A Sewing History

W was away at another festival this weekend so I was free to fill my time with lots of creative activities.

My sister and I spent Sunday at my parents and when my mother suddenly appeared with a cardboard box and demanded “come here you two” we thought we were in trouble. Thankfully not!  She’d been having another clear out and produced this beautiful tablecloth and napkins which were given to my grandmother as a wedding present in the 1930s (I’m showing my age now!).  It is hand embroidered but whether it was made by someone she knew we’ll never know.

My sister very generously said I could have it and it has already been on a tentative run through the washing machine at 30° and is looking brighter.  I might be a bit bolder with a gentle stain remover on some small marks next time.  I am definitely going to make use of this, perhaps a vintage~style tea party.


Next out of the box was this little blouse.  I can remember seeing it occasionally over the years and always thinking it was really sweet.  It was made by my grandmother for my mum during the last months of the Second World War because she was going to have her photograph taken.   Fabric was obviously hard to come by because of rationing so I think it was possibly made quite short with elastic round the bottom to hold it in place under a pinafore dress.

It was coming apart at the seams under the arms so I repaired it last night and gave it a quick wash and press to revive it.  It has french seams and is fastened by press studs under the frill so the buttons are just decorative.  It was lovely to handle this little garment and think about my grandmother having made it all those years ago.

And here is my mother wearing it on the 13 April 1945.  Apparently when they arrived at the photographer they realised my mother had lost one of her hair ribbons so there was a mad dash to replace them.  I’m not sure where my grandmother managed to find these at the last minute!  One thing I have definitely inherited from my mother is the unruly hair!


My sister didn’t miss out.  She already has this adorable little vintage brooch, again from my grandmother, and yesterday she added this amazing bracelet to her collection.  It still has the original elastic holding it together.

My grandmother was quite a stylish lady, here’s a photograph of her in her twenties – very daring – and one of my grandfather who was a real character.

Further reports on the weekend’s activities to follow.

9 thoughts on “A Sewing History

  1. What a lovely surprise! The gingham top is so cute and really special – it is lovely to see the actual garment and the photo. A real treasure has been unearthed here! 🙂


  2. I saw your comment on Marie’s blog and decided to have a wander over to yours. Love looking at the photos. Isn’t it great to know the history behind a garment and even more so when you can find the original picture of your mum wearing it!!! Thanks for sharing!!!


    • Hi Tanya! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It is very special to have these memories. One thing I regret is the disappearance of a fabulous white suit my mother crocheted in the 1960s – with a mini skirt and sweet little collarless jacket. Even the buttons were crocheted.


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