Matching Dresses: Things I Saved For My Granddaughter

Phyllis People 25 Comments

I have shared with you many stories of my sewing stash that had been archived until Amelia was born. When grandchildren are born, it does something to totally sane women. I was one of those women. When the sonogram showed we would be adding a lovely granddaughter to our family, my heart skipped many beats.

When I finally came to my senses, I thought of the 30-year-old stash of fine linens, lace, ribbons, and buttons that would finally be used to create outfits for her. I had actually hoarded all of this hoping that one day I would have a girl who loved all of that.


One of the new trends that is so popular is the pillowcase dress. “Perfect,” I thought, as I have countless pairs of embellished pillowcases waiting to be used. But before I cut up my collectibles, I decided to try my hand with regular fabric to see if it was as easy as I had thought. I had enough fabric for two so I decided I would get a Grandmother of the Year award if I made two and she could give one to her best friend, Olivia. I had friends in elementary school whose mothers made matching dresses for them, and I thought that was so wonderful.

I sewed those little dresses up and couldn’t wait to see my creations modeled by two 4-year-old girls. She told her, “Liv, my Gigi made these for us.” They proceeded to try them on. Photos were sent, and ta-da, I was so pleased.

A few weeks later, Amelia and I were in my sewing room selecting fabric for Amelia’s back to school dresses. As we were working our way through the stack of colorful fabrics, she turned to me and said, “No more dresses for Olivia, she didn’t like hers!” I was crushed. After further conversation and questions, I realized Olivia actually did like hers, but Amelia didn’t like having her Gigi sew for anyone else. Isn’t that ironic? I love calling her My Amelia, and in her heart I am her Gigi. So from now on her Gigi will be sewing for Amelia. Probably, the truth is, in years to come her BFF (Best Friend Forever) will probably get a dress or two but only when it is Amelia’s idea!

Best friends are the best. Share with me your best friend stories or stories of things you saved for your grandchildren.


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Comments 25

  1. What a sweet story. There is a special bond between grandmother and granddaughter that is rarely talked about. I had the greatest grandmother ever and I hope one day my granddaughters says the same about me. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. I was blessed to have 4 daughters. I love to sew, took sewing in high school. I made all my clothes, My babysitting money, I bought shoes. My girls were 2 yrs apart, I use the same pattern but bought different colors prints but same design. I even made shorts (teacher one day called me n ask told me they needed to wear shorts, they sit in a circle during story time. So I made short to match.

    I also was blessed to have 6 granddaughters, first grandchildren were girls( 6 grow-up together). I made little aprons for them so when we made cookies n pies they had there own aprons. I still have then after 30yrs. Now I have a great grandchilden, one boy age 9, loves to help me in the kitchen, told him we will have to make pies in November together. But I can not wait for a Ggreatdaughter!!!! Yes I am still young, (66yrs young).

  3. Precious memories! My Mother sewed for me as a small child then used the remnants for quilts. She passed away when I was only seven and now those quilts are priceless. I have six granddaughters and sew for them a lot. Someday they will have memories that I hope they consider “precious “

  4. My mother used to sew dresses for me and one year she sewed the same dress for her and for me (blue with polka dots, big dots for her and small ones for me). I just adored that dress and enjoyed so much wearing it when she was wearing hers.
    WhenI my daughter was around six, she sewed a skirt for me, one for Sarah and … one for Sarah’s doll (different patterns but same fabric). We were all wearing that skirt to journey and at the airport I had so many compliments. At the custom office, I was event told that it was the best way not to lose my daugter !
    Now Sarah is older and she wouldn’t wear anything like me but who knows what will happen is she has a daughter …
    Thanks for you lovely blog,

  5. I don’t have a best friend. I have had friends in my life, however, they have all past away from some form of cancer. I really feel lonely because I miss having a best friend. My two sisters each have best friends they have had for life. I’ve never had that and long so much to have one. So now I just call my hubby my best friend, yet it’s just not the same. For those of you who have best friends, never take that for granted.

    1. Teri,
      I must say my heart broke when I read your note. I would be willing to bet that there are friends you have that would LOVE to be your best friend. Try to be open in conversation, put yourself out there a bit, and call someone today and ask them to come to lunch, go to lunch, come for tea whatever it is you feel comfortable with, I personally love my times of cookie or scone and tea with new friends. Please try it soon, no one should be without friends. Look at your list of people in your church, your local stores you know, bible studies are a great place to meet new friends and start right away with asking them to join you for a cup of tea (or coffee), but each of us, many times, have to make that effort or take that first step. If you live local I WILL have a cup of tea with you!! Let me know, My email is

  6. This past Thursday my best friend and I made a sort day trip to a small east Texas town where we went 4 or 5 times a year
    In the 60’s and early 70’s. THERE was a wonderful children’s
    Clothing outlet there.Our children were the best dressed in elementary school and beyond with full skirts and ruffled
    Petticoat.I still managed to use up my stash of wonderful
    Fabrics,a lot of them remnants from an outlet that sewed for Neimans . We made little pink fur coats and bonnets, of
    Course with rosebuds. All four had the same wonderful things
    But it was ok…we lived on different sides of Dallas .

