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. : )