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tammyCA

It's so funny you should mention peasant blouses as I've been looking for some lately. I LOVE peasant blouses. I bought a 40s pattern on eBay awhile back, but I was hoping to find one to buy.
I'm a child of the 1960s too, so it was "fashion" of the times...I remember getting a white peasant top with colorful embroider at the neck for my birthday when I was young that I just loved. Whenever I find cotton peasant tops at the thrift stores I buy them for my little girls...they just look so cute.
Lately, I have been thinking about the patchwork skirt I helped make when I was 9 or 10. We had a hippie boarder living at our house and she wore long patchwork skirts. She said she could make my sister & I one...so, we bought some fabric (printed to look like squares of patchwork in the funky colors of the 60s, yellow, orange, red calico) and whipped up a skirt in no time. Now, these long skirts were pretty new on the scene & I was only the second girl in elementary school to wear one. I thought I was hot stuff...but, there was a problem. The hippie boarder basically just folded a length of fabric & stitched straight down the side with an elastic waist. It was a narrow tube (with a slight bustle all around the top part) I was wearing and I could only take baby steps - there was no give at the ankles. So, here I am shuffling down the slick school hallway like a geisha when I trip in the skirt and go sliding down the hall on my belly! That was the first and last time I wore a "maxi skirt" to school. lol.
thanks for letting me 'trip down memory lane' here. :D

Amy B.

It's amazing how looking at past projects can take me back to an exact time and place! Here's a blog post about a freeform project I did when I was 11. Maybe it could fall under the 'primitive art' category...

Thanks for a great topic!

Gina

I rarely sew for myself these days but in younger years, that was basically how I got the majority of my wardrobe. One outfit that really stands out was a widewale pink corduroy hooded jacket with culottes, which were popular at the time (early to mid 60's) I think I was either a freshman or sophmore in high school. There weren't many things I made that I was completely happy with but this was one I loved. LOL! Thanks for prompting the memory!
:-) Gina

Margaret in SC

I have this haunting memory of a Little Red Riding Hood doll that my grandmother had made for me when I was very little. You know-the kind who is little red when flipped one way, grandma when another. Then flip grandma's sleeping cap over her face and she becomes the wolf. I wonder very often what happened to that doll, I'd love to run across it. I saw a similar one on a blog the other day but it didn't match the charm I remember about mine, but it did start my wondering all ovefr again.

Christy/ MommaOnTheMountain

I first learned to cross stitch, when I was about eleven. It was summertime and I was staying with my grandmother. She was southern, and felt all of us girls needed to learn how to do handwork. I remember that they were simple letters, and the kittens from the iron on patterns from Woolworths....sigh....I didn't do it much after I got home, but picked it back up when my two older boys were about 4 & 6....hours spent at the park, sitting under a tree while they played the summer away. I made most of my christmas gifts that year. Now that my two youngest are older, 3.5 &5.5 yrs old....I am once again sitting under a shade tree in the yard, stitching away while they play...

It makes more sense, and really it is very soothing, I had forgotten how much I really enjoyed it. Not to mention that carting a small back of stitchery is much easier than a sewing machine :)

Erin

My Grandmother was the one who taught me to sew but I have never been as good as her. I don't have a picture of the item that she made for me ... it was a Barbie dress and she made them all by hand for me. They looked just like they were sewn on a machine. She was amazing. When I was 21 my Mom and her made me an entire bedroom set...Comforter (Laura Ashley Material) Pillow Shams, Pillows and I crocheted a Pink, White and Sage Green throw that I still have along with some of the pillows. The comforter went through hell and back and I finally took parts of it and framed part and gave some framed pieces to my cousins so they would have something that Grandma made. Everytime I look at my Pillows or the cover for my "Hope" (less) Chest I think of her. She was a wonderful, perfect example of a grandmother. Patient, Kind, talented and willing to share her secrets about sewing, embroidery, and baking with me! I was a very lucky little girl to have known her! I can hardly wait to see her again some day!!

Pauline

My grandmother was my sewing inspiration and one of the first things I stitched was for her:

http://nzfloss.blogspot.com/2007/05/go-away-for-few-days-and-look-what.html

Now my daughter is making them for her grandmothers!

