The Seamstresses in my House-Part 1

6 Mar


Judy Wills

My wonderful, delightful, loving sister-in-law DiVoran Lites, suggested recently that she would like to see some blogs about the clothes I have made and purchased.  She is interested in the fabrics, colors and things related to that.  Well…that is certainly a subject that I never thought to write about…yet definitely something to consider.

So, let me start with the blog that I did write about the “Fiesta Dresses” I made years ago while growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  (Please see my post of December 9, 2012 – Fiesta Dresses)  That was my beginning experience learning to sew.  You see, my Mother, her sister (Aunt Jessie), and their Mother (Granny) all worked in a handkerchief factory in San Antonio, Texas when they moved there.  So sewing was in their genes, so to speak.  And, of course, back in those days, store-bought clothes were more of a luxury – everyone made their own clothes!

1959 – originally white with red trim, but the red “ran” when washed.  So we dyed it beige.

1959 – light green with white and silver trim

I remember my Mother being a working woman most of my life, and while she did a fair bit of sewing, I seem to remember that Granny was the one who taught me to sew.  It was Granny who showed me how to work the sewing machine, and how to sew those very straight rows upon rows of trim and rick-rack on the fabric to make the fiesta dresses.  Fairly boring sewing, but gave me a sense of what sewing was all about, and a great sense of satisfaction with the finished product.

I remember several garments Granny made for me.  Here is a turquoise velveteen jumper that I wore over a shirt/blouse.  


Turquoise is probably my favorite color in all things, so you will see Granny made several items for me that were turquoise in color.  For instance, she also made me a turquoise velveteen housecoat.  And a turquoise overcoat – I believe it was wool with a lining and filling that made it toasty and warm.

1953 – Me in my overcoat – Granny and her sisters (Lillie in the middle, Loa next to my Mom)

I am fairly sure she made this dress for me – it was the dress I wore for my initiation into Rainbow Girls when I was 13 years old.  The dress itself was out of a taffeta fabric, with a sheer overlay of chiffon.


I am fairly convinced that Granny made my Mother’s wedding dress. 


It was a taffeta fabric, and the skirt was full-circle.   Aunt Jessie took it following the wedding and wrapped it in tissue paper and kept it in a cedar chest in her garage.  All that to say that, when it came time for my wedding, we took Mother’s wedding dress, removed the sleeves, and had an entire over-dress made from Belgian lace.  I thought it was beautiful.


My brother, Bill wrote about Granny sewing for him, as well:

During my teenage years, Granny kept an up-to-date (as I got bigger) long sleeve Western Shirt pattern, so all I had to do was find a fabric and pattern I liked and buy (3) yards of that material and give it to Granny. She would make the shirt and then she and I would install the pearl snaps (front, sleeves, & pockets). Granny also made a Red Corduroy Ike Jacket for me that was one of the items, along with the Red Corduroy pants from Penney’s, that got DiVoran’s attention in Miss Millers English class the day I wore that outfit to school.

1955 – This shirt shows the pearl buttons quite well

A good example of  Bill’s shirt made by Granny

Another good example of one of the shirts Granny made for Bill

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

2 Responses to “The Seamstresses in my House-Part 1”

  1. Billie Hayes March 7, 2022 at 11:18 am #

    Loved reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. divoran09 March 6, 2022 at 3:52 pm #

    Yes, yes, yes! I loved every bit of it. You didn’t know, and it doesn’t matter, but I made the dress I’m wearing in the square-dance picture. It was turquoise voile with a pattern and flew over my underskirt as Bill twirled me.

    Thanks for sharing.



    Liked by 1 person

Thank you for stopping by and reading our posts. Your comments are welcomed.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: