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The Great British Sewing Bee 60s episode

(25 Posts)
Mildred Mon 13-Jun-16 15:47:56

What did you make to wear in the 60s? I made most of my clothes, but don't now, do you still make your own clothes? I remember getting my first electric sewing machine I used my Mum's treadle until then. It was straight stitch only, I kept it for years but my husband bought me zig zag stitch version when my daughter was born I must have been gently suggesting it as he would not have thought of it himself. I made clothes for my daughter until she graduated.

Jalima Mon 13-Jun-16 15:53:29

I started making clothes for myself when I was about 14 on DM's Singer hand sewing machine.

I made short mini dresses (some in that awful Crimplene material) in the 1960s - they were very fashionable then. When DD1 was a baby I bought an electric Singer machine and made all the DC's clothes for years, including a very nice coat for DD1. I still have the machine but rarely do any sewing these days, unless the DGD decide to have a look through my fabric box and we make cushions, soft toys etc.

J52 Mon 13-Jun-16 16:00:03

I used a borrowed, hand Singer. When I was 16 I was lucky to live next to some BA stewardesses. They often had clothes made (very cheaply) in Singapore out of beautiful fabrics.
When they got fed up with them, they passed them to me. After a little alteration, I had some great mini skirts, trouser suits, dresses and jacket.

Mildred Mon 13-Jun-16 16:08:28

interesting to see how they do tonight. My new machine is easy to thread and the tension easy to adjust.

shysal Mon 13-Jun-16 16:50:56

I also used Crimplene. I made a blue maternity dress to wear to a christening. My sewing machine was an old Singer hand machine with just a short straight stitch, nothing as fancy as a zig-zag!
Just into the 70s I made all the girls' clothes, often matching, which got passed on to younger neighbours several times. Pictures show dresses, coats and bags made for a wedding. I once made a mini dress for me, one each for the DDs and a tie for DH, all in the same checked fabric! Why oh why?blush blush

chelseababy Mon 13-Jun-16 17:21:20

I made a baby doll nightie with french seams when i was about 11. I remember modelling it at the school fashion show!

AlieOxon Mon 13-Jun-16 17:36:18

We had to make a short gym tunic at school, to wear for gym. The sewing teacher was very fussy about how we did this! I didn't like her at all.
We learned on treadle machines, the school had one electric one!

Mildred Mon 13-Jun-16 17:38:57

Did anybody make an apron for their cookery lessons?

chelseababy Mon 13-Jun-16 17:41:01

Oh yes I'd forgotten the apron. We had to embroider our names on it too.

Tizliz Mon 13-Jun-16 17:41:37

We had to make our school summer dresses, I am sure that some people threw theirs away and bought from the shop, but mine was OK.

annodomini Mon 13-Jun-16 17:41:53

Much as we like to pour scorn on Crimplene, I am certain that lots of us wore it in the '60s. I made a turquoise shift dress which was very comfortable to wear on a long haul flight and emerged at the end, looking fresh as ever. I also made a pink dress with navy collar and cuffs to wear at a friend's wedding - not my best production! I don't remember wearing it again.

suzied Mon 13-Jun-16 18:24:04

Still make lots of clothes, and now have a super Bernina. Back in the 60S I remember making a white broderie anglaise mini dress which was like a pinafore with the straps crossing over and buttoning up at the back. My friend borrowed it and wore it to a disco and liked it so much she never gave it back. i still have the pattern, but no plans to remake it.

annodomini Mon 13-Jun-16 18:38:45

We made an extraordinary apron in Primary 7 for use when we started cookery lessons in First Form. It was 'French maid' style, with a little triangular bib. The explanation was that material was still in short supply six years after the war. Few of us wore them. I inherited a big apron with good coverage (I have always been a messy cook) from my oldest cousin.

Ana Mon 13-Jun-16 18:45:48

We had to make our apron for DS too - plus a horrible gingham elasticated headband/cap on which we had to embroider our names as well!

