In the post war fifties of
expensive clothing stay at home
Mums made clothes, darned
and mended holes and tears.

Bus trips to town yielded fabrics
of low cost from huge department
stores with garment patterns
reels of cotton, needles pins
tape measures, tailors chalk.
Also twists of darning wool for
socks, jerseys, skeins of wool
to be unwound, twisted into
smaller balls  for knitting into
socks, jerseys once rescued
from the cat’s sharp claws.

After daily visits to butcher and
baker, dressmaking days began.
Cloth spread out on the living
room floor covered with pinned
on pattern pieces, cut out, pinned
together sewn at the knee lever
sewing machine on the dining
table. Partly made garments tried
on homecoming children finally
checked for length with the
wooden skirt measure.
Hemmed by hand at night after
dinner cooked and eaten, dishes
washed and dried.

A long full day for a fifties
stay at home Mum.


13 thoughts on “Garments

  1. Beautiful and so true, I remember those days very well. When I had my first baby in 1961, I sewed and knitted everything, even knitted a baby shaw, no clothes were brought in the shop, as you said buying fabric. Young ones these days have life easy when it comes to clothing children. I think you will agree.
    Hope you have a nice weekend, not too much rain.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh really? You make your own? You must post a photo of them – give us an account of the process. I often wonder about historical costumes too. The effort that must have been made without the technology of today. Not to mention the caring for them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nor anymore. I made them until 1985’ish, when the materials became very expensive and ready made clothes became far cheaper. I wanted to make an overcoat for school playground duty and discovered I could get a ready made jacket / coat for half the price off the necessary materials. Also at the time decent parkas became affordable, and here in New Zealand lots of little shops were each making a limited range pf garments and selling them out the shop at the front. Later cheap garments made in Asia also flooded he market.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This poem took me back to my childhood that was littered with fabric scraps, the hum of the sewing machine, the try-on in front of a mirror, the standing on a chair while Mom sat on the floor measuring and marking the hemline of my new dress. Thanks for the memories, Glenys.

    Liked by 1 person

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