Irma turns 100! What 'getting a new dress' meant back in the day

So you know the panic you feel when there is a party looming on the weekend but you've had no time to hit the shops and are faced with wearing something from your existing wardrobe? It's completely laughable, according to our older generations.

Centenarian Irma reflects on the concept of getting a 'new dress' ...

'At any one time you only had a few dresses in your wardrobe, and they had to cover all occasions, including school. (We had no uniform at primary school.)

Once a year, around October, we got a new dress for the Sunday School Anniversary held at the old church. The occasion marked the start of summer and so it was usually a white or pale-coloured dress. My mother would buy the fabric from Mr Bell's store in Victor Harbor (Mr Bell would greet all his customers and give the children lollies - all part of the service!), sew our dresses and make our hats. You would be lucky to find a ready-made dress in the shop that fit, as the shops didn't stock many ready-made dresses.

Irma's family showing off their home-made Sunday School glad rags and hats. What a hoot! Maybe they didn't get tomato sauce with their fish & chips back then, cos I don't know how those outfits would have stayed white if they did ...

Sundays were a special day, and after Sunday School, families would do special things like go visiting or take a stroll down the main street or over to Granite Island. I think it was partly to show off our dresses! So off we would go in our new-season dresses to the Anniversary, then we would wear the same thing to Sunday School each week for the next six months!

Luckily, the following week we got to attend the Sunday School picnic and therefore wear our 'casual attire.' We would trot out of town in a horse-drawn vehicle and gather somewhere to compete in races and play games. On these days it was wise to wear something that would wash well.'

Irma is glad that she can wear practical clothing on all outings these days, rather than just to picnics! Here she is, back at the tender age of 98, having a kick of the footy in a much more sensible ensemble.

Thanks to Irma Springbett for her photos, and a big congratulations on her recent 100th birthday!

At Da Loop, we know that handmade vintage is very much back in ... check out these fab items:


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