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The Lost Art of Embroidery and Smocking

Updated on October 7, 2014

December 24, 1951

Socking on the bodice of the dress was done by my mother.
Socking on the bodice of the dress was done by my mother. | Source

Store Bought Clothes

My mother was a skilled seamstress and made the most beautiful clothes. The other kid's moms made their clothes too but mine had smocking and embroidery. My clothes were all monogrammed. They had matching everything, down to the purse and hat. She did this all by hand. She started making my clothes when money was tight.

Kids today have no concept of hand crafted clothing since sewing is not taught as an art. Kids take for granted that they can just walk into any store and buy clothes that are embroidered or have matching pieces. I don't take it for granted and am teaching my grandson that there is value in hand crafted clothing and home items. He just made his first pillowcase.

Ungrateful child

When I was 8, I decided that I wanted store bought clothes like some of my friends. I actually cried because I wasn't like the other kids. In hind-site, it was a major mistake. My mother allowed me to buy store bought clothes because they could afford them but continued to create beautiful clothing for me because she wanted to,

Embroidered top



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    • sharrie69 profile image


      10 years ago from Trinidad (an island in the Caribbean)

      My mom went through a spell of making 'baggies' (what you'd probably call board shorts) for us and the neighbourhood kids when they were the craze back in the 80s. I used to love sitting watching my mum sew - on pins and needles (no pun intended), excited to see what outfit she was creating for me next. She made many of my dresses and even cool hand puppets for us as kids. All I can sew is curtains!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      10 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Those hand made Barbie clothes were something I regret getting rid of. A neighbor made them and they were tre chic, plus no one else had them. They were originals!

    • Mauvebeate profile image


      10 years ago

      Too true!

    • wordstock profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Southern California

      KCC Big Country

      I am California born and raised but my mother was from Texas. I also have Barbie Doll clothes and hand quilted doll blankets. She was good, I'm not so good but working on it. If you had hand made Barbie Doll clothes, you were special.

      Mighty Mom

      If your mother was not handy, she obviously had enough talent to make the jumper. I think that those are the most treasured memories.

    • KCC Big Country profile image


      10 years ago from Central Texas

      One of my aunts was actually the seamstress in our family and she made our Barbie Doll clothes.  I still have a bell-bottomed one piece jumpsuit she made for Barbie and a wedding dress.  The dress is lined with a satin fabric and has see-thru lace sleeves.   At the time, you didn't see such fancy Barbie clothes.  I felt special.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      10 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      What a lovely memory of your mom making clothes. My mom was not what you would call "handy" at all. But one year she made and embroidered a read jumper (I think it was patterned after The Sound of Music). I treasure that memory because it was such a stretch for her. And it came out really beautiful.

      There are a whole lot of other things kids today take for granted. But probably our parents say the same things about us! Glad to have you here on HP.Welcome. MM

    • KCC Big Country profile image


      10 years ago from Central Texas

      Wordstock, thanks for answering my hub request? Are you by any chance from central Texas? You sound like someone I knew growing up. She always had matching outfits her mother made.


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