This blog should be called "The Adventures of a Fabric Junkie!". I am passionate about fabric, threads, colours and textures. I can record my crazy quilting, sane quilting, embroidery and everything else that I consider important in my life.

Photo shows my block for the Hurricane Katrina fund-raising quilt "All That Jazz".

Saturday, September 03, 2011

1956 Fabric Stash from Aunty Amy

I met my cousin Jackie for lunch this week and she gave me another box of treasures from Aunty Ame's stash. For those who haven't read my previous blogs, Aunty Ame died in March 1970 and her boxes of fabrics, trims and laces ended up with my cousin who has kept them all these years just as they were 40 years ago.  Aunty Ame was my Mum's eldest sister and made dolls' clothes for Pedigree and Roddy dolls for a man who owned several toy shops around Perth and Fremantle in the 1950s and 1960s.

The contents of this box of tricks also included patterns for dolls' clothes cut from newspaper - dated 26th September 1956!!! I didn't know that before she made the dolls' clothes, she obviously did alterations for people so included in the box was the complete circular bottom 6 inches of a wedding dress with the hem on one edge. It had been shortened for someone and was a beautiful ivory satin fabric with a tiny rib pattern, perfect for crazy quilting.

Perhaps the greatest treasure as far as I was concerned were several cut-out bodices for Pedigree Walky-Talky doll size dolls where my aunt had probably cut out eight at a time and only needed seven.  There were lots of taffetas, satins, crepes, georgettes, voiles and unknown rayon type fabrics among the scraps and never having seen the light of day in 40-50 years, they were as bright and crisp as the day they were put in the box.  The only casualty was a gorgeous piece of grey voile fabric with a floral design in black flocking. The flocking had disintegrated into fine black "sooty" powder in some parts and landed all over my table, my clothes and the other materials in the box........rather than breathe in a lung-full of black flocking, I reluctantly threw that out.

It is so nice to meet Jackie and reminisce over our Aunty Ame, her boxes of iron-on transfers, cupboards of fabrics and drawers of laces and braids.  She was also a talented pianist with a dance band and was a wonderful cook. I can't believe it is 41 years since she brightened our lives with her lively personality and interesting stories which may or may not have been true.  Perhaps the best part was the smell - that fantastic smell of material from 1950s when the lid was taken off the box.  Sadly, now that the material has been ironed and allowed to breathe the fresh air again, the smell has gone - but it was Heaven while it lasted!!!


Ruby said...

Great story and wonderful photos. You can almost touch the fabric. Vibrant. Thanks for sharing. '56 was my birth year! :)

Bear said...

there is an angel in your corner and your cousin Jackie had a preminition years back to keep these for the future. what a treasue trove - I had my squishy from you and I was feeling it and gazing at it last week its almost too good to use- this box from Jackie is just beautiful beautiful beautiful - you so deserve this good fortune - much love Belinda xoxoxoxo

piney cq said...

Oh Viv! Lucky you!! That is just wonderful! What a fabulous stash of colors and memories you have received!!! WOW! :) Enjoy!!

crafty cat corner said...

Before I got to the end of reading the post I was thinking of the smell of the fabric and blow me down, you had put it in the post.
Those old fabrics had a certain smell that I can conjure up out of thin air, Ahhhhhhhhhhh.
Have missed you.

crazyQstitcher said...

Vintage fabrics are drawn to you like iron filings to a magnet.
Keep it up Viv and enjoy everything that comes your way.

kerrykatiecakeskeb43 said...

Wow Viv! Look at those colours! I can't wait to see how you use all these!