Stella W.

Memories of a childhood garment

Attached is a photograph of my brother and me taken in 1951. I am wearing one of my favourite dresses which my mum made from a postman’s old uniform. It is navy blue serge trimmed with red piping.

I loved this dress because to me it looked like a school uniform and made me feel grown-up and important like a real school pupil. In those days we didn’t have to wear school uniform until we went to ‘big’ school at the age of 11.  I called it my junior dress.

My mum made most of our clothes often by re-using the material from adult clothes. She made my brother’s shorts and shirt. His pullover was made by an aunt. Making and adapting clothes was the norm in the years after WW2. Material was scarce and rationed. Sometimes my mum made clothes, not to fit us but to take to the local clothing exchange and swop for other garments.

Whatever we clothes wore we always had to have those dreadful sensible black lace-up shoes.