Back when I was younger and thinner I had a little apple-green dress with a full-circle skirt to just below the knees, a close-fitting bodice, and three-quarter-length sleeves. It was just about perfect.
Then my body expanded from pregnancies and advancing age so I couldn’t wear the dress any more, but neither could I bear to get rid of it. It lived with theatre clothes and strange accessories for years, until Prima –fourteen or fifteen at the time– discovered it while we were looking for something else. She was just teaching herself to sew, and this dress is a perfect redhead’s colour, so I gave it to her to convert.
She made it from a size 42 into a 34 with nifty nips and tucks, cut off the sleeves –shoulder adjustment still being beyond her– and used some of the material for straps.
This year Tertia, with a bad case of Nothing-to-wear for Easter, turned to her sister for advice and got the loan of the dress. They wear the same size but are different in shape: Tertia is slightly taller but still needs the straps shortened. It turned out that I have about a hundred tiny brass safety pins, so she is going to use two on the straps and put two more in one of the pockets cunningly hidden in the folds of the skirt in case she loses one, or someone else needs one. As she is a self-made redhead, and almost as pale-skinned as Prima, it’s the perfect colour for her too.
(Various circumstances, which I can’t write about until some of them have been resolved, preclude me from going to any services this Easter. That’s why there’s no running commentary this year.)