The Isabell Dress

The Isabell Party Dress
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The Isabell Party Dress


The Isabell Party Dress 2


The Isabell dress is a tribute to my dear mother, Alice Isabell (Butson) Break, who passed away in November 2005.
I loved my mother dearly – all 5’2” of her – and miss her little sayings. These days I find myself mouthing her words: “There is always more than one way to skin a cat” or, as Gilda Radner would say, “It’s always something.” And when I look in the mirror I see her looking back at me, so she is still very much with me.
My mother was named after her mother, Alice Isabell (Drynan) Butson. Nana Butson was addressed as Alice, my mother as Isabell. Mom was fond of her name and was quick to offer the correct spelling to anyone who chanced to spell it wrong. When asked, “Then how do you spell it?” She would reply, “As in ‘Is a bell necessary on a bicycle?’” As a child, this would be cause for smiles and sometimes even laughter because she was so adamant about it.
Isabell is a beautiful name and conjures up visions of lightness and flowers, and weaves its way through the generations. My name is Ruth Isabell, my eldest daughter is Christine Ruth Isabell and I have a grand niece named Isabell after her great grandmother. Isabell (also Isabel and Isobel) is Spanish for Elizabeth, which is what I named my second daughter – Elizabeth Jane – aka Janie.
Mother’s favourite colour was blue and her favourite flower was Lily of the Valley, so I chose those colours, blue and white, for this little dress in remembrance of her and as a celebration of her life.
Read more in our Summer 2009 issue.

Designed by Ruth I. Forbes
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