Friday, November 14, 2008


Here it is – one ill-fitting frumpy frock, finished and ready for the presentation. I feel so good about it because I have actually finished it in advance. I won't be stressed the night before the presentation because my dress isn't finished. I might be stressed about something, but it won't be that.

"You look like an old lady!" said Mike. "Good!" was my rejoinder. (My fear is that I look like an old lady anyway.)

I resist the urge to say I'm disappointed in the dress – or in myself. In a certain sense, the project was doomed from the beginning and I knew it. But I also believe a certain authenticity was achieved. I used a pattern printed in 1931 and the model for that size 16 pattern was tall and thin whereas I am short and "matronly." I made the best of a bad situation. Perhaps 1930s farm wives did just that. And I did not want my Ina to be stylish.

I knew the fabric the minute I saw it in the store – a drab gray with tiny white print flowers. In honor of the holiday season I chose red buttons out of my mother's button box – still on the card but obviously vintage. A shawl and a white apron will complete Ina's attire. I have a hair net, too. What about her shoes and stockings? I don't know what kind of shoes farm wives wore in the 1930s. Surely something utilitarian and not fancy. KW


chris miller said...

Shoes: Black, moderate heel, laces.

I've seen them in many a picture.

Kathy said...

You mean -- just like my grandmother wore? It seems like women wore those into the '50s, especially older women. I'll check it out -- but it makes my feet hurt to think about it. Thanks for the advice. KW

Hallie said...

Check out this fun website:

Kathy said...

Great website, Hallie! But Ina can't afford those shoes and they would make Kathy's feet hurt.

I also checked out a few websites on a search and found several museum-type sites about shoes.

Ina might just wear slippers. I'm not sure she would have worn her sensible heels to do her housework. XO

Hallie said...

Yeah, I didn't think those would necessarily be the right shoes, but I still thought it was a fun website. I'm envisioning plain shoes with a chunky heel and laces.

Do you have any pictures that show the shoes? It'd be a fun blog just to see what you find! I would wear slippers, too. I've been wearing heels to work and I'm just about through with that. My feet hurt!

Chuck said...

I agree with Chris and Hallie. Like a black, 2" high, wide heel. I think by the 30's, they got away from the button shoes, but I didn't look around much, then.