed blessed you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    it still fits.. I cant get over that .. fabulous and more fabbulousness!!! Love this post .. Amazing momma to pass on those great skills to you and here you are today doing them all and more! Go Lori!!!!!

    The last picture.. hahahaha .. Brilliant..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gorgeous! I don’t know the pattern, but my daughter bought a vintage Jessica Mc Clintock (for Simplicity) pattern from a museum shop, and I am supposed to make her school farewell sance dress from that. The back with the bow is very similar to your dress.


  7. This is such a lovely post, and your prom dress is GORGEOUS. Amazing that it’s completely handmade- would never have known. So much more beautiful than anything I’ve seen around in the shops! That last photo is brilliant too 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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