Saturday, 7 February 2009


(click on any image to enlarge)

Not long after Christmas, we took a whole pile of boxes and wrapping down to the local recycling place. While my husband was unloading, Iwas idly glancing around at all the packaging and general detritus from the festive season, when my eye fell on an old brown suitcase. Now you can't actually recycle suitcases at this place, just the usual paper, cardboard, bottles, cans etc. I opened it up and it was stuffed with old notebooks and papers. On closer inspection, it was the notes from someone's entire university course in economics, from the late 1960s. I was sorely tempted to grab large handfuls and bring home for collage etc. but we are starting to declutter our house in preparation to sell it and move down to the coast. So I walked away, but at the last minute, knew I just had to bring home one notebook

Last time we went down to the coast, we stopped, as usual in Braidwood and there was a book sale on at the local church hall. I just had to duck in and see what was there. I couldn't resist this Enid Gilchrist classic on making your own maternity wear. All the patterns are shown in diagrams with hundreds of markings and numbers - obviously in those days, people thought nothing of drafting up their own slopers. I guess in those days they still taught dressmaking at school! It isn't dated, but the price is four shillings, so it predates the introduction of decimal currency on 14 February 1966 - probably about 1963 or 64, I'd guess. On the back is an advert for the latest Bernina - the 730 - its most outstanding features are proudly announced as 'portable' and 'electric'. So are the latest models, but we don't seem to need to advertise those features anymore - now it is more likely to be 'connects to the internet and downloads bazillions of patterns'.

Those were the days.


Judy Scott said...

Hello Hilary I sent you an email back by return, I was so excited :) I sent it on your work email. I will try and resend it as I dont have a regular email to send it to ~ the girls were so excited too to hear of all the amazing places you mentioned. The camera advice was amazing too and its helped me make up my mind and start saving :)

What amazing will power you must have I dont know how you could resist. My mum used to make all her clothes and ours and its wonderful to see old patterns again ~ stirs some old distant memory ~ off to try and resent the message ~ Judy x

Doreen G said...

It looks like someone else was decluttering as well.
How are you coping with this heat?

Laroc Originals said...

A copy of the Enid Gilchrist pattern book you bought second hand still resides in my bookshef. I bought this book during my child bearing time between 1959 and 1964.
I used many of the 'maternity wear' patterns but never made the bra. Oh! the memories.
I have several of Enids books and dressed my children from these patterns until they started high school.