Friday, August 17, 2012

Two Vintage Feed Sack Blouses for My Collection


Two of my great loves in life are collecting vintage clothing and vintage patterns. Throw in old feed sacks and a few sugar and flour sacks, 
and I'm totally content with the world. . . .

I read somewhere that feed sacks are a bygone recyclable--
or are they?
They are showing up in an awful lot of antique malls, yard sales, online shopping, and thrift stores. . . .Just a few years ago, I could buy a good printed feed sack for a dollar or two. Not anymore. Every time I see one for sale these days, it's $12-$20. . . .I'm so glad I have a good supply hoarded---uh--stored away. . .


Most collectors think that printed feed sacks came about during the Great Depression, but they were actually introduced in the last half of the 19th century. . . .Yet, it is true that their greatest appeal was in the 1930s-40s, when housewives realized they had a ready source of "free" fabric for use in their homes. . . .


 Blouses, shirts, dresses, skirts, pajamas, slips, panties, diapers, tableclothes, pillowcases, curtains, tea towels, chair covers, quilt tops--I've seen examples of all of these items made from feed sacks. . . .


Many free booklets were once available to home sewers, such as "Needle Magic above,"  They were full of ideas and instructions on how to make various garments. They also listed the number of feed sacks you'd need for each pattern. For example, it took 3 one hundred pound feed sacks to make a woman's dress. . . .Can you imagine how much feed that was? But, in that day and time, with so many animals around, I'm sure the sacks accumulated quickly. One source I read estimated that by 1942, over 3 million American women and children were dressed in garments made from printed feed sacks. That's a lot of sacks. . . .


I found these two feed sack blouses in Tennesse, just as you see them here. . . .They were crisp and ready to wear, having been washed, starched, and ironed. . . .

The first one is my favorite, with it's double breasted closure and the tie in back to help cinch in the waistline. . . .

The buttons are vintage plastic, which makes me think this blouse was stitched in the 1940s, or maybe a little later. . . .

Look how cute it is in the back. . . .



The second blouse has true farm style, sewn sometime in the 1930s or early 40s. . . . I like the buttons--they appear to be bakelite? or some material that isn't plastic as we know it.

 


A tie in the back makes the waist look smaller. . . I like that. . .

I pretty well knew I'd buy these two feed sack classics when I first laid eyes on them. . . .If there was ever any doubt, it vanished after I tried them on and they fit me. . . .I plan to wear them when we entertain guests in 1930s style. . . .

My collection keeps on growing. . .
I have several everyday work dresses, but these are my first feed sack blouses. . . .In such a pristine state, they are quite a find. . . .

7 comments:

Lois' Laughlines said...

I am new to your blog. I love it. So cute and charming. I, too, adore vintage feedsacks but I have trouble finding them. They can be made into such cute things. I would love to recover my kitchen chairs with them.
blessings to you.

camp and cottage living said...

Nice collection-I love the red and blue blouse, for sure!!

Heide at ApronHistory said...

What a wonderful find! I love your mini history on feed sacks too.

The darling homemaker said...

I absolutely love them!!! I find great pleasure when wearing vintage or reproduction clothing from the 30s and 40s. I do like some of the 50s and rarely early 60s, but I enjoy the 30s and 40s clothing most of the time. You have a beautiful collection...

xox,
jacqueline

Amy said...

You have a beautiful collection. I love the dresses. I'm with you -- Everytime I see them for sale now, they are in the 12-20 dollar range. Maybe I'll run across one sometime at a thrift.

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

Is there anything cuter...really...than those printed feed sacks? Love that pattern! I have a huge box of old patterns, and I don't think that I have any for feedsacks...but now, you bet I'm going to check! Those blouses are adorable ~ what luck!

Melody said...

Oh, Dru, I think those blouses are beautiful. I especially love the red and blue, two of my favorite colors. My grandmother used feed sacks for dresses for my Mom and her sister. She had a great stash of fabrics that I loved to play with when I was a child. I would love to get my hands on some now. Take care.

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