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Conversational Threads

Vintage silk scarves

sewpatsew | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Ideas welcomed on how to utilize my accumulation of vintage silk scarves.  Over the years I have been unable to resist buying them in church bazaars and the like.  Now, I am so reluctant to donate them to a charity shop,  but I look at them in the bag and say to myself “what was I thinking?”.  

Suggestions gratefully received.



  1. katina | | #1

    I've seen such scarves used successfully in patchwork, underlined with flannel or muslin.  If you don't want to cut them up too much, they can be used for handbags and pouches.  Can you make blouses/shirts underlined with a solid colour lightweight silk?  They may work well as an exciting lining fabric, pieced together in strips.  The Gatherers are sure to be full of ideas.


    1. sewpatsew | | #7

      A great big "thank you" to all who responded to my request for ideas on using vintage silk scarves.  The creative brain has now taken a leap into the possibilities.  The first hurdle was what to fuse them to - and Palmer-Plecht fusible lining was the answer.  My project will be a crazy quilt throw backed by silk yardage (but I'll wait until the throw top is finished before I buy the backing.)

      Thank you all for the interest shown in my little corner of the world.


      1. Josefly | | #8

        Oh, what a luxurious throw that will be. I hope you'll post photos. Are you planning to use the textured, crinkled technique someone suggested?

        1. sewpat | | #9

          I'll experiment with the techniques suggested and then I'm "Off to the Races", as they say!  If it turns out "beauteous" as Meg said it should, then I'll send a pic.  But don't look for a finished project until the spring.  Thanks for your interest, Josefly.


  2. meg | | #2

    You could collage them into a wearable-art jacket or vest. Use some fusible knit interfacing and the scarves to create a beauteous new fabric. In one of the Threads issues, there's an idea where you take some fabric (your scarf) laid out on a table and scrunch it up a little to create 'puckers'. Lay the fusible interfacing on it and pin into position. Take it to the ironing board and fuse your piece into shape. I'm sure I've missed a few steps.....

    1. sewpat | | #3

      Thanks, Meg, for the scrunching and fusing idea.  I'll look for the fusable knit fabric on line and try it out.  That would give the body to these delicate scarves that I'd need.


  3. KharminJ | | #4

    Hi Pat! I can sure relate to the "bag full of silk scarves" ~ I've got some from my Mom, my Grandmother, 2 ex-MILs and of course, resale shops, plus some I bought new myself! I like the scrunch and fuse idea, too. I've also seen them used on/in/as window treatments - either sewn together, or fluttering freely from the rod. There's been a big diversion-discussion in another thread about remodeling one's Sewing Salon, and they could be a beautiful addition!

    Bright Blessings! Kharmin

    1. clight | | #22

      email me at [email protected]

  4. MaryinColorado | | #5

    http://www.kaylakennington.com has a technique for fabric collage that would work great for the scarves.  You can do a "search" of old Threads articles with her information.

    Wish I had a collections of them, I'd go crazy playing and creating with such great silk material! 

    You can get a nicer quality fusible knit interfacing at http://www.palmerpletch.com  which I prefer over the stiffer stuff from Joannes. 

    Another suggestions is to use something like Floriani Mesh Stabilizer, it comes in a fusable or nonfusable and my favorite is flesh colored (also comes in black or white)!  It would make excellent backing for your scarves.  It is soft against the skin, and is one of my favorite products for machine embroidery backing on sheer fabrics.  Mary



  5. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #6

    What a wonderful source of jacket linings you have!  Who says a jacket has to have a plain old lining, or one that matches all the way around?  Think of all the creative possibilities......Cathy

  6. tcsewhat | | #10

    I have a friend who paid big $ for a patchwork silk scarf from Chico's.  It is a narrow scarf with knotted fringe at each end.  One is multicolored and the other is different prints all in the same color family.  Each piece is about 6 inches long and 7-9 inches wide.  The pieces are sewn together to make a long 9 inch wide scarf.  This would look great out of vintage scarves.  I think long narrow scarves- like a muffler- are easier to wear.

    1. sewpat | | #11

      Hi TC!  Thanks for the input. Good thoughts!  I also love those long scarves that can wind around the neck under a woolen sweater during the wintry months.  And for reminding me of the $$$ for scarves at Chicos.   However, I'm not above copying their ideas on my shoestring.  I'm looking forward more and more to creative projects with my bag of vintage scarves.  


      1. MaryinColorado | | #12

        A 2 or 3 thread rolled hem on the serger with Rayon embroidery thread would be lovely, using a very small needle.  You could use this as a seam technique or as an edge/hem technique around the edges. 

