My Sew Sew Life-The Gingham Trend + 1st. Friday’s Slow Fashion Walk

Quite a few bloggers seem to be wearing gingham these days so maybe it is “on trend”. Gingham was very much a trend for me a few short years ago in 1966. That’s when I made my black and white gingham Mary Quant dress. Special memories this dress brings, so I hope to keep it in my closet a few more years.


The Summer of ’66

In truth, I didn’t make it myself. I was a pretty good seamstress for someone just 16 but a total flop at handwork or smocking. The pattern had an insert of smocking which I tried but just couldn’t get the hang of it.

Fortunately, Mom was good at about all things needlework and tackled the smocking while I took on all the other sewing of the dress. I still have a clear memory of her sitting on the floor by my bedroom window and stitching away.

Honestly, it was amazing she even bought the pattern and material. Dad was a sheet metal mechanic for TWA (Trans World Airlines) and a union man. That summer, five days after I turned 16, the union went on strike. It turned out to be the most widespread strike in airline history.

I just remember the summer of ’66 being rough for our family. We had no money coming in for what seemed like a terrible long time. I refreshed my memory by reading about the strike HERE. I didn’t realize then how lucky I was that Mom bought that pattern and material for me.

In the end, the machinists’ lot improved in terms of safety and income. The strike and the union really benefited our family’s well being…


Mary Quant

Black and white has always been my favorite color combination even back in ’66. Some things just don’t change. Back then, like most teen girls, I was in love with the Beatles and the whole British invasion thing.

Mary Quant was considered a leader of this new hip look. I was so thrilled when she worked with Butterick to create patterns for us teens (or our mothers and grandmothers) to sew. I ended up making a dress, a jumper (an American jumper not a sweater) and a navy spring coat. I still have my dress and jumper.


Leggings, Flats, Boots and a Backpack

When I went to college, I hemmed this dress up ridiculously short (it has a 7” hem). If I had worn that length in High School, very likely I would have been sent home for indecent exposure!

I didn’t change the hem length for these photos, I just put on a pair of leggings. If I wear this dress out and about now, I think I would let it down at least 2”. (Michael likes the hem right where it is…imagine that.) Black leggings would still be in the mix because they look great with it.

Butterick 3505

She’s an old and battered pattern, but I still have her. And yes you are reading my maiden name. Until the age of 23, I was know as Teresa Lynn Reinschmidt.

In the second pix above (and just below), I’m wearing NineWest loafer-styled flats. Can I remember what shoes I originally wore with my dress? Looking at the model and drawings on the Butterick pattern, the stylists picked Mary Jane’s (didn’t have) and what what might be smoking loafers (didn’t have those either).

I recall having loafers back in High School so that’s probably what I settled on. But my heart even then was really with white booties–which I happily found on clearance last June at Marshalls (my GoGo booties, in the pix above the pattern).

These booties were love at first sight and I really thought they would be a cinch to work with. Whoops, that hasn’t been the case. However, I am determined to come up with something so it’s time to put  on my creative thinking cap on how to incorporate them this fall. Do you think we are well past that old Mom’s rule of, ”no white after labor day?” I think I might dare wear my white booties if I go gallery hopping this 1st Friday in September.


In the early 2000’s my sister gave me a small black leather backpack that she no longer needed. I literally carried it everywhere for years until wearing it out. I was very attached to that bag. Good daughter Rachelle tried to alleviate my loss when she picked up this nylon Nine West backpack at an estate sale. For awhile, I really didn’t give the backpack a chance. Finally, over a dozen years later, I’ve been using it on a regular basis and I don’t know why it took me so long.

My Favorite Gingham Collection of All Time

I’m closing out with my favorite gingham collection of all time. When WW II was raging, French couture was absent and American designers came into their own and started designing sophisticated looks around more basic American fabrics.

In 1942, American costume and clothing designer,  Adrian, created the Gingham Girls hostess gowns using humble American made gingham. If you aren’t familiar with Adrian, he designed the costumes for the 1939 production of The Wizard of Oz.

