Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Repeating patterns

Connie of Snow in the Air wonders what our earliest fashion memories are. She posted her own early memory, a pattern of children's dungarees together with a recent photo of herself dressed in something similar - minus the inner leg poppers!
My earliest memory is of a white linen two-piece, plain pants and a top smocked in blue thread. I remember this outfit because I managed to get some black tar on the pants. You could say that those pants are etched on my memory! Version 2 in this Simplicity pattern is similar to my white outfit and I used this pattern for my daughters and also to make presents for friends. I would buy offcuts of Viyella fabric, only one yard was needed, and a little time spent sewing the smocked yoke.
I made most of our daughters' clothes when they were small, dressing them much the same way that I had been dressed in Peter Pan collars and smocked fronts.
Here I'm at the Highland Games with big brother, wearing a Fair Isle cardigan and oh-so-tight pigtails! The tartan shoulder bag is my brand new acquisition.

It used to make economic sense to make your own clothes, ready-mades were expensive to buy. These days it's the other way about, a handmade dress, by the time you've bought the pattern, fabric, thread and buttons, never mind factoring in the time spent, can be a costly affair.
Of course, making something by hand is an act of love.
And the home-made dresses made my rascals look positively angelic!

Every month a couple of magazines come in the post, they rush me through the year because they are always a month ahead. Elle's April edition has arrived
 and I note that Connie's outfit is very of the moment with plenty of dungarees featured,

I love the look of this M&S jumpsuit. A WHITE jumpsuit! Practical? Perhaps not.
(And I covet those shoes!)
I love a tomboy and an androgynous look, perhaps because when I wasn't wearing a smocked dress I would be outside climbing trees in my brother's outgrown jumpers and kilt!
Looks as though white shoes are in, folks!


  1. How fun to see those sewing patterns! I don't remember my own clothes, but I do remember those I sewed for my own children. I believe I had the same pattern as the top one. I made so many of those long gowns (or whatever we called them) for my own children and many more as shower gifts. Thanks for this trip down memory lane.

    1. Hello Margot,
      I've got a shelf stuffed with old patterns and it's a real trip down memory lane when I look at them! Like you, I made numerous little outfits from that Simplicity pattern.

  2. I am soooo happy that I inspired you to post about your own early fashion memories. I love these photos. From what I can tell, you have always been stylish. I'll bet you were born that way! Your daughters have certainly benefited from your fabulous fashion skills.
    It is so true about sewing being so expensive these days. Such a shame. I grew up in a small town in the middle of nowhere. If we wanted something a bit fun to wear we had to sew it ourselves since there were very few stores in town and they mostly sold farm supplies. Maybe that's why I have such an affection for dungarees. Much love.

    1. Hi Connie, I don't know about the 'always been stylish' bit. My father loved good clothes and he was the one who took me to choose my special party dress each year and went with my mother to decide on her cocktail and evening dresses - I wish I had some of them now!
      (Please note that most of my time these days is spent in grubbing-about clothes!)