        If you went to http://www.kaylakennington.com, she has instructions for this on Tips.  Also, after rolled egde serging, she uses a "joining stitch" on the regular sewing machine that works great.  She uses silk, I've done it with rayon with great results using several different joining or decorative stitches. 

        One thought on the Palmer Pletch fusable interfacing, it is an excellent product but you will want to line the "wrong side" to hide it.  Maybe with velvet?  That would be so soft and lovely too.  Collars?  Cuffs?  Pockets?  Whole garments?  The sky is the limit! 

         You can cut strips of water soluble stabilizer the length you need and wrap it around the edge of the fabric if necessary to support and protect it.  Use a new very small needle. 

        Do you need to heat set the colors using a presscloth on the silk first?  Prehandwash?  (Don't want those lovely colors to run.) 

        Thanks for stimulating my creative juices, I'm making scarves for Christmas gifts and a few stockings.  Enjoy the process!  I think it's as much fun as the finished product!  Mary

        1. Josefly | | #13

          You have a lot of good tips in your post. Thank you for those. When you mentioned wrapping water-soluble stabilizer around the edges, did you mean that it makes finishing the edges easier - serging, I mean?You are a busy stitcher. I think the scarves sound lovely.

          1. MaryinColorado | | #14

            Thank You!  I wish I could actually make all the ideas and techniques I come up with in my head.  So many projects, so little time.  Mostly it's my attention span just keeps following my imagination around all the time instead of focusing on one thing at a time.  ha ha  I have a zillion UFO's all the time as I like to work on more than one project at a time.  Everything in different stages so if I can do what fits my mood or physical abilities as they change with the weather.

            The water soluble stabilizer strip helps the sheer or lightweight fabrics to smoothly glide through the serger.  It also helps to make a more "perfect" rolled edge without any "pokies" if a fabric wants to fray.  Sometimes instead of wrapping it around the edge, I just put a piece one top and one on the bottom if the fabric doesn't ravel.

            It also helps knits not stretch if you can't get the differential feed to take care of that issue. 

            Then, if I want to do a "joining stitch", it helps to give the fabric some support so the stitches stay uniform and don't try to go down into the feed dogs. 

            I serged a fabric for a little antique looking purse out of Perle Crown Rayon thread only with a couple layers of water soluble stabilizer.  You just keep doing 3 thread overlock over and over in rows onto WSS.  It looks like it's crocheted, next time I'll line one for support though and to help it hold it's shape.  (If you flip it over as you add rows, you get a different stitch look like knitting does.) 

            You could also use Glamour thread if you like the Sparkles! 

          2. Josefly | | #15

            Fun. The Perle Cotton project sounds lovely. You've experimented with a lot of different techniques and I love hearing about them. I'm just finally starting to learn how to handle knits - no serger - so I think I can apply your WSS tip, using my machine. Although, I'm pretty proud of my results on a lightweight cotton-with-a-little-bit-of-spandex knit, and a double needle.

          3. MaryinColorado | | #16

            Thank You!  You can make the scarves with a regular sewing machine too.  Just lay down a variety of ribbons, yarns, fibers, scraps onto water soluble stabilizer.  Cover them with WSS again.  Use a long stitch length and stitch across, just so you are attatching everything together into a long rectangle.  Practice with your decorative stitches or even zig zags. 

            Even more fun:  slowly or hand wind thicker threads onto your bobbin (30 wt. or 12 wt. Sulky cotton blendables for instance).  You might have to bypass the tension on the bobbin.  You can even use the 30 wt. in a 90 topstitching needle but loosen the tension.  It looks really cool and you can make a real variety.  (Don't mess with your bobbin tension though, nightmares can result trying to reset it to "normal" factory setting. Yup, the voice of "experience" ha ha, later I bought a special bobbin case for this technique, when I adjust it I put it in a baggie so I don't lose that tiny screw.  )

            I "play" more than I make "normal" clothing and such.  Just have fun!  Mary

          4. Josefly | | #17

            Thanks. I'll play some too, and see what I can do.

          5. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #18

            I am so happy to hear someone other than myself has this problem. I seem to have attention span of a gnat these days. I could stay busy all day every day if I were to bring to fruition all the ideas I have banging around in my head. I love your scarf idea, although I'm more likely to use it as the yoke on a slinky knit tee-shirt. Some of the eye-lash yarn around these days came to mind immediately. I buy it at the thrift stores and when it is deeply discounted at regular stores even though I don't crochet or knit. I've also been saving bits and pieces of unraveled thread (it's curly and has interesting shapes) and slivers of fabric I've trimmed or selvages or serged seams I've trimmed off for something along that line. I saw an interesting tee at a thrift store Saturday. The base fabric appeared to be a sheer spandex or stretchy net. Another rather sheer, less stretchy, fabric was sewn on top of that (RS to WR). The top fabric has a design on it almost in a cobblestone pattern outlined in white. The seams were about a quarter inch inside each of the oddly shaped areas of print. Then each odd shape was snipped around leaving the quarter inch of white loose (almost like you'd do faux chenille. It looked almost like a shattered quilt top. Really interesting. I might go down and take a picture of it and post it just for a conversation piece.