This photo is taken from the book, American Beauty by Patricia Mears. American Beauty is a chronicle of pivotal American designers; may which have become obscured over time. I highly recommend this book, if nothing else for its gorgeous photos. I found mine used on Amazon a couple of years ago and am constantly referring to it. 

This finishes my part of this September 1st Friday Slow Fashion Walk. One of the ways you can hook up is styling with something that has been in your closet for a good long time, say ten years or more.

Now, it’s time to have all of you share any Instagram or blog photos of your slow fashion. Here are just a few ideas: thrifted, locally made, Fair Trade, DIY, traded, borrowed, and just been in your closet forever. I look forward to see what everyone has been up to.

To get in the spirit of things I created a collage of the wonderful slow Fashionistas that linked up in August.


If you don’t follow any of these ladies, you are missing out on great inspirations. Starting from the top left they are:

It’s now time to start our new Slow Fashion Walk for August. It starts today and stays open until September 30th.


To link up, Just click the blue button below and it will take you to a new page. Copy your URL, crop your photo and that is just about it.

If you haven’t ever joined a Linkup before and want some help, here is my guide.

Visit some of the other bloggers and above all else have some fun.

I link up with some great blogs every week. To see who they are go HERE.

Michael gets credit for the photos and editing. If you spot a mistake, it’s all his fault.

Again, thanks for stopping by. Take care……..


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23 thoughts on “My Sew Sew Life-The Gingham Trend + 1st. Friday’s Slow Fashion Walk

  1. Hello Terri, I’m just amazed and slightly in awe that you kept a dress for so long, but the story behind it is so interesting and indeed poignant; the dress must be permeated with emotion and memories so no wonder it is a treasured keeper. And what a lovely dress it is – yes you can and should wear it out and about with leggings! Also I love the white boots and the backpack. I always wear a backpack now – for my back more than anything!

    Ah, Mary Quant! I distinctly remember buying and wearing a ginger wool suit with a short pleated skirt and box jacket. Did I keep it, no!!!! So many clothes I’ve worn and so many discarded, but all now sent to charity shops – so someone else benefits, which is good. Thank you so much for hosting this sharing session – such a good idea x


    1. I was wondering what you would say about this one because I remember our conversation when I decided to expand the linkup and you didn’t think keeping something in your closet for ten years was a good idea. I thought,”Oh my, she has no idea how long I’ve had a dress and jumper hanging around.”
      I am amazed every time I do research on Dame Mary Quant, that she is still with us at a ripe age of 84!
      I think you have the right idea about a backpack. I’m not going to immediately look for a more sturdy and partial one but what I liked about my old one is how organized I could be .


    1. Thanks Sharmon
      When I was writing my post, I looked everywhere to see if there were any used ones around but there aren’t any of this particular dress. There is one copy on ETSY of my other pattern that I have by her.

      Thank you for saying something about the booties. Around July, I was wondering about my sanity in buying them. After this post, I am now determined that my next post is going to be about how to wear white booties in the fall!



  2. The dress is fabulous and it is impressive that you can wear it. There’s no way I could fit my girls into that cute lil dress! Loved the backstory about the dress and seeing the original pattern…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Donna,

      I think I was thinner in my adult life than I was in High School. At this point I’m sort of back where i was when I was 16. I can’t get into any pants that I made in the 80’s but have no trouble with the 60’s. That’s the way the scale goes, I guess. My poor pattern: I have not idea how it got so beat up. I have to keep it in a baggie now to keep it together. Oh, and I still can’t smock!


  3. Goodness you have such a wonderful collection of clothes Terri. You suit the style and colour and the leggings and white booties add to the outfit. I remember Mary Quant and I loved her style and her hair. Biba was another favourite of mine around that time. Unfortunately, I have no clothes older than ten years. 🌼

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sister accuses me of never getting rid of anything. And, I admit, I do hold on to some things I think are special.