Elrel Mon 13-Jun-16 18:53:48

The first dress I made was a blue cotton about 1957, I loved it and as it turned out well I carried on, using my mother's Singer. Living in London later my flat mates and I used to look for remnants, Liberty had some lovely ones.
I made lots of clothes in the 60s for myself and DD. My father was a tailor and very honest so I was thrilled when he carefully inspected a woollen dress and approved my fitting of the lining!
I cheated occasionally and sent off to magazines or newspapers for ready cut out garments which came as a kit with thread, zip, interfacing, does anyone remember them? DD also had some Clothkits clothes, all instruction printed on the fabric but they were a bit expensive. I think Oxfam sold a range of dolls ready printed too and my classroom had their purple owl cushion for years.

tiredoldwoman Mon 13-Jun-16 19:17:39

Gosh yes, I sent away for a ready cut out dress, it was burnt orange with a kipper tie and I loved it . Really looking forward to the Sewing Bee tonight .

Mildred Mon 13-Jun-16 19:45:10

I had forgotten about the cap, made it but think I lost it, never wore it.

Indinana Mon 13-Jun-16 21:44:09

I started sewing when I was about 7, making clothes for my dolls. My mother didn't sew, so there was no sewing machine in our house - when I got to my teens I used to make dresses for myself by hand! Eventually I managed to buy myself an electric sewing machine, straight stitch only, from my mother's club book, paying weekly for 40 weeks. I was in heaven smile. I made all my clothes then, including a pure wool trouser suit with matching skirt, and a couple of lightweight summer suits. I also made my wedding dress and the three bridesmaids' dresses on that machine, using pinking shears to finish the seams, as I didn't have zigzag stitch.
It served me well, until some years later when I upgraded it to a machine with zigzag. All my DD's clothes were made on that machine, plus much of my clothing. I gradually stopped dressmaking as DD grew up and have only recently rekindled my love of sewing with the arrival of my DGD last year. And I am thoroughly enjoying making her dresses, rompers, dungarees and so on with my lovely new computerised machine smile

KatyK Tue 14-Jun-16 11:25:50

I was hopeless at sewing but we did make aprons at school and also a peg bag! I was better at knitting and even knitted myself and my best friend a mini skirt. smile

TriciaF Tue 14-Jun-16 11:32:59

I made a lot of things for our 3 children, and for myself, in the late 60s when we returned from Singapore. When there, as J52 said, you could get clothes made very cheaply with gorgeous fabrics, lots of silks etc.
In those days dressmaking fabrics in England were not so expensive, and there was a much bigger range than now.
I think I still had my Gran's Singer hand machine.

JackyB Tue 14-Jun-16 11:57:15

We had to make gingham aprons for DS - we had a year of sewing in the first form, then a year of both sewing and cooking in the second form and just cooking in the thirrd form. This was unusual for a grammar school, but it has stood me in good stead and I still refer to the recipe books. I don't think I learnt anything about sewing at school, though, as I picked that up from my Mum. She made lots of our clothes until we were about 16. I was never as skilled as her and only made things like gilets, bags, and shift dresses.

We had a hand-operated Singer sewing machine. Can't think how we managed - foot-operated like my mother-in-law had was a far better idea, with both hands free to guide the material.

I now have an electric sewing machine and an overlock machine. I had thought that would be useful for making clothes for DGC but I haven't got my act together yet!

tiggypiro Tue 14-Jun-16 12:26:15

In my very first job teaching textiles (or needlework as it was then) in 1970 the first thing I rebelled about was the making of those cookery aprons and silly head bands. I told my HoD that no way was I going to make them and fortunately other members of the dept backed me up. We did a deal with a shop in the town and everyone wore a nylon overall. It covered everything, washed easily and didn't need ironing. I think we made skirts instead.

annodomini Tue 14-Jun-16 12:38:53

Surprisingly, we didn't have to make a frilly cap to go with the 'French maid's' apron. Instead, our cookery teacher told us to get a man's shirt collar and put elastic on it, to wear as a headband. It didn't look too bad.

AlieOxon Tue 14-Jun-16 15:00:02

I'm glad we didn't have to make anything frilly!

Deedaa Wed 15-Jun-16 22:20:45

We made a cookery apron and cap the first year and then went on to make a petticoat, a nightdress and a summer top. I was dreadful at needlework at school, took forever and had to keep unpicking seams. Once i'd left school I started making all my clothes and lots of clothes for the children. I even made a denim suit for DH once! I got out of the habit when I went back to work and there didn't seem to be the time.

I had a lovely flowery PVC mac in the 60s. It was a cut out and sew one from the sadly missed Woman's Mirror.