In the old days, Southern ladies had a tradition of churning out hand-made clothes for babies and toddlers, their own and other people's — special garments that were smocked and embroidered with infinite care. It was an entrenched domestic ritual, and often these clothes were passed down from generation to generation.
My mom (above) still makes such clothes for her own grandchildren, and a soon-to-be great-grandchild, and for the children of friends. Recently she's been cranking out extras and selling them at a shop my aunt opened in Wilmington, North Carolina. She's done pretty well for herself so far — the parents of today remember such clothes from their own childhood days, even if they don't have time to make them themselves, and they're thrilled to find them available at what can only be called a most reasonable price.
Below, a picture of three generations in front of the store . . . my mom, my sister and my niece — who's gotten a trunk-full of my mom's smocked and embroidered dresses over the years:
Like other merchants, of course, in these tough economic times, my mom is hoping for even better things over the Christmas holidays — she's already hard at work on little dresses and play-suits with embroidered seasonal designs. I'm personally hoping that she'll get filthy rich on them and be able to support me in my old age.
[Photos courtesy of Harry Rossi]