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.