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Thursday, 11 June 2015

The Old Fashioned Make-Over

One of my husband's ancestors, his great grandfather on his mother's side, was a minister in the Church of England. Reverend Mercer's son was my husband's grandfather, Richard Mercer.

Years ago, when our daughter was young, we visited Catalina, Newfoundland where Reverend Mercer is buried. 

      Rev. RF Mercer's 

He was posted at St. Peter's in Catalina twice during his career. 

            Names of Clergy
          St. Peter's Church

Rick's parents, Melvin and Sylvia, accompanied us to Catalina. 

      External and internal views of St. Peter's

After the reverend died, his family sent his suits to his son. Sylvia's mother, Classie, used the material in the suits to make gored skits for Sylvia. At the same time, one of Classie's sisters gave her a sweater that she was no longer wearing. Classie unraveled the sweater and knit one for Sylvia. 

            Sylvia in the pulpit at St. Peter's

Many women, such as Classie, had the ability to make-over clothes for their families. Sylvia loved her new clothes, made lovingly by her mother from material and wool from her family, and she was so proud of them. 

Today there are many television programs about making over your own personal style or home. However, this old fashioned make-over provided 'new' clothes for families, a more basic need than the current use of the concept implies. Besides, re-cycling of the materials is certainly a twenty-first century concept. There is a lot we can learn from the old ways.


Unknown said...

This story brought back a memory to me.When I was around ten ,my mother made me a winter coat out of an old overcoat that someone had given her. She "turned " the overcoat by taking it apart & turning the fabric inside out.I was sent to Mrs. Tuma's fabric store on Broadway to get a remnant of material to finish off the collar. I chose a little piece of red velvet.I wore that coat with such pride,just because of the luxury of having a velvet collar.

Marie Smith said...

Great memory. Thank you for sharing it. I'm glad it is part of the family history now.