Jo Marcellino

My mom always had a piece of needlework in her hands. She sewed our clothes and knitted us sweaters. I always thought her work was amazing. Even today I define the quality of my work by her efforts.

I fondly remember her teaching me to embroider on this crewel piece that had the cutest little pigs. It was a kit put out by Avon.

I didn't so any crafting for over 20 years and then when I was diagnosed with MS I found crafting again. It has been therapeautic for me as each stitch has wonderful memories of my mom's loving hands.

Anne

As a child in the I remember learning to embroidery the days of the week dishtowels. I remember insisting upon using the right towel on the right day. Mondays were always wash day, Tuesdays we ironed, Saturdays we baked for Sunday dinner etc. Last year I started searching for this long lost pattern. No luck until I discovered your blog and your copy of Simplicity 4048. I quickly ordered the pattern and completed the towels in record time. Oh how I love these towels and cannot bring myself to actually use them! My other memory is my first sewing project - a green gingham apron with three rows of rick rack trim. I worked so patiently on this apron and treasured it all these years. So fun to get it out and look at it and recall the good old days!!

Gina

Growing up I took crafting and art supplies for granted. They were every where in our home and my mom was always doing something. I don't remember my first time sewing, drawing or painting. It seem like I'd always had.
But the very first memory of me sewing clothes was in Jr. High Home Ec class. We were to sew up a pair of shorts. I went home and cut the pattern out, sewed them up by the directions. Feeling pretty good about actually making a piece of clothing. When I was finished and tried them all, well the pockets hung out lower than the bottom of the shorts. I took them to school any ways for my grade. Well, we all got a big laugh even the teacher. Every ones were made like that. The teacher had made up the pattern a few days before and didn't have time to test her pattern. It may have not been a success story but it was a fond silly memory.

Celeste

My mother managed a needlework shop when I was growing up, and I remember so many summer afternoons there as a child, sorting DMC floss. She always had some needlepoint in her hands, stitching away. I remember being absolutely delighted by a surprise Christmas gift she made for me when I was still in elementary school--a lovely, pale set of ballet shoes, framed in pink and white. Oh, how I adored it! My mother had such a way with picking out the perfect pattern for her recipient.

dawn

So pretty! I LOVE memories!

Emily

You did a wonderful job and it's so beautiful! And yes, it does bring back memories. I was thinking about the peasant blouses that I had back in the 60s. One I just loved. I eventually gave them away, thinking I would never wear them again (and they would probably be too small now!) They are hard to find and I've been thinking of making my own.

dirftwood shack

I had a lovely peasant blouse when I was seven years old and loved it so much- on the first time I wore it to school my friend did a cartwheel (type of somersault)and kicked me in the face- my teeth nearly came through my lip- but all I can picture is the blood seeping into the cheery red flowers, needless to say my lovely blouse ended up in the bin. So I think its about time I made myself a new one, isn't it?

Angela

The blouse is gorgeous. All that work shows extreme dedication for a young girl. How fun you still have it. After all that work, it was definitely a keeper! :o)

Tina

Talk about bringing back memories. Back in the early 1960's, my Mom and my Aunt would sit on the front porch every summer evening after dinner, with a crocheting project. I was right there with them embroidering. I remember stitching happy-faced little vegetables on striped dish towels when I was about 14. They waited and waited to be used. Life took strange turns, and the towels were packed away in my sister’s basement for about three decades. Then, we crossed paths again and I had them in my kitchen. Sooo cute! One day, a fire erupted on my kitchen stove and the closest thing within reach was one of the embroidered towels. I grabbed it, dipped it in the dish water and slapped it on the fire. Saved by the cutest dish towel ever. The poor little towel has large burned out areas now, but I still have it. It waited for me all those years and then saved my home from fire. How could I toss it out? I love looking at those towels and enjoying that memory of me and two people I love, now gone, sitting on the front porch with the smell of A & P 8 o’clock coffee brewing in my Aunt’s kitchen, and anticipating with each stitch the strawberry ice cream cones about to be delivered by my brother from the local ice cream parlor for all of us to enjoy. Priceless! Thanks for the memory, Tina ;)

Alicia P.

