Coming home to New York keeps me from getting any sewing done, but allows me to sit down with my mom and flip through old photos. This activity usually starts out very sweet and loving and nostalgic, but rapidly degenerates into me pointing at old photos of my mother and whining, “Ma! Why didn’t you save me this dress! And how come you don’t have that handbag anymore?” My mother will look at them placidly and say, “Oh, I got rid of all those a long time ago. That was before you were even born. How was I supposed to know you would want them?” And then to rub it in, she’ll sigh and say, “I had so many beautiful dresses.” Grrrr.

My mother did not grow up wealthy (very much the contrary, in fact), but she did have most of her clothes made by a dressmaker, as was quite common at the time in the Philippines, where she grew up. My mother was no ordinary girl- she was a high school beauty queen and developed an amazing sense of style. Have a look at some of her outfits, most of them from 1965-1970, when she was in her early 20s:

I know, right?  And not one of those dresses did she pack away in case she’d one day have a daughter almost the exact same size as she is. I guess it’s going to be up to me to recreate the outfits that I really want. Probably the plaid dress with the ruffles. Or that pink one with the tie at the neck. Or the red coat. Or the ruffled sleeveless blouse. Or the turquoise suit. Or all of them. Or some of the other great outfits from the photos I didn’t include here because there were just too many from which to choose. As weird as it is to say, I WANT TO DRESS LIKE MY MOM.

My mom also graciously modeled the Burda taffeta bolero jacket that I made her for Christmas (a S.W.A.G. triumph!) with a green satin sheath dress that she just happened to have tucked away, which just happens to match the sequins on the jacket exactly (Selfish Seamstress pats self on back for having anticipated mother’s taste in colors): 

As you can see, she’s still a stunner, and has miraculously stayed the same size in the intervening decades. And she still knows exactly where to place her feet when posing for a photo to show off her legs. You go, mommy!

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