Memory Remnants Redux

Last week I posted some photos of fabric scraps leftover from my childhood. You guys (as my Michigan roots instruct me to phrase it) helped me with ideas of what to do with the scraps, ranging from giving them to a church to quilters to sewing cat beds to making a scrapbook. You also gave me an idea of how to get rid of the smell of mothballs (thanks, Michelle).Β  I put them into the dryer, and the smell turned flowery!

I now have plans for the scraps, but it is going to take some time before I can get started. In the meantime I have two more bags of scraps to put through the dryer and leave to air out. So don’t expect to hear back on the scraps for a couple of months!

When I began the process of putting the first bag of scraps into the dryer I discovered that there were a few pieces of unfinished clothing in the lot.

I think all these items were begun during 7th grade, before I had really learned to sew, but was beginning to experiment. These goofy pants crack me up. Were they meant to be pants or pajama bottoms? Judging by the darts, I’d say pants! Thinking back to that first year of junior high, we still had to wear skirts to school. What a different world.

Then there was this top–meant to be strapless, like a tube top in a way. But it turned out to be beyond my ability.

Is this stuff just a hoot? Well, here is a skirt I made and didn’t finish.

Not finishing this skirt did not stop me from wearing it at home. I was halfway through 7th grade, and desperate for new clothes. I also wanted to experiment with styles. So I sewed together the two sides of the skirt and put it on! Then I dressed it up with other pieces. Thought I was the coolest thing ever. And here I am.

I was such a weird kid. But note my bow tie (either my little brother’s or my grandfather’s tie from his Sunoco uniform) and the oxford shirt. I made the vest out of a pillowcase. That turquoise bow on my thigh? PJ bottom peeking out

That table and chairs? Pretty sure it came from Polk Brothers in Chicago. Anybody remember that store? Oh my gosh, I just realized that the napkin holder on the table? I made that that year at home on my father’s lathe.Β I still have it.Β OK, weird kid, weird adult. I must save everything the least bit sentimental. I made that thing for my mother on my own on that big piece of equipment. Painted it yellow and slapped on some decals. A few years ago, my mom gave it back to me. I guess she was finished with it ;).

Then I must have decided to match a gold and white stripe knit top with the skirt. When one of my parents tried to take a picture of my designer-wannabe endeavor, I fled out of embarrassment (my usual state at this age).

That was the end of my designing career.

How’s about that ladder in my tights?

Or, who was that person?

A couple of pieces of fabric in the bag had prices still attached. Look at this seersucker. I bought it at Thrifty Acres, which eventually became Meijer’s.

Joann’s is still selling seersucker, although I’ll bet the quality is not the same. Those old fabrics were excellent, which is why these scraps are 50 years old and look like new.

Now it’s $9.99/yard. It looks like I paid $1.18/yard. I guess the most astonishing thing is that people are still buying seersucker!

My original seersucker was from a time period where we were looking back to the 1920s Gatsby look. What would it be used for today?

Make it a great week!




Filed under #AmWriting, #writerlife, #writerslife, Creative Nonfiction, Essay, Family history, Flash Nonfiction, Memoir, Nonfiction, Vintage American culture, Writing, Writing prompt

45 responses to “Memory Remnants Redux

  1. A different kind of family history πŸ™‚ WP won’t let me like it

  2. I had a blue and white striped seersucker suit. I loved it! Can’t remember the last time I wore a suit. Well over a decade. I remember making a floral skirt from one of my mom’s dresses. No pattern but it turned out great. I loved it but I don’t have it anymore. Sure wish I just for sentimental value.

    • Isn’t it funny how we get rid of stuff without batting an eye and then years later we think, darn, I wish I still had that to see, touch, etc. Seersucker was really comfy!!!

