Monday, 20 April 2009

Sewing frocks, and whatever else I want to!

We all learned to sew on Mum's old Singer treadlie (which wasn't so old Back Then - we made it old!!!).
Elspeth was making her own clothes from when she was about 7. No patterns, just laying the material out on the floor and cutting around something she already had. I was a year older but more interested in doing farm stuff so it was a few more years before I started sewing.

We had to at school - even primary school. I was hopeless. All my material came out grey and raggy from being unpicked and overhandled. Very jealous of Elspeth's clothes...

So I got better at sewing. We often used to go to Family Reunion things with the four of us and our cousin Kathy who was around our age all dressed the same. And whipped up things for all sorts of occasions, often overnight.
Marion was about 14 when she was making wedding and bridesmaids' dresses (for her friends - they were a forward lot those girls she ran with!) and not long after baby clothes.
Most of us made our wedding dresses and the bridesmaids' frocks too if we had them (me - I did that TWICE...!!!!).
I shall have to look for some photos from those times. Memories of red gingham dresses (???? tops really...) and black velvet ribbons.

Most of our patterns came from garments we already owned (not very much of it shop bought) or drafted out from Enid Gilchrist pattern books.
Bloggers Five and Two, Norma Tika Designs and Silly Gilly have some pics of lovely Enid Gilchrist pattern books they picked up along the way. (Thanks you, you treasures, for showing your treasures!!!).
All our clothes started out as bits of brown paper sticky-taped together on the kitchen table and drawn out from Enid Gilchrist books. I wonder if she realises just how many people she influenced and how exciting it was to get a NEW book? She even did patterns for 'teen dolls' (probably cos Mattel wouldn't let her use 'Barbie'...) but we all knew who she meant. Doesn't matter as none of us had 'real' barbies anyway. And I never had dolls. Still have Bare Bear tho...

Here are some of the places I haunt now:

Perpetual Patterns - who go to lots of the quilt shows etc and have fabulous patterns that are easy to make, and often multi-sized:
They are also Oz distributors for Folkwear Patterns - many of which I have.

Some of which I have made...

are some of the patterns I have made.

These are a couple of their patterns I just found that look like they might be fun to play with too!

Imagine the Moroccan Sun Dress in some lovely soft drapy wool crepe or silk and cashmere mix. It is coming in to winter here - I have to think of cool weather clothing now!

And the Fantasia Jacket just looks like fun. Over long slender pants or a pencil skirted LBD... Some crispy flirty silk in those godets...

I also found this site that looks like fun:

and this one has interesting stuff too:

Sorry I can't get these to change colour since I pimped my background. I know they aren't very legible. Just click on them and trust me. (Or - Trust me and click on them...!)

Time for another vodka martini.

And don't forget to watch Spicks and Specks on ABC TV tomorrow (Wednesday) night - The Spooky Men's Choir is performing on the show. HOORAY!!!!!! You foreigners can podcast it I believe. Worth doing. It is a very funny show - music quiz show without prizes but with lots of laughs.


PS What d'yer reckon about my new background? There were a LOT to pick from!


Kt said...

Oooh - thanx for the Spooky Spicks & Specks heads-up!

Clare said...

I remember too well the manky bit of grey material that used to be white. I machine hemmed the obligatory apron in needlework (or Domestic Science as it was once called) and never put needle to thread again. My aunt used to make me a "shift" every Christmas and I hated them. Nasty scratchy material and always the same pattern.

Marvellous patterns though. Perhaps I might rethink about making my own clothes.

catsmum said...

love those Perpetual Patterns - really should use some of the ones I've got!
That First Class Shirt f'rinstance - I happen to know I bought that one in 1996, and have I used it?
not on your Nelly

sMC said...

your blog is always so well written and full of such interesting stuff.
btw like the moon and and and lol.