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…
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.
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 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:
- AnneMarie of Mutton Years Style & I-her IG is mutton_style
- Mary of The Pouting Pensioner -her IG is thepountingpensioner
- Nicole of High Lattitude Style – her IG is highlatitudestyle/
- Penny of Frugal Fashion Shopper -her IG is frugalfashionshopper
- Carmen of Fashion With Compassion-her IG is @forthejoyofit
- Nancy of http://www.jtouchofstyle.com – her IG is @jtouchofstyle
- Michelle and her IG is michelle_dvm99
- Emma of Style Splash-her IG is @thestylesplash
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.
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……..