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give me those old time dresses

July 21, 2011

the dresses await

I love all the rich fabrics

this hard-to-iron fabric has little treasure chests and keys stamped on it!

attempting to iron the treasure chest and keys dress...

lots-o-lace

this one is risqué when you wear it because you can't tell right away that it's pink satin there behind the lace...

I had so many vintage clothes back when I was in my 20’s. I bought most of them at vintage boutiques in the late eighties and early nineties. Some of them I still have packed away. I have started wearing them again sometimes, but first, I need to fix them up a bit. Most of these dresses are in serious need of repair since I used to wear things until there were multiple holes and didn’t seem to care if a button was missing! (Part of the fun in the 90’s.) So I’ve brought in my favorites to the sewing room and am cleaning, ironing and repairing them bit by bit.

The ladies are happy to be back in action! Most of them are from the 40’s or 50’s when they were experimenting with rayons and polyesters… some of the fabrics are quite strange but lovely in their own way. A surprising percentage of the clothes are handmade. Not an uncommon thing in those days. My Mom and her sisters were just talking about how when they were teenagers, their cousins would give them their hand-me downs, which were handmade in the first place, and they would remake them into new clothes. They talked with absolute clarity about “the plaid dress” or “the pink dress from so-and so”. Some of these dresses were remade into new outfits at least three times, passing down from sister to sister, on the old singer treadle sewing machine my gramma had in those days. I wish we still had that sewing machine! And I wonder about the history of some of my dresses and who made the handstitches so many of them have on the inside.

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