  3. Hey, you’re having fun with this!

  4. The “weird” kid was quite stripey, it seems

  5. I don’t remember that store, but I think we had that same kitchen table!

  6. Loved the pictures of you, Luanne!
    You were the coolest kid!!

  7. What a treasury of scraps you have there. Get sewing!!!!

  8. Not weird … cool! And kudos to you for sharing those old photos of yourself. So many of mine make me cringe. Good luck with your latest project. Are you going to donate the scraps or get back into sewing???

    • Funny that you mention this about old photos. I am weird about that, too. I am really vain about photos of myself, although not so much so about real life. Something about the locked-in nature of photos and also being able to see myself. And you see I wrote here about how I was easily embarrassed as a kid. I’ve always been that way, so this was a bit of a challenge to myself to put post these photos. I am trying to push myself in some areas. And I done it!
      Not telling yet hehehe.

  9. Great memories. You were eating a creamsicle I think. I liked your hand made stuff.

    • I was eating one. I was always eating one. That was 7th grade. That year we had a class where we had to keep a log of our calories. I ate 10,000 calories a day!!! Growing girl, you know.
      Thanks, John.

  10. Love the pants! I was never a sewer but I did used to go to jumble sales to find clothes that made up some weird and wonderful combinations – no pics unfortunately (or fortunately)!

  11. This post makes me happy – you were allowed to be who you were by the sounds and isn’t that the best way to be a kid. Discussions on escalating costs are common in my life currently – house prices have tripled in six years and my normal cost of groceries have increased 50% in two. My daughter was exactly like you in her early teens, making and remaking clothes from new or used states, kids who dress uniquely are to be encouraged, it shows creativity and courage!

    • I didn’t even want to like your comment after hearing how much your groceries have gone up! My goodness, that is awful! And houses tripled in 6 years? What in the world is going on over there? How will people manage?! I’m so sorry. I agree about the dressing thing. It’s so funny with my son. At the age of 3 he decided he would lay out his outfit for the next day on the floor and see how it looked. And he was picky! Then when he reached adulthood for a few years he would only wear white and black! He never wanted to be different, maybe because he was transracial adopted and conscious of being “different” at his school, too. But in his own rigid way he was creating his own look, putting his own “stamp” on his look.

  12. Enjoyed each image and your description.

  13. Love the skirt and all of it. Your memories bring back my memories! All the best kids are the weird kids…I hope! 😬🀣

  14. I think the kid looks adorable, actually:)). And what a lovely trip down memory lane…

  15. I love this! You were so cute and clever too!

  16. I always wish I had learned to sew. My grandma did. She even made some Halloween costumes for me, when I was growing up.

  17. I cracked up looking at your little masterpieces of yore! If I still had mine, they’d be just as laughable, I know! I must say that the little pair of pants up top look to be the right size for a toddler! So cute!

  18. I enjoyed viewing all the photos of you growing up, Luanne. Precious!

  19. I loved reading this! It made me smile and think about my own class on sewing. The teacher insisted I needed a certain size. I disagreed but did as told. When I was done with the sleeveless top, I gave it to my great-aunt because it was so large and she loved that I had made it. You were unique, not weird. We all are. That you experimented with fashion says you are willing to look outside the box. My fashion choices were always inexpensive, (not cheap) with long term serviceability. Skirts in basic colors and neutral tops to make the wardrobe appear more extensive than it actually was. I didn’t really start sewing until I had my daughter. Girl clothes were very expensive. I have photos of some of what I made but very little of the actual item. Looking forward to seeing what you are going to do with those scraps. I have tons.

  20. You were a weirdo kids because you had to be to become a writer. Duh.

    I love seersucker and enjoy it all summer πŸ™‚ Also, dreamsicles πŸ™‚

    My mother made my clothes when I was small. She’s a hell of a seamstress. I can sew. I can’t SEW. I was lucky to finish my 7th grade applique pillow. I quilt, but let’s face it, that’s a series of straight lines.

    • Yes, a weirdo is right! That is so cool that your mom made your clothes! It’s such a special experience. My mom didn’t, but obviously my grandmother did instead.

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