Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Votes For Women #12

The block last week for Barbara Brackman's BOW is called "Little Boys Breeches: Dress Reform". I had fun picking out the fabric for each of the breeches/britches, and made two in pink fabric to symbolize women starting to wear pants.

I didn't want to sew "set in seams", so I made a paper piecing template from studying the block on the computer screen and it worked out perfectly.
I will go to great lengths to avoid set in seams! LOL

The history lesson for Grandmother's Choice block #12 is about "Dress Reform" and how women's fashion developed. Barbara Brackman wrote: "Women's fashion was a pretty prison". Interesting that some of our modern day fashions still make it difficult for women to walk, and move freely :)
I thought this would be a great opportunity to show you some of my women ancestors and the clothing they wore
This is a photo of my maternal great grandparents taken in England.  How scandalous of my grandmother to be showing her ankles in the early 1900's!
Look at that fancy belt and the waist treatment on Grandma's dress. 
BTW... no one in the family inherited her curly hair (if that is her hair and not a wig?)
It is interesting to note that my Great Grandmother was completely illiterate. She made her signature by writing an 'X', she never had a bank account, or paid a bill, or voted in her lifetime! In fact she rarely left the house because she had no need to.
FYI - I still have that locket that is around her neck but it is too fragile to wear. It needs some restoration some day.

Family photo in the 30's:
This is a photo of 3 sisters and 2 sisters-in-law...
Aunt Nellie, Ellen - my Nana (SIL), Aunt Nora, Aunt Orpha (SIL), and Aunt May.
Love the fashion, from the hair styles, the dresses, collars and belts, to the shoes. These women are have all died now but throughout their lives, they never wore trousers/
pants/breeches...always dresses or skirts. 
My mother very clearly remembers the first time she bought a "pant suit" in the late 1960's, having worn skirts/dresses up until then. 
I am very thankful to be a woman in 2012 when I get to put on my britches, comfortable walking shoes, and go to work!


Heather said...

Nice block. Thanks for the story to accompany it. Some changes are definitely for the better.

Anonymous said...

I like putting on my "britches" too and heading down to the sewing room instead of doing housework!!

Northern Blog Stalker

julieQ said...

I too enjoy my britches!! My mom was a tough old farm gal, but she wore gloves to church...never drove...never voted that I know!! She thought log cabin quilts were really hard to make...and when you are cutting out all those strips with dress making shears...they are!! Progress is wonderful, isn't it??

Janet O. said...

Very smart way to avoid the set-in seams, Kathy. I may not love paper piecing, but I would take it in a heartbeat of Y-seams!
Fascinating glimpse into your ancestors.
Every time I see your new header it makes me smile! : )

Cathy said...

I love the way you modifies your block. It looks great, and I like all the different fabrics for the pants, too. I got to thinking about dress reform, even in my life. We weren't allowed to wear pants to school until I was in grade 10. That 20-30 minute walk to school in the winter was awfully cold when wearing skirts.

Linda said...

How smart of you to find a way around set in seams. (I'm with you! I avoid them!)
I loved seeing photos of the women in your family from years ago. It always amazes me when I think of the changes these women saw in their lifetimes!

Anonymous said...

I like your block,a nd the story of your family and the pictures. That reminds me that on my first couple of jobs, we weren't allowed to wear pants. It was early to mid 70's before we were allowed to wear pant suits to work. Thanks for sharing.

Penny said...

At our school there was the Summer dress and the Winter tunic. I finished school on 1970. Yes, I then bought pants for many years, but for the last twenty odd years NO pants/breeches have been seen in my wardrobe, there you will only find skirts/dresses and I love feeling femine. Incase you wonder, I vote, drive, bushwalk, play tennis and whatever in skirts/dresses. I Love Them.

Angie said...

How clever to make your britches different fabrics and to use the color pink - great idea!!

Thanks for sharing your family pictures and stories. I always enjoy hearing family stories - they make history come alive!

Anonymous said...

This was last weeks block. This weeks block is called Everybody Favorite.

AnnieO said...

Nice fabric choices for your block, Kathy! Those are great photos of your family and especially knowing who they all are! Many of my grandmother's photo albums contained photos with no notation so we have no idea. I'm glad to wear britches too--can you imagine dealing with garters and girdles and stockings and slips these days? My MIL fell in love with polyester knits in the 60's and has never bought anything in a natural fabric since :)

Kindred Quilts said...

Love the fabrics you used for the britches. Thanks for sharing your family stories. They are fun to read!

Dee said...

I love the idea of paper piecing instead of "Y" seams. I'm going to try that. I also enjoyed your family photos and stories. My how times have changed!!

Mary said...

I remember wearing dresses to school with pants underneath in the Winter in Elementary School. Guess I'm OLD too. My Grandma and Mom wore house dresses with aprons, had house coats and never complained. Your pictures are great!

Doniene said...

Your "Little Boy's Britches" block is my favorite of all that I have seen!! I'm hoping to make mine today - I'm behind!!


Sew Create It - Jane said...

I love seeing the old pictures. We have several from our family too and it's so cool to wonder how different their lives were...and like you say how different the fashions were!