Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Handkerchief Fashions,Story Book Quilts, and Patchwork story from 1964

Woman's Day magazine from June 1964 had an article about using handkerchiefs to make dresses! The overblouse seen in the photo above was made from five 14" linen handkerchiefs. The hand rolled white edges are seen.
 Above left party dress with a halter top and full skirt was made with fourteen 18" cotton handkerchiefs, plus satin ribbon for the straps and waistband.

The red and white cap sleeve blouse was made from two 23" cotton handkerchiefs with mitered and side slits at the bottom.

The sun dress, 'a flattering compromise between a muu muu and a shift" used fourteen 14" handkerchiefs. Two were folded over to make the yoke, with the others joined and fathered into the yoke.
Designed by Theresa Capuana these quilts had mail order patterns in crib and twin sizes, for the cost of $1.00 each.

 The story in this issue was Patchwork by Sharon Quigley McCann and illustrated by Ted Coconis.
"The tiny bag of minute triangles which had been, to say the least, a strange wedding gift had not entered Christine's mind since the occasion of her wedding shower until one evening about four months after she and Joe were married. She needed something worthwhile to absorb her time while Joe studied...the patches and her Aunt Amanda's desire that she make a quilt came as her salvation.

"She wants me to make a quilt. She gave me the first pieces for my wedding shower: a hundred at least. But there's a catch. The quilt must be entirely hand-sewn, and...after I put the first pieces together I can work on the quilt only when I feel unhappy.

"When it's finished, it will teach me a lesson about life, according to Amanda. She says it's a very important lesson.

"Four years, a pair of healthy twin sons, one law degree, and one dream home later, Christine decided, on Jennie's first day of school, to finish the quilt.

"Perhaps, she thought, she should give the quilt to Jennie on her wedding day, telling her of the events that each section's construction recalled to her mother. Perhaps by giving her the comfort that she had lived through these turmoils, she could cushion the blows that her daughter would inevitably feel.

"Putting the center piece in position, she attached the edges. Yes, that's what she should do: give the ugly thing to Jennie, as a sort of warning.

"She spread the quilt on the living-room floor and went to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee...as she walked into the living room and saw the quilt lying as she had carefully placed it, it seemed to assume and entirely different appearance from that it had had five minutes before.

"How could it seem, now, not to be homely? It looked, in fact, with its character of completeness, like a work of art? ...Why, it was actually beautiful!

"Now, now, is the lesson mine to learn. After so wrongly regarding it for all these years as the fruit of the worst hours of her married life, she knew now--ah, and this was the lesson she had never guessed in all the times she had tried! The quilt now, in its truth, in its oneness, in its deep beauty drawn from each of the episodes it recalled to its creator, declared it had been made lovingly, when she, girl-turning-woman, was at her best.'