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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

1940 SACK FABRIC

Wonder what interesting vintage things we will see today. If you enjoy antiques, drop by Coloradolady's at http://coloradolady.blogspot.com.





Clothing and other items made from feed sacks were popular during the forties when there were shortages of both goods and money. People were in the mode of "making do or do without". Not only did chicken feed come in cloth bags but cattle and horse feed as well. Flour was packed in cloth bags which could withstand lots of washing. In fact, today some are claiming they are using cup towels made from flour sacks.

Later burlap type bags were used and came in printed designs. Neighbors would trade feed sacks to have enough for a garment. A lot of times the feed sack scraps were used in quilting. They were so durable and lasted much longer. When you were sleeping under one of the quilts, you could try to pick out the fabric that at one time was your dress.

My sisters and I wore clothes made from these type feed bags for several years. Our mother was a great seamstress. She also made her own clothes. We were always excited to get another sack of feed. A new dress would be coming.

My mother in one of her sack dresses..

65 comments:

Ginny said...

How interesting!!! My mom was a real good seamstress, as well! The prints are really pretty!!

Zondra Art said...

I agree, very interesting! Beautiful prints, I lake it!
Kisses.

farmlady said...

I love this post LV. Everything had a purpose and was re-purposed as something else. This is how it should be. Too much waste today.
I love the stack of folded sacks. What charming prints. No wonder you girls got excited about a new dress.

Tete said...

Love this post. My mom and grandma used to tell of how my mom wore dresses made of flour sacks. When they died, I found a quilt top made by my great grandma that had never been quilted so I had it finished. It's all flour sack material and is done in a one inch postage stamp pattern.
I grew up hearing how they had to make do and how they did it. How they had to ration and share with family and neighbors. They would always tell me how lucky I was to be growing up in a better time, but sometimes I would wonder if I had. The trials and hard times brought them closer and made them creative. And the fact that almost everyone was in the same boat, I think, made it easier to bare.
Thanks for sharing this!
Hugs- Tete

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Oh yes! I love finding feed sack fabrics! I have a few and I have a quilt that my dad's aunt had created from some sack cloth. fabrics. I also have a little collection of burlap bags too. Are the sack cloths that you showed from your mom? What a great photo of your mom.

Blessings & Aloha!

Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

My grandmother was a wonderful quilter and made many quilts from feed sack material. I still have a couple of those quilts! Thanks for the memories!!!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The old feed sacks and flour sacks are my favorite! I have a few from my grandmother and I cherish them! ♥

AshTreeCottage said...

I love vintage feed sacks! Thanks for sharing that lovely picture of your Mom. What sweet memories you have of her. Happy VTT!!

Love,
Susan and Bentley
xxoo

Bethe77 said...

They is allot to be said for the old ways of living. Nothing went to waste and eveything was made to alst. Love those old sack clotehs the prints are beautiful.
Blessings

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi LV, this is a wonderful post! This is a silly question, I know, but did some of the feed sacks come in calico? Was it a marketing tool to use different fabrics, and is that how neighbors did their trades? Like chicken feed for a certain year was blue calico or something like that?

I love all of your photos and your valuable info. Thanks so much, and have a wonderful weekend!

Kathy M.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I think,people back then were better able to adapt and make do.Or were they just more willing to do so.

Deanna said...

Loved the photo of your mother in her sack dress. I remember my grandmother's aprons being made from sacks. I have one of them and my youngest sister has the other.

Deanna :D

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

lovely dress and thank you for sharing the photo of your mom!

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

love you telling us about the feed sacks! I saw some last weekend with the floral design and it made me think about hearing stories about dresses made from them. Thanks for sharing your Moms picture!

Rosie said...

I think those old fabrics are so pretty. Your mom sure was gorgeous.

Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi said...

Lovely pics.. Thanks for the post.

Abramyan Avenue said...

Love your post! I remember when I was little and flour came in pretty fabric. Mom would always let me choose which one we were bringing home. Now I look for flour sack quilts on eBay! Lol. I've tried to explain to my girls about flour sacks and they just can't get it!!
Hope you're doing well!
-April

marian said...

what a fun post! i LOVE feedsacks and i'm a lucky owner of several vintage quilts made with feedsack fabrics!

