Well there are two garments I remember very well from my childhood. Just to put you in the picture, I'm the middle girl and have two sisters and a much younger brother. Also my grandma lived with us and she did all the sewing on a hand turned singer sewing machine!! Grandma was English and had trained as a miliner. All forms of sewing, knitting, embroidery etc were part of our upbringing. I should also say that I'm left handed and everyone else is right handed which possed some problems with techniques learnt. Although I was never forced to change to being right handed which some kids were.
Anyrate back to the garments. We had relatives who lived in Melbourne. A flat enormous, noisey,busy, city to a ,child who came from a hilly, curvey, quiet, small island. Anyrate, one year the decision was made to go and visit the relatives. I can remember Grandma being very busy crreating our holiday wardrobe. Oh and the other thing was that we girls at this stage were all dressed in the same style even though my elder sister was 5 years older than me, but, there was only 17 months between me and my younger sister. The decision was made that we should have something to wear that would stand out in a crowd so that we would not get lost.
Stunning scarlet overcoats, collar and cuffs trimmed with black Astrakhan were the answer. I remember they were lined with smooth slippery scarlet satin, and the coat was made from soft, non prickly, fine woolen material, with a slightly flared skirt. I felt very proud and confident when wearing the coat and we didn't get lost in the crowd either.
The other item I remember was a white brodeerie anglaise party dress. I had been invited to my best friends birthday party. They live on an apple orchard which was on a steep hill, not that far away. It was spring so the apple blossoms were in full bloom white and pink seemed to be everywhere. The dress had puffed short sleeves, a full gathered shirt and a wide sash that was tied in a bow at the back, short white socks and patent leather black shoes completed the outfit. I felt like a princess and very excited.
DISASTER!!!! After the party tea butterfly cakes, lamingtons, fairy bread and lemonade we were send outside to play. I can remember jumping and falling onto the grass and sliding down the hill the result was a vivid green grass stain right down the front of my dress. I still find it impossible to wear white and to remain white.