    This trip was for fabric to make baby quilts for great
    Grandchildren…if we Don,t have them someone will get
    Great baby shower presents.

    We drove and visited for an hour, shopped for 2 hours among
    Wonderful fabrics in the quilt shop. The trip home was good time to talk about the things we share only with those we know will understand.
    This shop now has the
    Honor of being the town’s only store as the little dress
    Outlet used to be

    This was or first outing since her husband passed away 2
    Years ago.
    We meet in an archery class in 1959 at college in Arlington,Tx.
    Then in 1963 I saw here in a church in Alexandria,Va. We barely knew first names but from that day on we and our husbands shared the ups and downs of military life.
    My husband went to Viet Nam,I came back to Texas and she
    And her husband stayed 2 years Va.

    We so enjoyed the fabrics ,the memories and the precious
    Time spent together.We were exhausted.

    I am sure our daughters will treasure the little quilts to come.
    Is anything more dear to our hearts than stolen time with
    Old and cherished friends and families?

    Now to sort through new paperdoll fabric.

    Your account of your granddaughter and sewing brought
    Back a rush of wonderful memories and feelings .

  7. I have a two year old grandson. I saved many, many things from my daughter, our only child. I especially love books and had cases to pass on to our grandson. I am especially blessed having my daughter and grandson living with us until her fiance’ returns from Afghanistan. I get to read to him everyday, what a joy! I have crossed stitched 2 afgans and bibs as well as a birth announcement for my grandson. He is really into elephants right now and was so excited when I recently gave him a jungle animal afgan with an elephant on it that matches the birth annoucement.

  8. Best friends are truly a gift from God. Friendship has always been very important to me since I was a little girl. I am 64 now and recently my Best Friends passed away. It is too fresh for me to write about. As a Nana I had saved all my teddies, my baby slip, my velvet winter hat, a christening dress and other things. I have one grand-daughter, she is now 9. We have always been extremely close. She is my Catherine and I am her, Nana. She blesses me so. I have 2 grandson’s 6 and 8. When they send me mail (I live in next town) They always address it My Nana. I showed up at their house the other day and you would have thought the SpiderMan showed up…”It’s Nana! It’s Nana!!!

  9. I agree something just clicks when you have a granddaughter. My own son is only 11, so I wasn’t planning on being anyone’s GiGi for quite awhile. Then, I had the great fortune of my lovely stepdaughter and her husband having their own daughter. We don’t live close, sadly, but I still delight in sewing, quilting and tea parties for her as often as I can.

  10. I am a sewer. One of my great passions is fabric. To have that special stash that is seed for creativity is an awesome thing! I too have two granddaughters and have sewed for both, as well as my two grandsons. My stash includes linen and lace, silk dupioni and some lovely silk charmeuse. Lots of lovely flowing rayons and a couple of bulky boucle knits. And of course, the beautiful Pendleton wools. In truth, enough to open a small fabric store! I have given away pieces thru the years but the “seeds” that are carefully stored are the stuff of creative inspiration when I need a shot of juice flowing thru my veins in the dark months of winter! Or maybe a pick me up from a bout of sadness. Colors galore remind me of spring flowers. Funny! I love the fabric itself as much as the ending result! I’m so glad you kept your stash!

  11. What a sweet story! I have a 20 year- old Granddaughter who I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to teach her to sew. She makes gifts for her friends. But even better, when I was injured, she made potpourri filled heating pads for me. It was even more endearing that she hadn’t figured out how to finish the opening, so I had to help her finish her gift for me!

  12. I love your posts, and read them as soon as they arrive. Being a “Gammy” is so special but since I have two adorable grandsons. I thought my sewing skills would not be needed for all the girlie dresses I had hoped to sew. Imagine my surprise and delight when this past May, my older grandson requested a cape just like the once worn by Annikin Skywalker for his birthday party. Naturally the younger one couldn’t be left out of the picture, and he requested a Darth Vader cape. I set to work immediately, and had their requests ready for the big day. It has been so much fun to see them traipsing around our house in their capes!

  13. This was such a timely post!…Two days ago. we found out that our third grandchild will indeed be a little girl!!!!!!!!!…..I am so excited! Would not trade our two darling grandsons for the world, but having a grand-daughter to sew for, buy dolls for, etc…is incredibly exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!……Love your posts!…..Your friend, Heidi XO

  14. I love that story. I just became a grandmother (Amma) for the first time, 3 weeks ago. It is overwhelming. I have six chidren, 1 son and 5 daughters. I homeschooled them all and I didn’t have time to sew many of their clothes. I did Easter dresses and such, but there was too many of those growing children for me to keep up. Now, with baby Lyla and am enjoying every precious stitch and I hope some day she loves me sewing for her as much as your granddaughter does.

  15. What a cute story and Amelia is adorable! My mother was the one that made many of my dresses and matching ones for my Barbie. I had a son so now I am looking forward to hopefully one day being a “Gigi” and sewing lovely dresses for my granddaughter.

  16. What a darling story. Thank you for sharing. Sweet pic too. I’m not there yet with a granddaughter, but I dream of the day I can sew something for her as well.

    Love your posts.

  17. I love this also, and in the past few weeks when I need a laugh, I’ve thought about you telling me this story & had a good laugh! Thank you! You are the best Gigi!

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