Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Gingham Dresses

I lived in a neighborhood full of kids.  
I was one of five.  
The Shipae's had six. 
The Vershouskie's had four, 
and there were several other families on the block that  with only two or three. 
There were no only children!

Most of the kids were girls.  I was one of the youngest.

All of our mothers stayed home,  and it seemed they were pretty good friends.
One summer my mother somehow acquired a large amount of red gingham fabric.

And she began to sew.

And sew, and sew.


Dresses that all looked the same for all of the neighborhood girls.
I remember they had several sections  on the very full skirt, and each section was separated by a ruffle and row of red rickrack.  

 Miles of red rickrack!

One of the reasons I remember those dresses so well was that I got to wear them for years! 

 I wore mine.
 I wore my big sister, Ellen's.
 I wore my bigger sister, Lenore's, 
and the hand-me-downs of a few other older neighbor girls.

I think I was in Junior High before I finally grew out of the last of those gingham dresses!  

And boy, was I glad.

Audio Version: Merikay tells the Story


  1. What a great story! I was the youngest of 9 (seven survived) and I know what you are saying about hand-me-downs. My mother used to sew beautiful dresses from whatever was on hand. Back then flour came in fabric sacks as did chicken feed. The girls took turns picking out which bag of flour or feed to buy because that fabric would provide material for the next dress. Thos hand-me-downs weren't bad but I still cringe to think that, being the youngest, I always got the last bath in the shared bath water - true story!!

  2. I adore that story and had a gingham dress much like that made by my mother but I was the oldest of two and my sister was nine years younger.

    I too have benefited from many a flour sack or feed sack dresses. Yep, I'm old! Heehehehe!

    May your day be filled with Irish blessings!!! :o)

  3. Just discovered this blog -- I too remember those gingham dresses, altho I was the only girl and the oldest of the cousins so no hand-me-downs for me:)

  4. Glad I didn't have a mother who sewed! And no hand-me-downs - no older or younger sisters. Love your sound booth, too funny!

  5. I just found this blog and love this story. I lived gingham!

  6. This may not make any sense to you, but this bit from Red Dwarf came to mind immediately!

    Sorry! :)

  7. Hey! Don't stop writing! Keep it up, love it.

  8. Hi, Merikay! I just found you on Nan's blog (just what I need--another blog to read!) I can't keep up, now. I added you to my blog roll.

    Just wanted to congratulate you on your recent good news. Gal power. :)

  9. Hey, I just found this! I can relate-my mom came into possession of some astoundingly awful floral material and sewed matching culottes and shorts. Thankfully, I only had one older sister, so I was only stuck with one set of hand-me-downs!

  10. Very Cute Collection:) thanks for adding my set ine this editorial!