Thursday, August 20, 2009

Feed Sack Dresses...

So I was looking through ebay and various blogs the other day and came across “feedsack dresses.” For those who don’t know, I’m in Australia, and have never heard of these dresses being made here. So, I did a little research and here’s what I found out...
“Life on America's farms in the 1920s and 1930s meant hard work and frugal habits. Farm families were used to "making do" with what they had, wasting nothing that could be recycled or reused. With feed sacks and flour bags, farmwomen took thriftiness to new heights of creativity, transforming the humble bags into dresses, underwear, towels, curtains, quilts, and other household necessities.

By the 1940s the bag manufacturers were turning out bags in bright colours and printed designs. It was felt that these designs and colours would boost sales, because the woman of the house would always select the brand with the most attractive fabric. During World War II, there was a shortage of cotton fabric for the civilian population, and the recycling of bags became a necessity, encouraged by the government.

After the war, the bags were not only a sign of domestic thrift; they also gave rural women a sense of fashion. National sewing contests were organized as a way for women to show off their skills, and manufacturers to show off their designs. Women frequently sold their surplus bags to others as a way of picking up cash to aid in running the home.”
Pretty interesting. I like the fact that the appearance of something manly or utilitarian became dictated by the women of the time. Maybe the “make do and mend” attitude could benefit us today – after all, we are living in times of “economic uncertainty...”
In other news, I was a model for my hairdresser today – she did a great you later.


  1. Thank you for this post! Very interesting information!

  2. I have my grandmother's flour sack apron. She wore a lot of them when I was growing up and I have fond memories watching her cook with them on. My mother wore many feed sack dresses when she was growing up. Good post

  3. Being born in 1942, I wore dresses made from flour sacks was always excited to get pick my dress material out!! Believe me we never knew what poor was until we moved into town when I was six years old.


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