Smocked Dresses–From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

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One of the Snow Road pictures for the Family Summer Photos
1940’s stone house (Richards Castle. With the Lahey/Regan family.–Noreen Tyers

 

 

The Beautiful Hand Smocked Dresses–From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

During the war things were not easy to obtain, and one waited a good long time to have the money or find what they wanted. My Mother being the resourceful woman she was waited patiently. There was one thing for sure and that was she was a proud woman and liked her children to look nice and well dressed. To obtain something that was a bit different than was available was her aim.

Mom had obtained some beautiful material to make dresses for both my sister and myself. She had no sewing machine and if she was lucky she might just get the use of Grandma’s Machine. You have to remember that this was a item not everyone had and you did protect your goods. Grandma’s machine was well taken care of and Grandpa would check to see everything was in running order and oiled it when it was needed.

Mom cut out the dresses and if memory serves me right mine was blue colour and Sister’s pink. Once the dresses were cut out the bodice was pressed and then the pattern put on them to smock. This was a painstaking chore and was hard to see with the lighting in those days so this chore was done during the day when there was daylight.

She then purchased the different colour embroidery silk to do the smocking. She worked painlessly for days getting this done. There were two dresses so they had to be done at the same time. God forbid should one get their dress before the other. Whew that was done next was getting these dresses sewn together.

After many hours of work the sewing was done then it needed to be rinsed out and pressed. My mother was the type of person that there was a lot of hand sewing on collars and hems. Oh are they not just so beautiful such a labour of love and finished in time. Both my sister and I had long hair and there was natural curl in our hair. Mind you my hair was braided in french braids and sister got the ringlets. On most occasions there would be hair bands or bows to go in the hair to complete the outfit.

These dress were sure the Sunday Dresses and might be worn on special occasions. We would also get a new pair of socks to go with the outfit. OH WE WERE SPECIAL. The reason for the new outfits were for Easter Sunday and Church. Mom was really pleased with her handiwork and so she should have been, so much hard work and the hours spent doing this, a labour of love.

Come Easter off to church we went, now parents were very proud and compliments were coming from everywhere. Oh what beautiful dresses, now where did you get them. My mother was so proud and you could tell when she said Oh I Made Them. She was puffed up with pride.

We had our lunch after church and we were going to Grandparents for Dinner. There was going to be extended family there and that was special..

After lunch we asked if we could go out and play, that’s fine but don’t get dirty. Well off we went on our adventures, both my sister and I loved to climb tree and kinda hang on the branches by our legs, knees bent over the branch. Oh wasn’t this fun, maybe not lady like and more like a tomboy but just so fun. I would say that maybe we were on a sugar fix from Easter treats.

Getting down from the tree OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH we caught our new dresses, all I could hear was the sound of ripping material. Oh What to Do, What to do. Needless to say we had no choice, dress ripped, dirty, some pulls we sure got some talking to. Easter or no Easter I do not think the language was to HOLY.

We both went to our Grandparents with old clothes and had to explain why. Needless to say the dresses were never worn again, and they could not be passed down either. After All That Work, Mom had done.

All I can say is we were lucky, as my mother usually sent us for own switch to be spanked with. Mind you we did have experience in picking our switch and you soon learned to bring a bigger branch as it would not be used, and the small young switches did sting.

From the Pen
of Noreen.
May 3, 2018

 

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

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The Kitchen Stool — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Flying Teeth in Church — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

The Writings of Noreen Tyers of Perth

Memories of Grandpa’s Workshop — Noreen Tyers

Cleaning out Grandmas’ Fridge — Noreen Tyers Summer Vacation at Richard’s Castle

My Flower Seeds — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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