vintage feedsack dress
I bought this vintage, handmade feedsack dress a long time ago, and it’s still one of my favorites. I have a couple of old feedsack dresses — actually, one is coming up in a future post — and they forever survive my closet purges. I can’t wear this one very often, because it’s really fragile. In fact, I ripped it on this very day, and now it needs repair! The feedsack dresses remind me of my great grandma Moe, who grew up during The Great Depression (as she would’ve said, “Nothin’ great about it!”) and knew a whole lot about making dresses out of feedsacks. You can read more about it in that link, but from what Moe told me, it was as simple as this: women made do with the resources around them, and that often meant making garments out of feedsack cloth (as in, the bags containing grain for livestock), or bags of flour, etc. They eventually started printing the feed bags with pretty colors and patterns, and the women would pick out their feed according to what fabric they were interested in. Clever, isn’t it?! I always found that to be fascinating — in fact, Moe’s whole life was fascinating.
Here’s a little tidbit (and I have a million of these): She was an incredible, self-taught seamstress, and taught me everything I know about making clothing. She fibbed her way into a factory job when she was just a kid, having no previous knowledge of sewing, and quickly became the best seamstress in St. Louis. In fact, she once got really angry with her boss and followed him around the factory, hollering and cursing him out the whole time. When he said, “Jimmy, you’re fired!” (her nickname was Jimmy, and no one knew why), she responded, “Fired? Hell, I quit twenty minutes ago!” and stormed out. He showed up at her house, the next day, begging her to come back. And that’s the long-winded tangent of how my great grandma was a total bada** lady in the 1930s, and continued to hold that title until her last day on earth. She was the absolute coolest.