Sunday, November 06, 2011

Story Telling Sunday

Hi my blogger friends It's Story Telling Sunday again hosted by our good friend Sian

At the end of last week I showed you my decorated picture frame and the final window was a dressmaking scene. This brought back to my memory my mother's 'dummy' which she had named Suzy, I can't remember a time when she didn't have it. It was made in 4 sections which could be expanded to fit practically any adult size for my mother used to make clothes for others, as a means of earning money. Married women didn't go out to work before WW2 and certainly not those with children.
This is very similar but Mum's was on a wooden stand
It was made of shaped wooden sections covered in cloth. Ladies would come and be measured in minute detail and these were noted in a book then when they had gone mum would expand or contract the dummy to those measurements. I do remember her having to pad it out quite a bit for some of her customers. This enable Mum to practically finish the garment with only one fitting on the customer.
Suzy had 'worn' ball gowns, my Wedding Dress, and my going away outfit. Mum's outfit for both my wedding and my brothers and many more
Suzy remain in mum's sewing room and was still used by her, for her own dresses, until the day she went into a care home at the age of 90.

Why not pop over to Sian's place and see who else has a story to tell.

16 comments:

Amy said...

Society has changed so much now, and having a garment made with such care and precision would have been a wonderful experience that was probably taken for granted then, as we take for granted the wide range of relatively inexpensive clothing available to us.

Mary B said...

Very true Amy, it was far cheaper to make your own clothes than to buy them ready made in those days, now it's the other way round.

Lynn said...

Thats a lovely story - my mum made lots of our clothes when we were young and passed the skill onto me - however just as Amy says because clothes are so inexpensive these days I don't anymore.

Scribble Monster said...

A great story Mary, it would indeed be amazing to have something tailor made.

Miriam said...

Oh Mary what lovely memories you have evoked for me. My mother taught me to sew and the pair of us made all our own clothes, I had one of those dressmakers mannequins, I wonder where she is now?

Sian said...

Mary, I always, always look forward to your stories. You can conjure up a scene so well and many of your experiences seem to touch on my own :) Although we never had a dressmakers dummy, my Mummade many of our clothes and probably still would if her hands would let her. I sew too, and I'm teaching my daughter - there is still something special about being able to make it yourself.

A lovely story Mary. Thank you!

Angelfish said...

What a lovely story and how special that your Mum made your wedding dress for you. My Gran was a seamstress and had just such a dummy, only hers was green. Sadly she had passed away by the time I got married, but I like to think she was looking down on me while I sewed mine. Fiona x

Ruth said...

Such a wonderful story that conjures up memories of my Granmother & Great Aunt ~ they were always making-do-and-mending.

Ladkyis said...

I have a modern version, her name is Dolly. She has helped me make robes for wizards and cloaks for elves as well as bridesmaid and wedding dresses and even a party dress for Mary Christmas. thank you for sharing

Jimjams said...

Brilliant memories Mary - My Mum & I both sewed clothes in my youth but gradually home decor took over from the clothes sewing as clothes became cheaper. It's nearly a lost art now! Perhaps, along with home-grown veg, it will resurface as we all have to tighten our belts.

Jane said...

what a lovely story, reminds me of my grandmother

Maria Ontiveros said...

Thanks for the peek into a time gone by. I love storytelling Sunday.
rinda

heart.hearth.home. said...

Such a lovely story - calling the dummy Suzy must have made her part of the family. Dressmaking is a wonderful skill, and it's great that you have the memory of your own clothes being worn by Suzy. Thank you for sharing. Irene

Julie Kirk said...

what a great memory, I think there's something so romantic and nostalgic about dress-forms. And I'm not surprised you had a name for her, she must have become part of the family.

Julie :-)

[Stopping by from Sian's]

Ifa said...

That's a beautiful memory. Thank you for sharing. I have inherited a tailor's dummy from my MIL but unfortunately it does not resize like your Mum's so it is being used purely for decoration. Currently it is sporting a Darth Vader persona.

Becky said...

What a lovely memory to share - thank you for sharing it with us :)

A place for me to put the pictures of layouts I have done that I am pleased with, to put in the poems I write and to add snippets of things that have caught my eye