Stillwater News Press

Local Columnists

June 17, 2014

View from the country 06-18-14

Mother was our own private dress designer

In the last column, I forgot to tell you that almost all the dresses Mother made for her daughters were made without a pattern, without a ‘store-bought’ pattern. I guess maybe there were patterns made by Simplicity and McCall, but Mother made her own.

She’d measure us and then use last week’s issue of The Kansas City Star to cut patterns for each of us. Considering that no two of us were built alike, that must have been hard. My arms were always long and she had to allow for that.

Our dresses were of our favorite colors and sturdily made. Imagine, growing up with fashionable one-of-a-kind dresses! To get a one-of-a-kind dress now, it would take hundreds of dollars, or maybe thousands!

These were not muu-muu type dresses, either. They had darts and intricate seams. They had folded collars. They had gathered, gored, and pleated skirts. Mother could make puffed sleeves, straight sleeves and cap sleeves. When I left for college at Oklahoma A&M, she made me a dress (without a bought pattern) that had a peplum.

When we were young, she almost always put in four-inch hems. That allowed for our growth. She’d let out the hem when the dress got too short and we’d get more use from it.

Oftentimes, she’d send a grocery list with Dad when he went to town on Saturday to sell eggs and cream. But NEVER when she needed chicken feed. On those days, she went to town with him and while at Pawnee Grain and Supply, she’d look over the patterns of the cloth sacks of chicken feed. The sacks had to be suitable for dresses and she had to get three of one pattern. Sometimes, it was hard to find three to match, but she always managed.

By the time her daughters were sewing, she bought patterns for us to use. We learned to use them over and over. We learned to substitute. That is, we might use the sleeve pattern from one dress pattern to go into the bodice of another dress.

Mother sewed my wedding dress. White satin. Sweetheart neckline. Chapel train. It was beautiful. The thing I remember most about her as she sewed was that she put a sheet on the floor under her treadle sewing machine so no part of the satin ever touched the floor.

SOME of her daughters are great seamstresses.

Marjorie Buchanan is a lifetime resident of rural Pawnee County. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University. Her great-grandparents made the run into the Cherokee Strip from Stillwater. She encourages responses to her columns at or to P.O. Box 4, Pawnee, OK, 74058-0004.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Columnists
  • Concerning Kids 07-26-14

    Just last week, I was at a family gathering and one of my cousins found out that I’m a teen librarian.  
    “My son is 11 but he reads at an 11th grade level,” my cousin said. “He loves to read but it’s so hard to find books that are challenging for him and have age appropriate content. What do I do?”

    July 25, 2014

  • Farmers Market

    The Stillwater Farmers Market is open every Monday at Stillwater Medical Center from 2-5:30 p.m. and every Wednesday and Saturday in Strickland Park at the corner of Hall of Fame Avenue and Main Street from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    What’s at market this week?

    July 23, 2014

  • The Library Shelf 07-22-14

    Payne County gardeners soon will be reaping the benefits of the hard work put into their vegetable gardens all summer long.  
    To help community members maximize their summer harvest, Stillwater Public Library is presenting “Yes We Can,” an introductory class on preserving food at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 7.

    July 22, 2014

  • 1 - PCLC Class 4 Renovation.jpg AND, STILL THE WATERS RUN: The walls come tumbling down

    July 21, 2014 7 Photos

  • LARRY JONES: Remembering a front door in Japan

    July 20, 2014

  • Life at Boomer Lake 07-20-14

    A couple of unusual items made it on the list of notoriety this week, but we’ll hold off on that for the time being.
    Baby birds are still infiltrating the area and are growing quickly.

    July 19, 2014

  • Live Well 07-20-14

    It is way too easy to hit snooze on my alarm clock.
    Exercising in the morning always seems like a good idea until the alarm starts yelling at an ungodly hour.

    July 19, 2014

  • Grow! 07-20-14

    Roses are a beautiful addition to any garden and landscape. They come in a variety of colors that enhance your yard. However, like other plants, roses are susceptible to disease. One that seems to hit roses the hardest is rose rosette disease caused by the rose rosette virus.

    July 19, 2014

  • Seed to Table 07-20-14

    Weed control is an important part of food production. So, I recently undertook an effort to rid my pastures of a particularly noxious weed.

    July 19, 2014

  • Down Home 07-20-14

    No wonder everyone is so smitten with just her voice. She’s smart and precise and I’ve also recently discovered I can’t live without her. Her name is Siri.

    July 19, 2014

Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Must Read