Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
CLOSE ×
Search
Leaving AARP.org Website

You are now leaving AARP.org and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

Granddaughter Recreates Grandmother’s 80-Year-Old Fashion Designs and Becomes a TikTok Sensation

An unexpected discovery brings a onetime dream to life


Video: TikToker Makes Dresses Designed by Grandma in the 1940s

When Georgie * decided to ditch design school in the 1940s and shelve her sketchpads, the teen thought her dream of seeing her couture fashions come to life was over.

That was until January 2021, when she uncovered her long-forgotten drawings during a COVID-19 clean-out and showed them to her granddaughter.

spinner image Image Alt Attribute

AARP Membership— $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine. Find out how much you could save in a year with a membership. Learn more.

Join Now

Julia * , now 27, was blown away by her grandmother’s hidden talent; she immediately knew the fancy gowns and one-of-a-kind designs had to be seen by a larger audience. Her grandmother suggested sending the sketches to a magazine or displaying them at her funeral, but Julia had other plans.

“I kind of thought, why wait?” Julia says. “I didn’t know how to contact a magazine, but I did know how to make a social media post. So that’s what I did. And it went viral.”

TikTokers went nuts over the vintage ball gowns; the positive feedback convinced Julia to go one step further. And, as she puts it, “I went for it.”

Julia studied YouTube tutorials and with a sewing machine purchased by her in-laws, taught herself to sew. After a year of building up her confidence — and skillset — she surprised Georgie with a recreation of one of her designs — and filmed her grandmother’s reaction to the big reveal.

“She was astounded! She was so happy… She really had no idea that I was going to come down the stairs in something that looked like her design,” Julia says.

Since then, Julia has replicated many outfits, and she and Georgie’s (who is filmed from the back to protect her privacy) work has gained a devoted following, with millions watching the reveals. The nonagenarian artist has even started sketching again.

spinner image A 1940s sketch of a dress and a woman wearing a dress that was created and inspired by that sketch
Julia (right) showing off a dress that she created from one of her grandmother's sketches.
boringbb/TikTok

“The main takeaway that Grandma and I both have from this experience is it’s never too late to go for something,” Julia says. “You’re never too old; you’re never too inexperienced to try something if you want it. And it has worked out for us both.”

For more on Julia and Georgie’s story, watch the video above.

*Last names withheld to protect subjects’ privacy

Discover AARP Members Only Access

Join AARP to Continue

Already a Member?