      Around the middle of the summer, I started thinking that maybe the booties should have stayed at the store. However, starting tonight, I am on a mission to find ways to use them with more than a 50 year old dress! 🙂


  4. Hi Terry
    I have some items in my closet that are 30 years old and older. I especially can´t get rid of clothes which I made myself. Your Gingham dress is really worth being kept. You still look amazing in it and it´s so up to date! And your white booties make me jealous. They are awesome!!! I added a pic of my self made culottes in your ´Slow Fashion Walk` which I think is a great idea.I hope I did correctly!
    Wish you a lovely weekend!
    xoxo Reni

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Reni
      I only have two things from 64-68, a few things from 68-69 and nothing from the 70’s. I made all of my clothes during that time so I did get rid of almost all I made. The 80s were different. I was buying redi-made but sewing really cool things and have most of them. Unfortunately, I was so skinny during the 80s that I can’t really fit into anything but my jackets from that decade. Except for my oldest daughter’s wedding dress, I didn’t sew during the 90’s or early 2000’s. I was busy knitting, spinning yarn. Hapilly, I now have a balance between the two.

      Those boots-I just wore them last night to a gallery opening and am thinking about a way to wear them when I work at school Monday.

      You linked up just fine-I checked. Thank you. I is nice to have another seamstress besides me join this little movement of mine.

      Take care, and I hope you are having a nice weekend too.



  5. Very interesting article, Terri. I’m surprised I didn’t buy a Mary Quant pattern at the time. I sewed and faithfully read “Seventeen” magazine in the late 1960s. I saved one blouse and jumper and it was one I made in 1964 at age 12 at Singer sewing lessons. I won for my age group “tween” so I kept the dress as a reminder of the wonderful trip to NY with my mother.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kathy, nice to hear about another teen sewer from the 60’s. I faithfully read Seventeen too. am a firm believer that clothes can have personal history and believe in keeping some that really have meaning, even if we can’t still wear them. We have seem to have mothers play an important in some of what we kept. Are you sewing? I skipped a few years and am happy now that I’ve gotten back into it.


  6. I love this post Terri, thank you for sharing your story and interesting info about gingham. I remember Dorothy’s gingham dress! Oh my! You still have the pattern, thanks for including it!

    You look so youthful and it’s great that you can still wear this lovely dress! What a keepsake, especially since you and your mom worked on it together! A genuine vintage dress with a mod ’60s vibe! Perfect with black leggings for today.

    Like you, I love black and white. I always loved gingham and have several gingham items. My daughter made a gingham skirt for her first sewing project in home ec in grade 7. Clothes have special memories for me too and that’s one reason I hang on to things for so long. I only have a few things from the ’60s because in 1966 (I was 14) we made a big move and sold our house and most of our belongings.

    Thank you so much for promoting SLOW FASHION! The collage is such a pretty collection of the linkup!



    1. HI Carmen,

      Truthfully I only have a couple of things from the middle 60’s and a couple of more that I made in my college days. I really believe clothes can have a personal history and shouldn’t be discarded if they are really special which I think a lot of us do.

      Thank you for appreciating the collage. I realize that this is a niche linkup and I’m probably not going to have very many participating. But, the upside, is I can get everyone in a collage and I’ve always enjoyed doing collages.

      I figure if a few of us just keep talking about Slow Fashion, more will join the movement.


      Liked by 1 person

  7. I can’t even begin to say how much I love this look, Terri! And all the more so that it has such a wonderful, special history! That’s just amazing! You’ve styled it so perfectly! (I have to agree with Michael about the hem…leave it alone! You look great!) The white boots kill with this! And white after Labor Day is more than ok now…it’s positively chic – so, go for it!
    This is just such a perfect blend of vintage and modern and you wear it so well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the support Ronnie…I just wore my boots with something totally different Friday night and think I am going to wear them Wednesday to the FGI meeting, but with something even different than that. I’m trying for three extra besides the Mary Quant.

      I love my vintage when it works in a modern way, so that was nice of you to say what you did. Thanks you for linking up! I missed you last month.


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