Oh Vicki, that blouse is so gorgeous -- I'm so glad you still have it. I know I have memories but I'm too mezmorized by the blouse to speak. . . . I love how you changed the colors of the flowers. Perfectly you.

Debbie

I used to make so many of my clothes at that time, but one of the special items was a peasant style dress that I made to wear on my first airplane flight in the summer of 1969 when I was nearly 15. I went to visit my Great Grandmother and I have such fond memories of the time I spent with her that summer. I remember how she loved my dress. She was a talented seamstress and did mostly hand sewing. One year, she sewed me an entire doll wardrobe by hand as a Christmas gift! She died in 1972 and I think that my visit was the last time we saw each other. Memories attached to handmade items are so special. Your blouse is lovely!

Willow Caroline

I had several just like that that my grandmother made me as a child in the 70's. When she cleaned out her home to downsize 2 years ago, we were there to help, and to bring home treasures. I brought home one very similar to that "in progress". I hope to bring it to life soon, although I am pretty sure it is too small for me now!

I also have her embroidered tea towels from her "dowry chest".. and some my mother made.. along with some of my own.. We do not use them for everyday, lOL!

Shelly G.

I think it is so special that you still have the blouse... I wish I had one of my first big projects... there may be a picture of it at my moms... I guess I will have to try to find it... I want to feel all those feelings of accomplishment:)

Niki

I'm holding a banner contest for my second blog anniversary. I'd love to have you join! It's a stitchin' one, :)
Here's the direct link:
http://nikisventures.blogspot.com/2008/07/can-you-help-poor-soul-contest-inside.html

nina

oh, goodness. have you ever brought back the memories for this over-fifty gal! i had a chambray shirt (is that the right word? the blue denimy stuff?) from j.c. penny's, and i embroidered it all OVER the thing with multi colored threads - and even stitched the date into the hem, january 1971. i believe it is still hanging in the back of my closet, simply because i cannot bear to part with it - threadbare, faded, soft as a dream. x

Wylie

I had a Levi denim jacket that I wore constantly in the early 70's. It fit like a glove, and I embroidered birds and flowers on the yoke and on the back. I think it's probably the only piece of clothing I kept, and both of my daughters (now grown) wore it at one time, telling me how cool my "hippy" jacket was! The jacket's hanging in my attic now. You've inspired me to go dig it out. Thanks! Your peasant blouse is absolutely gorgeous. My embroidery is a far cry from yours!

Wylie

I had a Levi denim jacket that I wore constantly in the early 70's. It fit like a glove, and I embroidered birds and flowers on the yoke and on the back. I think it's probably the only piece of clothing I kept, and both of my daughters (now grown) wore it at one time, telling me how cool my "hippy" jacket was! The jacket's hanging in my attic now. You've inspired me to go dig it out. Thanks! Your peasant blouse is absolutely gorgeous. My embroidery is a far cry from yours!

Loretta

My grandmother was a great quilter. She always had a quilt in her large quilting frame, I loved when she would allow me to hand quilt with her. My mother was the queen of embroidery. My first project was a pillow case with cross stitch design, using purple ombre thread. I remember being eight years old when she taught me to sew. Now I have a daughter who hates anything to do with sewing. Am still trying to figure out how that happened. Love your blog.

Betty @ She's Sew Pretty

I remember embroidering a blouse like that back in the 70's. I was wearing it when I did a walkathon for the March of Dimes. The next day, the newspaper had a picture of the crowd and there I was right in the middle of the picture in my embroidered shirt and my bandanna. I'd love to find a copy of that picture.

Emrasa

I still have a reversible corduroy vest I made in Home Ec. class in grade 7. It is red and green plaid on one side (the Bay City Rollers were very big at the time) and red on the other side. I can't possibly part with it but I can't possibly be seen in it either. Incidentally, I went out yesterday and bought myself a peasant blouse pattern.

