The last couple of days I have been indulging in another of my former interests, dressmaking.

When we booked for the cruise I knew that I would need an evening dress (not much call for one out in the sticks 🙂 )

I soon started to remember why I used to make so many of my own clothes, when I could not find anything I liked in my size or the colour I wanted. Jennie came with me to the material shop and helped me choose a rather nice blue material. It is taking me a bit longer than I expected because I couldn’t find a pattern I liked and have had to adapt one I had already, but at last it is coming together.

I made my first dress with a pattern when I was ten years old. Before this I had learned most of the basics from my Mum and then she had the confidence to let me do it on my own.

We bought the material from Nottingham Market. There was a man called Harry who bought bags full of remnants from the factories and sold them on a stall there. He always had a big crowd round his stall and he would dive into his sack and pull out a remnant, measure it by holding it up, arms length to nose for a yard, and put a price on it and the first one to catch his eye bought it. He must have started this as soon as rationing finished and, as most people could either do dressmaking or knew someone who could, everyone was hungry for new clothes.

I carried on making my own for many years, mainly because I had to alter everything ready made anyway being a titch. When mini skirts came in there was less need for this and the dress making dropped off, and then imported clothes were so cheap too.

I made quite a lot for Jennie when she was small and then it was just her costumes for dancing, until I made her wedding dress and between us we made the waistcoats and ties for the men. After this I made Cheeky’s baptism outfit and that was about that until now.

I think the bug might have bitten again especially as I have a drawerful of material and have been introduced to the wonderful world of the new materials.

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