Tag Archives: Vintage clothing

The Seamstresses in my House-Part 10

15 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Here is a picture of the four generations in our family, with our first child, Karen.  There’s my Grandmother (Granny), my Mother (Agnes), myself, and Karen.  (Bubbles is peeking in there, too)

I had made that dress out of an off-white polyester.  I liked the fabric, and liked the style of the dress.  I believe I made several dresses in that same style, in different colors.

And here is a picture of another polyester dress I made.  It was in white, with a collar and long sleeves (which you can’t see in this picture). 

It was made as a maternity dress, but had the potential of being cut down following the birth, and worn as either a loose-fitting dress, or belted in at the waistline.  Unfortunately, I felt like I was always pregnant while wearing it (later, after Janet was born), didn’t wear it much after.  I usually wore it with a multi-colored scarf, like is shown in this picture.  Bright earrings and possibly a necklace added to the versatility of this style of dress.

Following Janet’s birth, I made at least one dress of this style – perhaps more, I don’t remember – because it was easy to “unwrap” and nurse Janet.  This was made in a silky polyester, swingy, that I wore with an old concho belt I had from my younger days.  It was most comfortable style, and was even comfortable in Washington D.C. in September.

Here’s a picture of an outfit I made from cotton/polyester.  It was a sleeveless, dropped-waist summer dress, and most comfortable to wear.  Here we are in St. Augustine, Florida, as we were moving from Maine to San Antonio, Texas for Fred’s next assignment.  It was in September, and the weather was warm enough for a cotton-blend outfit.  I made several outfits in the same style, because I liked the pattern so very much.

Here is a picture of our two beautiful girls.  Karen is six (6), and Janet is headed to three (3).  While I didn’t SEW these outfits, I did crochet them in cotton thread.  The girls wore them for many years, and Janet finally inherited Karen’s when she outgrew hers.  At that point, they seemed to enjoy wearing the “same” clothes.  That changed.

Here’s another dress I made out of polyester.  I really liked the blue, and liked the pattern and style of the dress.  I enjoyed having a place to put that jeweled pin, as well. 

This picture shows our friend, Frau Katie that I’ve mentioned in previous musings.  She made a trip to the U.S. to visit us and several other of her friends.  In this picture, we had taken her to the River Walk in downtown San Antonio, Texas.  Karen is wearing the dirndle that Katie had purchased for her.  Another dress that Janet inherited from Karen in later years.

In this picture, I’m wearing another polyester dress I made.

There wasn’t really anything spectacular about the style of dress, but I liked the comfort of the style, and the fabric was comfortable.  I probably made it because I had purchased that purple and lavender bead necklace!  I don’t remember sewing either of the dresses the girls are wearing in this picture.

More to come….

~~~~~~~~~~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.

The Seamstresses in My House-Part 9

8 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

About the time polyester made it’s appearance in fabric and clothing, I found that I could make an A-line skirt with only one yard of pure polyester fabric.  It was usually about 64″ wide, so that gave me whatever I needed to make the skirt.  Unfortunately, I have no pictures of any of those skirts.

However, at the same time, I made at least one suit from this red patterned polyester that I thoroughly enjoyed wearing. 

Karen and me

Polyester became my favorite fabric to work on as well as wear.  The only unfortunate thing about polyester, is that it pills!  Many years later, when I worked for a fiber and yarn company, it was described to me that cotton threads “sloughed off” while polyester has little “hooks” that grab and pill.  Interesting.

One thing I did while in Germany, was to take a tailoring class.  I had never been so instructed in the art of sewing, and found that detail in sewing makes a great difference in the finished garment.  For instance, in that class, I made this wool suit – skirt and jacket.  Unfortunately, this picture isn’t in color – so just picture the suit I’m wearing in this picture a deep purple. 

Our little family-Fred, Karen and me

About the same shade as this dark purple iris.

I really enjoyed that suit.  It had a lining in the skirt and jacket.  And I learned to make bound buttonholes.  WOW! was that an art in itself!  When my mother came to Germany to visit, she showed me a suit she had bought.  The saleslady had informed her that “bound buttonholes were out, and this kind of buttonholes were the way to go.”  I told mother she had been sold a bill of goods – they weren’t anywhere as neat as the bound buttonholes, which are quite classy.

I found a pattern for a dress that I used both on cotton (like this picture), as well as polyester.  I made up several dresses from it. Here is a picture of me in one of those dresses (polyester) shortly after our second daughter was born.  We were in Maine.

Also, here is a picture of our Karen at that same time, in Maine. 

While we were in Germany I made this little cape for her from a fuzzy polyester fabric, and lined it with a plaid flannel fabric.  It kept her nice and toasty while outside.  I was pleased to find, years later during a visit to Karen’s house, that our granddaughter had the cape on one of her dolls!  The little hat she has on was made by our good friend, Frau Katie.

About that same time, the “style” of dresses became this sort of “shift” or “sack.”  It was easy to make – again in either polyester or cotton – and easy to wear.  In this particular picture we were in Berlin, Germany.  I had also made that little sun dress that Karen is wearing.  It was made from cotton.

The dress I’m wearing in this picture was one I made from polyester.  I really liked the pattern, and made it with sleeves, without sleeves, in polyester and also in a polyester blend.  One good thing about polyester and polyester blend, is that it packs well, and so travels well.

~~~~~~~~~~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.

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