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This is my mama, Blanche L. Ledford, wearing a feedsack apron and old-fashioned clothes.

In the mid-19th century, heavy canvas or linen feedsacks replaced many barrels and tins and transport of flour, animal feed, and other bulk goods.  The invention of the sewing machine patented by Elias Howe in 1846, made these bags practical for repeated use.

Blue Ridge Mountain women took advantage of this source of free fabric and turned the feedsacks or floursacks into dresses, rag dolls, dishrags, or aprons.

My mother made aprons from floursacks.  She even created dresses for my sister and me from this fabric.  I recall a pretty, pink-flowered dress she made on her peddle sewing machine.  I wore it to school.  My classmates also had floursack or feedsack clothes.


Blackberry Lane said…
Your Mother is just beautiful. I love her clothes. Fun memories for you, as well.

God bless you both this week.
Betsy Adams said…
Oh yes, I remember feedsack clothes. Actually, I have a friend who made a quilt from old feedsack material. SO pretty....

Your Mama is GORGEOUS.
Dorothy said…
Your mother is beautiful. I've had plenty of feed sack dresses, etc. If it hadn't been for feed sacks we wouldn't have had much to wear.
Susie Swanson said…
Your mother looks so beautiful and I love those clothes. My mom talked about wearing feed sack and flour sack Dresses to school. Back then that's all they had to make their clothes from.. Great post Brenda. Tell your mother hello for me.
Magnolia Tea said…
Those were the days! I wore feedsack dresses to school when I was very young, too. And I still like the putting-everything-to-good-use mentality.
Janet, said…
Your mother is so pretty. I don't remember it, buy am told that Mom and Grandma made many dresses, quilts and aprons out of feed-sack. I have some material that I think is feed-sack. I love it.
I have a studio portrait of myself as a very young girl. My mother's mother was horrified that I was wearing a feedsack dress made by my father's mother. I think it was great! And apprently a lot of other people love them, too, because there are surely a lot of reproductions of those pretty fabrics floating around now. And yes, your mother is a doll!
Daisy said…
Lovely photo of your mother, Brenda, and her clothes are very pretty too. I have always liked the cloth that was used back then for the feed-sacks.
David C Brown said…
A great model!

Grace be with you.
Glenda Beall said…
When I was a very small child, Mother made sunsuits for my sister and me from flour sack material. I think that was such a great idea, to make flour sacks from material that could be recycled. Why don' they do things like that today?
Your mother is so pretty. I Love the clothes.
How much I love this post. I remember my grandmother telling about how she made clothing for her children, using feedsacks.
NCmountainwoman said…
My parents had a chicken house and I wore feed sack dresses until I was in third grade. That's when the chicken house burned and we no longer had feed sacks. Some of the kids were ashamed to admit their clothes were from feed sacks but I didn't care at all.
Karen said…
Is there a place to get feedsack dresses or aprons now?
Rana Williams said…
Hi Brenda,

Your Mom looks lovely in this photo. Thank you for sharing.

I have finished adding more art, pictures, etc.. on my blog. This can be viewed at

Thank you.

lil red hen said…
Oh yes! I had feed sack dresses; what a special treat to help pick out sacks from the feed store like the ones we had at home so there would be enough yardage to make a dress. I have a box of feed sack squares, many of which I remember the dresses made from the sacks. Thanks for the memories!

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