I know its still summer (it barely quit raining here last week), but planning for upcoming garments is half the fun of sewing. In the spirit of inspiring upcoming Fall projects, I bring you this school-girls dress, circa 1969, made by my Grandma E.
Back when my Mom was a school-girl and my Grandma was getting kids ready for back to school, there was back-to-school shopping, but there was also a lot of back-to-school sewing. My Mom had two younger sisters and either the dress code of the school or the culture of the time dictated that the girls wore dresses to school not pants. Jeans were worn at home for chores, but at school they wore dresses. Because she is incredibly talented, and because clothing was not nearly so cheap in 1969 as it is now, my Grandma made most, if not all, of her kids school clothes. Amazingly, some of my Grandma’s homemade school-girl dresses have survived being worn not only by my mom and her two sisters, but also by me and my three sisters. This one is currently hanging in G’s closet, waiting for her to grow into it.
What on earth did my Grandma do that made these dresses last and last? Firstly, it might have helped that my Mom and aunts had designated school dresses and different clothes for at home, so maybe had fewer washings and less opportunities to get torn/stained. Secondly, it probably helped that many of them were from fabric that pre-dated the permanent press era, so they weren’t worn nearly as much by myself and my sisters as they would have been if they didn’t spend time on the ironing pile. Still, she did a great job with sturdy construction and quality fabrics that have stood the test of time and wear.