Leslie said...

Ever since I was a little girl and joined in th fun of Sack races, I've loved old sacks... :)

Shirl said...

I love vintage sack cloth. I've just bought some from Ebay and am waiting eagerly for it. Being in the UK, it could quite a wait lol!

The picture of your mother is lovely xxx

Blue Ridge Altered Art said...

This brought back such memories. The first skirt I ever made was with feedsack material on a treadle sewing machine in school. I love the print of old feedsacks. The assorted colors and designs are amazing. ~~Sherry~~

Diann said...

What a great post LV! I have always heard about feed sack clothes but, never quite understood what they were talking about. So, the sacks actually came in different prints? That is way cool!

bj said...

Oh, LV...this brings back so many memories. My mom could sew so well, too, and made all my clothes most of the time I was in school.
I don't remember having any sack dresses but we had a lot of cup towels made from the sacks. I am sure she made herself dresses..I was born on the last day of 1937, so she may have made little dresses for me back then, too.
Thanks for the wonderful memories.
If ever I get to your part of the country, I will give you a call and buy your lunch! :) I would love to visit with you.
hugs, bj

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

How interesting! I had heard about feed sack dresses too - I think it is amazing what people did with a little ingenuity!

Danica said...

What a beautiful photo of your mother. She did such an amazing job on her dress!

Petit Eyekiss said...

Wow, what a lot of beautiful old fabrics. My mother was a seamstress, and all the clothes I had when I was growing up, my mom had sewn. Many times it was the so-called "carpet rags" as she conjured with, so it was pretty dresses and skirts for me. Nowadays do not exist like that. I still have it in their blood. I buy way too big things at flea markets Ju. I am most interested if it is of great matrial Now I sew a turquoise suede vest out of a jacket. Pictures I will show later.
Hugs
Elisabeth

SueWis said...

Thanks for sharing. Love the feed sacks but I especially love the photo of your mom. :)

Vhincci Subia said...

Sack dress is something new to me... :) Great vintage post!

Summer @ World of Vhincci

Ann said...

I really love flour sacks!!! They are pretty pricey though. I love the Orchid one. My grandmas sewed lots of clothing with them too.
Love your post.
Ann

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

Dear LV the memories your post brought back today. And the white made the softest underwear. Panties, slips and camisoles. My mother was a great seamstress and she taught me how to sew early on. My grandmother sewed for the public and I learned some really complicated things from her. Ruffles, shirring, upholstery anything going she could do. Thanks for sharing.
QMM

Patsy said...

Love the orchid flour sack. And I enjoyed reading about the flour sack dresses. I'm not quite old enough to remember printed flour sacks, but almost. Thank you for visiting LV.

Anna said...

It was somewhere on VTT that I first heard of feed sack clothing, but I never heard about trading fabrics, thought it makes perfect sense. I love the picture of your mother.

Ruby said...

I have some feedsacks I must do something with soon. I do have one quilt top pieced but have not quilted it. Loved your feed sacks story.

GardenofDaisies said...

My grandmother made my moms school dresses from feedsacks. I think everybody did that back then... those were depression and war years.

Coloradolady said...

too bad you did not save a real feedsack dress....I'd love to have seen one in person. Now, if these feedsacks are yours...well, we need to talk!!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I love this post LV. And the picture of your mother is such an added bonus.

Jocelyn
http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com

Rebecca said...

Feed sacks are so cool-thanks for sharing!

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

LV,
what a great post this was!! So informative and interesting!! I really enjoyed reading it!!

Hugs,
Deb

Joyful said...

Thanks for sharing these memories. My mom often talked of clothing made from these sacks but I never saw any photos of them.

liberal sprinkles said...

What a lovely post, LV. I loved reading about the history of feed bags used as fabric. I don't know if it was done in my part of the world but possibly since the war years were lean years. Lovely vintage story and photo!
Grace

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