Puzzled About Patterns

| 6/30/2017 9:27:00 AM

Tags: sewing, clothing, children's clothes, patterns, old fashioned pattern making, country living,


I do a lot of sewing since that is what my mother, grandmother, grandma’s mother, etc., did. However, I have had it pretty easy I guess. I remember looking at the picture of my grandmother and grandfather on their wedding day (shown below) and wondering if she really sewed that dress by hand or if they had a sewing machine. It never dawned on me at that time that they may not have had a pattern either.

Clara Boyd Clayton and Chancy Taylor

 Later, as I grew older, I remember coming home and finding a new dress for my Barbie doll that my mother had whipped up while I was in school. Sometimes I would come home and find she had made herself a dress from some fabric she had, too. For whatever reason, though, I never thought much about it. Then I realized one day that my mother didn’t have any patterns for herself. In fact, I don’t remember her having any patterns for my stuff either! But she made my clothes until I started going to junior high school. Then she bought a couple of patterns and I began making some of my clothes. She began saving up to buy me a couple of items, also. I guess she realized how hard it was on me going to school in handmade clothes while all the other girls had store-bought dresses! This was in the '60s and '70s and I don’t remember hearing much about people sewing their children’s clothing at that time. I know some of them did, but it wasn’t quite as prevalent as when my mama grew up in the 1910s and 1920s.  Below are a couple of pictures of the things she made for me. (Please, do not laugh at my ugly glasses in the one photo! My mother and brother both tried to talk me out of those things.) But, she did let me pick out the fabric in the one picture with the ugly glasses! I don’t know if that is a good thing or not.

Diana in Junior High SchoolDiana Age 4

 All of this comes back to me as I am trying to make some ladies shirts and finding it very difficult to find patterns for what I am wanting to do. I looked online and found a couple that were very close to what I wanted; I even found one that was perfect, until I downloaded the pattern. It seems the girl who made the shirt is from Japan and the way they do their patterns over there is quite different from the way we do them here. Her pattern was an 8.5" X 11" piece of paper with measurements on it in centimeters and, of course, the pieces drawn on there with those measurements, but the pattern itself had to be traced and converted to the proper size. And converted to inches!  I finally gave up on that one and did manage to create a pattern of my own, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was when I saw my mama do it.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!