Courtney

As a child (much like my own son), I had a treasured blue blanket. It was very well loved for years and years. The blanket was actually my dad's baby quilt, sewn and hand embroidered by his great aunt when he was born in 1941.

I have recently been struck by a wild hair (hare?) to recreate that blanket. Since I've been doing so much embroidery lately, it seemed like the perfect combination of craft and treasure hunt. So, I set to work. I figured that the pattern had to have been from the late 1930s. The problem: although I knew there were 12 panels (one for each month) that each depicted an animal, I could no longer remember what animal was originally on the blanket. And, there were no surviving photos. Hmmm. That made things difficult.

Not one to be discouraged, I whipped out the blanket to figure out the details. There really isn't much left of the quilt -- not to mention the hand stitching. Nevertheless, I continued my quest. I noticed that one semi-intact square revealed the residual holes from the stitching. By scrutinizing the holes, I figured out that the shape formed a rabbit.

Then off to Ebay. A quick search of "embroidery pattern 1930s rabbit month" revealed the pattern that I now own. Voila! So, for the low, low price of $5.99 (!) I am now able to re-create a bit of family history of my very own.

Karen

the blouse is awesome... funny how some styles never really go away...i've never actually made anything, but i do have a barn flannel i loved too much to throw away, so i took it to 7th grade home ec and fixed on it. 10 years later, it comes out into my own barn, mismatched buttons, ragged stitches and all.

Misty.Creek

My grandmother taught me all of my homemaking skills. When she sewed something for me, I'd get to cut out the pattern and then maybe get to cut out the fabric and sew some of the straight seams, too. Often she'd give me a few paintbrushes, some cheap craft paint and some wooden shapes to paint. And cooking, I always got to help her cook dinner. My interest in crafts and curiosity in learning any new skill--I'm not easily intimidated by new ones--they all came from her and her example. Lovely memories; thanks for bringing them to mind.

Margaret oomen

I posted a story very similar to yours on my blog a few months ago about an embroidered jean jacket that was made and sold to a rock star and has now made its way back to me. http://resurrectionfern.typepad.com/resurrection_fern/2008/03/the-dream-never.html

Cindy Ericsson

I had to join in the yo-yo revival (currently working on two yo-yo quilts) because my grandmother had the greatest yo-yo coverlet on her bed when I was growing up. My mom embroidered on my denim clothing when I was a kid, and now I embroider and reverse applique on soft denim to put into art quilts and tote bags, maybe even gearing up to a bed quilt.

Betty

I have kept several things from my life too. I also have kept a special box of clothing items that I have made for my now grown children. Two girls and three boys.
I clearly remember my girls saying "I don't want to wear a dress, no one else does, don't make me wear this Mom!" First communion dresses and skirts, short and top sets, little tiny pinafores and bloomers...the boys always wanted cool t-shirts or camo clothing, remember the Ninja Turtles...well we had three boys who all wanted to wear the colors of their favorite turtle...now I have the same grown up kids coming back and borrowing clothing for their own kids! Sometimes its just to have a photo of the child wearing the same thing he or she had worn once upon a time and sometimes its because the clothes are just so darn cute on the newest kiddos in the family... at one time they laughed to think that I would keep some of these things, now they are happy that I did! I made a quilt top for each of them from their favorite t-shirts...sewn on to soft muslin and backed with a print cotton. This was one of my favorite gifts for them. There is a story for every shirt...sometimes many stories!
I can still look at some of the clothes they wore and remember the smiling faces ( or scowling if I wanted one of the girls to wear a dress!)
My girls are sewing, crocheting and knitting on their own now and I seldom make things for them to wear anymore...but every now and then they will ask for a little help on a project... old hands and young hands working together...creating something new.

pam

Ahh I was 14 that year as well, it took another 14 for me to find my Mr. Love the blouse, and your gentle ways.

