Monday, March 17, 2014

Russell Gets New Buttons and a Little Jealousy

Russell Williams

In approximately 2008, I sent two shirts and a tie to a friend along with a Matt O'Neill suit pattern.  She used these clothing items as the material to make the three-piece suit, shirt, and tie that Russell Williams wears above.  The shirts and tie were clothing items that were my brother, Ronald's.  Ronald passed away in 2007 shortly after being diagnosed with colon cancer and given a prognosis of only two years to live.  (Which was detrimental to his psyche and longevity.  I do not believe doctors should play God and tell a patient how long they believe s/he has to live unless the patient asks. After the diagnosis and grave prognosis, even with surgery and chemotherapy, and possibly as a result of it, my brother only lived eight months.)

As a forever reminder of him, I wanted one of my dolls to have clothing made from Ronald's clothing, who was always very well dressed.

My friend did a fabulous job with the suit, shirt, and tie, but I have always thought the buttons were not the right size.  After sharing the above picture online recently and mentioning my desire for smaller buttons, I decided to make it happen.

Russell holds a package of buttons containing a color that closely matches the color of his suit.
I took an additional "before" photograph of the jacket and vest before removing the original buttons and sewing on the new ones.
The smaller buttons look much better.  To add more realism, I even added two buttons to each sleeve, seen better in the next image.




Conversation with my husband after the jacket and vest buttons were sewn on:
Me (showing him the jacket):  Do you think I should add buttons to the sleeves?

Him:  No, not really, unless you want to make it look even better.

Me:  I do.  (I had already looked at his jackets and noticed some sleeves have two buttons and some have three).  How many should I add, two or three?

Him:  Two.

Russell models his suit without the jacket with the old, over-sized buttons lying below.



The dapper Russell is pleased with the end result.  I know Ronald would be pleased, too.


***
Additional conversation with Husband the day after Russell received new buttons for his jacket and vest:

Husband (noticing Russell lying on the kitchen counter):  You take care of these dolls better than you do me.  I don't have new buttons on a "new" suit.

Me:  You don't need a new suit and his suit wasn't new.

Husband:  Well, I don't have new buttons on an old suit.

Me:  You don't need new buttons.  His buttons were just too big.

Husband:  If I had a suit that had buttons that were too big, you wouldn't sew new ones on for me.

Me:  Nope, sure wouldn't.  If you didn't sew them on yourself, I'd have the dry cleaners do it for you.

***
I have added images of the shirts and tie used to create Russell's suit, shirt, and tie and some of my favorite pictures of my brother.

Brother's shirt and tie were used to make Russell's suit and tie

The black material from this shirt was used to make Russell's shirt.

Ronald in photo probably taken at a park during the 1970s.

Same 1970s day

Ronald late 1960s/early 70s, dressed in a brown suit and knicker pants with knee-high boots (that I still have).

Ronald, getting his grub on during the 1990s at a girlfriend's house during the holidays.
 Miss you!


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22 comments:

  1. Ha, men (a funny conversation, your reaction is very ad rem)! :-D!!! It's so nice you have a reminder of your brother this way. The buttons are much better, the two sleeve buttons add to the realism of the suit. I'm sorry you lost your brother, life can be cruel sometimes. He was a very handsome man by the way!

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    1. Thanks Nymphaea for the compliments and condolence.

      Russell will always wear this suit as a permanent visible reminder of my brother.

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  2. First, I love the suit on Ronald it really came out nice. Secondly, I agree, the new buttons look better on the suit. I'm sorry to read about your brother and the toll it took on his psyche. I'm sure it was not the prognosis he wished to hear. Life is hard on our black men! I can tell by the tie your brother was a great dresser too! Throwback 70's pictures are classic!!! How can you not notice that fine brother chillin' at the park. Oh yeah, tell husband, you do not serve hateraide!

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    1. Thanks, Brini.

      Those throwback photos and even more recent ones that I have of my brother always bring a smile to my face. My positive memories of him will live on forever.

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  3. Your brother looked like he was a fly, cool dude! Great that you have a doll reminder of him.

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    1. Thanks, Brini. Fly... he was. I haven't heard that word in a minute.

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  4. Great way to keep your brother "near." Russell is looking fine. You both did a good job on his suit - your friend and you ;-)

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    1. Very near, D7ana. Russell and Far Out Friday stand at the back of my work desk. I see him every working day.

      Thanks for the "good job on the suit" compliment.

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  5. What a wonderful tribute to your brother, and yes, the new buttons look great.

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  6. This us a beautiful tribute to your brother. The suit looks great and I like the buttons you added much better.

    Your husband is hilarious! Lol! You two crack me up. So sweet!

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    1. Thanks, GG!

      Today he just noticed Cecelie (my new 32 in doll). He walked past her and said, "Hey, you're new." I said, "I wondered how long it was going to take you to notice her."

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  7. That was a great way to memorialize your brother. It has given me an idea about the one dress shirt of my grandfather hanging in the closet. Your doll looks so handsome, the smaller buttons look great.

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    1. I am happy to know this post inspired you to repurpose your grandfather's shirt. Thank you, Doll Crazy, for sharing your plan. Someone else indicated (off blog) that this post inspired them to utilize a loved one's clothing item to make something for a doll.

      I also used leather from a pair of my brother's loafers to create a sling shot for one of my male dolls.

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  8. The suit does look much better with the smaller buttons.

    Thanks for sharing these pictures of your brother with us. I agree, doctors really should understand that they don't have a clue when a person will leave this earth.

    A little jealousy? LOL! That jealousy was evident when he said, "No, not really, unless you want it to look even better." And why wouldn't you want it to look even better. Hilarious.

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    1. Thanks Vanessa!

      You are so right. He was definitely hating on Russell long before I realized it. SMH.

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  9. What a handsome man your brother was. In that last, most recent photo here, he has so much expression, so much life in his eyes. He just glows. It must be hard to believe he is gone.

    Lovely job on the doll to commemorate him.

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    1. Thank you Eklectic1. My brother was very full of life; people gravitated toward him. You're right, it's very difficult to believe he is gone. He lives forever, however, in my memory and in the memories of others whose lives he touched.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!