18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, May 24, 1913: Ma started to make my dress I got for a graduation present. I want it finished by May 30th.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Sometimes Grandma worded things differently than I would.
If I had written the first sentence I would have said something like, “Ma started to make the cloth that I got for a graduation gift into a dress.” Instead it seems almost like Grandma was referring to both the cloth used to make the outfit and the finished product as a dress.
“Dress” can be used both as a noun and a verb–and has multiple meanings; but I think that the noun “dress” had a broader meaning in 1913 than it does now.
This is the second time in the diary that Grandma referred to the materials used to make a dress as a “dress”. On March 29, 1913 she wrote:
Ma and I went to Milton this morning. The chief object of which was the buying of me a graduation dress. It is a plain white batiste to be trimmed with lace insertion and edging.
Then on March 31 Grandma wrote:
Took my dress up to get it made this morning.