The Seamstresses in My House-Part 4

27 Mar


Judy Wills

When I was about 13 years old, it became a fashion to have a circular skirt made out of felt.  Granny made quite a few of them for me.  Here is one in fuchsia. 

She also made one of a beautiful turquoise that I wore when I was older.

And she made one of red, for me to be in the Christmas parade in downtown Albuquerque one year. 

Judy and best friend, Shirley

I was in Jefferson Junior High School at the time, and we each had a placard with a letter that spelled out J E F F E R S O N.

 And of course, all those skirts had layers of crinoline (petticoats) under the skirt to make them stand out, rather than lay flat, but that was the “style” back in those days.  Either crinolines or hoops under the skirts.

I do remember about that same time, that Mother had a gentleman come by the house and display clothing for us.  He was physically handicapped, and this was his living.  We purchased quite a bit of clothing from him.  This green and black plaid skirt with the green sweater was one of those purchases.  The skirt was a light-weight wool.

This blue skirt and sweater in wool is another example. 

He carried quality merchandise, and we were glad to give him our business.

Here I am in my Easter finery in 1955.  I wish I could remember just what the fabric was, but I don’t, perhaps some kind of acetate, but definitely not satin.  I seem to remember it was a soft, silky and shiny fabric, and was so very comfortable to wear.  I am sure that either Granny or Mother made it for me.  It is a fairly simple design.

Bill and Judy

Here I am in another dress in 1956 (I was 15 at the time).  It was store-bought, as I remember, and was sort of a polished cotton.  Looks like I had a hoop under the skirt, perhaps with some crinolines to make the skirt stand out.

Here I am in my High School Senior dress.

Mother and I went shopping for a dress for me for Graduation.  I tried on dress after dress, but when I put this one on…we both looked at each other as if to say – “that’s the one!”  It was pink and pretty, and fit me just right.  This particular picture was taken at one of my wedding showers, so apparently I hadn’t put on too much weight (and inches) that I could still wear it.  I really loved that dress!

Here is a picture of our wedding party.

I am wearing my Mother’s wedding dress made with a lace overlay

I had the girls wear white, along with the candle lighters (sisters) and the flower girl.  Fred’s mother made the dresses for his sisters, and either Granny or Mother made DiVoran’s dress.  They were made from a soft, silky fabric, not stiff like taffeta, but softer, again perhaps an acetate.

The Christmas before we married in June, Fred, my parents and I drove from Albuquerque to Los Angeles, California to spend Christmas with my brother Bill, and his wife DiVoran.  I had been sewing quite a few things by this time, and one of the dresses I had made was this one in this picture.  It was a cotton fabric.

 My Dad and Fred are there with me.  I had heard that sewing plaid fabrics were quite difficult, but I didn’t find it so difficult to match up, as this dress shows.  I sewed quite a few plaid garments throughout my lifetime, and never really found them to be all that difficult.

~~~~~~~~~~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.

One Response to “The Seamstresses in My House-Part 4”

  1. divoran09 March 27, 2022 at 5:33 pm #

    Oh, your fabric blogs are so good. We surely do enjoy them. I’ve been thinking about Jessie’s handkerchieves in the big trunk in the garage. As I remember it, the story was that Agnes, Jessie, and Granny worked in a factory in Texas (City?) that processed handkerchieves and other cotton and linen items. Granny and Agnes, I believe, sewed, and Jessie worked in the office. I believe it was before Agnes married Bill. The workshop was in Texas, where the blue flowers grow in the fields. (I can’t recall what the flowers were called; you probably can. I think they are the state flower.)

    The fabric came in big carved wooden chests. Do you have pictures of that, or can you get some from Karen?

    I don’t know if the material was linen or cotton. I don’t recall anything silky, but there was beautiful hand embroidery that came on the fabric from China. There were “drawn” parts. A friend told me that it had been drawn out where the fabric was missing. There were hankies of all colors, and the original fabric was sent from China to Texas. I hope you can recall more and perhaps write a story about that if you would like to.


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