Debbie

One summer at the cottage when I was a very young teen, reading through 17 Magazine, I came across a white pant outfit modeled by a pretty girl. She was standing beside a sports car with a handsome fellow at the wheel. I wanted an outfit just like that and maybe it would give me good looks and a fun lifestyle, I thought. I convinced my mother to take me to the fabric store in town so I could make an outfit just like in the magazine.
The fabric store in town was a converted garage with only the bare necessities in terms of fabric selection. My mother is a thrifty shopper and convinced me that a remnant of white shiny fabric would work up well for the project I had in mind. The fabric could be best described as non-breathing dupioni.
I quickly whipped up the outfit; flat front bell-bottom pants with a back zipper closing and a long bell shaped sleeve top with a boat neck. It looked great and fit me like a glove but it looked suspiciously the same as my Auntie Ethel's dining room drapes.
Over the course of the summer I went to a number of teen dances in my white pant outfit. The dance halls were hot and humid and I was even more hot and humid in the non-breathing dupioni-like fabric. After each dance, I would wash my outfit in lake water which leaves a fishy scent residue on everything. When dry, it needed to be ironed, thus further embedding the smell.
I never did meet a handsome fellow in a flashing sports car that summer. It's no wonder. Not only did my pristine outfit look peculiar, but it smelled like a big mouth bass!

Gail

Vicki,
Since I started reading your blog your posts have given me many ebjoyable trips down memory lane. Some that I can remember right know are, "The Embroidered Mexican Dress". In high school I loved the blouses you posted about. We had a store near where I live in California that I could purchase them reasonably.The blouses were white emroidered with several different main colors I loved wearing them with my "button down the front straight leg Levi jeans" in high school. As soon as you posted that post I purchased the instructions. It will be fun to make and wear again even if I am 51 years old.
When you posted about your "Sweet Annie Quilt" I was reminded of all the jeans and chambray shirts I embroidered on around the pockets, on the seams, on the pockets and down the legs of the pants. I saw the idea in my "Seventeen" magazine.(I still have that issue) I even made several for gifts. It was so fun to make.
This post of the "Peasant Blouse" brought back brought back many memories. I had the pattern Simplicity 8634, which I still have. I sewed and sewed that blouse. I made them out of gingham, calicos, and eyelet. I made them for friends for their birthday, I sewed them for spending money for ladies at where my mom worked. Oh, what fun!
I went to the fabric store Friday and I picked out a perfect piece of fabric to make another.
Your blog is so fun to read, Vicki! Thank you for the mermories both past and the ones you inspire me to create now! Gail

Janelle

My grandma got me started in cross-stitch with a little Christmas ornament kit she gave me when I was 14. For the next 15 years or so, I cross-stitched all the time--made my siblings both wedding samplers, made endless ornaments, made a couple of baby samplers, made lots of things for my home...

Imagine my amazement when, years later, my grandma looked at something I'd made (probably my sister's wedding sampler) and said, "I don't know how you have the patience to cross-stitch--all those little squares!" and gave a shudder. She couldn't believe it when I told her that she'd been the one to get me started--she'd long forgotten that little angel ornament, which I still have.

Grandma was a lifelong quilter and dabbled in embroidery and crewel, but I guess she just never warmed up to cross-stitch. She gave me a lot of hours of pleasure with my needle, though.

Sonja

That blouse is lovely -- and back in style :)

Jo Marcellino

As an update to my previous I found the piggy embroidery pattern that I mentioned previously. The same one my mom used to teach me embroidery. I've placed a bid on ebay and am hoping for the best. My mom is very ill and I would like to create it for her and make her smile.

Amy

Both my mother and my grandmother sewed and now I have their sewing machines and some old quilts. I always remember my mother at the sewing machine stitching clothes for me and my sisters. Oh how I loved the things she made me and they were one of a kind.

Jaime Compton

That blouse is lovely! I'm sure wonderful memories were conjured upon discovering it. Enjoyed your blog!

Cindy

One of my fondest memories can be found in a quilt my mom made out of fabric scraps. One day I was stretched out on my parent's bed, chit chatting with my mom. She began pointing to different fabric bits, telling what each was a scrap from - skirts, dresses, aprons, etc. One particular floral piece was different from every other tiny block in the quilt. What was that one from? The blouse my mom wore on the first date (a blind date no less!) she ever had with my dad. They've been married for over 30 years. :)

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