Friday, May 1, 2015

Vintage Feed Sack Nightgown

I recently was ridiculously excited to find one of the items from my geeky "vintage clothing bucket list". Way, way back in the day, flour and animal feed was sold in fabric bags, not paper bags like you see at grocery stores today. Originally these bags were printed with the mill name or brand; later the bags were printed with more decorative patterns to appeal to the housewife. These feed or flour sacks were used to make quilts, household textiles and clothing.

If the print was a floral or other pattern, one's peers (the kids at school) would not know you were wearing a feedsack. But a printed mill name was a dead giveaway as to the origin of your shirt, skirt or (the horror) your underwear.

I had heard about underpants being made of feedsacks and how embarrassing it was to the wearer to display a mill name if exposed on the playground but had never seen any flour sack lingerie. Until last week.

True, I didn't find feed sack panties; it's a nightgown with a feedsack from the Globe Flour Mills Co. as the skirt portion. Judging from the dropped waist and the crochet yoke, the gown is probably from the late teens to early 1920s. The crocheted yoke is damaged at one armhole but the company logo printing is still quite legible. I think that either the skirt was added to a corset cover or a used yoke was added to the body of this gown. Either way, in true "make do" tradition, I think the entire garment was recycled in one way or another. Here's the mill logo, turned around so it's readable.

These glimpses into the past are what keep me digging for more nifty vintage finds. The next item from my "VCBL" could show up any time... but ya gotta look for 'em. And that's the fun of it all. : )

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunny With A Chance Of Blue Jays

Odd title? Well, I'm sitting here drinking my morning cuppa coffee (the first of many) and a blue jay swooped past my window. While the rest of the country is in weather Hell, we're having unseasonably sunny and warm here in the northern Willamette Valley of Oregon. The weather people are starting to babble about drought, which is a serious concern, but right now I'm basking in sunshine and an abundance of birds at my feeders.

I maintain a hummingbird feeder and have hummers at my backdoor all year long. They must nest in my willow or pear tree but I've yet to see any baby hummingbirds. I also use a wire suet feeder in my large quince bush outside my kitchen window. This feeder is my "entertainment center" while I'm cooking or washing dishes.

But my favorite feeder is the large green platform feeder that husband built for me. This feeder is set outside our dining room window. The beautiful feeder sat snubbed by the birds for a few years and became mostly obscured by the overgrown butterfly bush. Once we pruned the heck out of the bush, the birds arrived.

Why am I going on about the birds outside my windows? Because this busy webmaster often sits at the table with my laptop while working on one or another of my stores/websites/blogs. It's Monday and I'd like to get the week off to a good, productive start. My job du jour is mending. The stack includes a 1)Loro Piana leather jacket that has a fist-size hole in the cashmere lining, damaged & missing buttons, and damage to the sleeve lining. 2)Burberry's green and plum merino wool ruana that was a moth-feast site. Sigh... there must be 20 small holes. I must be crazy to do all that mending but after I'm finished I may keep it for myself. 3)Chanel purple cashmere v-neck pullover sweater, again with moth damage sprinkled across the bust. 4)A lovely Scottish Brora cashmere open-front cardigan in a dusty shade of plum. If it were my size, I'd keep it. Alas, it's a small and I'm not. My loss will be someone else's gain.

I have my jobs cut out for me... so I'd better get to work.