          6. MaryinColorado | | #19

            That does sound like an interesting technique.  I think you would also like Kayla Kennington's fabric collage technique.  It would hold up better in clothing because of the backing fabric.  She's featured in several Threads articles through the years.  Mary

          7. Sancin | | #25

            There is an interesting article in this months Sew News describing the use of a new thread called Chizimi which is used to scrunch material. One sews normally in whatever design - usually free motion and then iron the fabric - the thread shrinks. The article demonstrates using it in scarves and hats. I thought I may give it a try if I ever find the thread.

          8. Josefly | | #20

            There's an article on the CraftStylish e-newsletter this time about scraps of fabric sewn down onto water-soluble stabilizer, as MaryinColorado was describing doing with yarns and threads. Somehow it makes me feel good to think we're becoming more conscious of how much we consume, and finding pleasure in saving and re-using in clever, fanciful ways. In my opinion, most sewers are well-practiced in that way of living.

  7. Ceeayche | | #21

    I recently saw in at least two high end decorating magazines throw pillows that were covered in slip cover shams made from silk scarves. 

    This one is a sham made from bandanas.


    Here's one made from an Hermes scarf.


    and Martha Stewart has directions on how to make it happen


    And below I've added a picture of one from the "easy ethical fashion" website, where they tout this as a green thing to do!

    My other suggestion comes from a friend of mine who takes sheets of foam core and cuts them to fit the size of frames she picks up from tag sales and spray paints in gold.  She covers the foam core with the fabric and uses tape to hold it to the back of the foam core and then inserts the foam core into the frames-- and she uses them in her dining room and her powder room to set the mood for her parties!  Last year for our cookie exchange she covered the foam core in swaths of gilded holiday fabric.  This time she left the glass off and affixed unique ornaments to the center with a hat pin.  Very unusual and quite pretty!

    I'm thinking of copying this for my closet and use one of my grandmother's broaches on a ribbon on top of the scarf!

    Edited 11/18/2008 5:50 pm ET by CHL

    1. User avater
      rodezzy2 | | #23

      Thanks for the pictures and ideas for pillows, good stuff.   I loved the bandana quilt too!  That's a great idea for a quilt.

  8. Stormee | | #24

    I have sewn them altogether and made a dress. The dress turned out beautiful. Actually it was a halter dress with a full skirt. I serged the dress together. The serging gave it an extra touch.

    1. sewpatsew | | #26

      I'm SO impressed with your ability not only to make the fabric for a silk-skirted halter dress but to look great in it.  Do you have a picture?  How many scarves did you use?


      1. Stormee | | #29

        I used about 10 scarves, I have a friend that hand dyes and paints silk scarves, she lets me buy her "mistakes" for a small fee. The dress did not fit me. Here is a link to a posting of the dress. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=12886313 

        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #30

          A very attractive, pretty use for scarves, and a one of a kind dress.  Very, very nice!  Thanks for posting the link.  Well Done!  Cathy

        2. sewpatsew | | #31

          Thanks, Cathy.  Yes, a real body in this dress sashaying down the street


          would be awesome.  Great colors together.


          1. Josefly | | #32

            I was just reminded, in another thread, of a pattern I have from Fashion Patterns by Coni. It can be seen here (Pattern V5107):http://www.fashionpatterns.com/pages/XS-L_Patterns/XS-L_vests-jumpers.htmlI think the layers of this type of garment could be made up of scarves, combined with solid colored silk for intervening layers. I think this pattern is out of print, but there are others around which use multiple layers of fabric.

          2. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #33

            Josefly -- The Butterick B5052 pattern shown on the same page as V5107 is a really nice example of asymmetrical fashions mentioned in the thread "Suggestions for Next Issue". Really nice.

          3. Josefly | | #35

            Oh, yes, I agree that is very nice. I would like very much to see that made up.

          4. sewpatsew | | #34

            I'll certainly bookmark Fashions by Coni for future reference.  Thank you for the website.  There have been some great links with this Gatherings Discussion on recycling vintage silk scarves.  I do hope many other gals (maybe an occasional guy?) have also looked 'outside the box' and seen wonderful possibilities.


        3. MaryinColorado | | #37

          The dress is beautiful!  I love love love it and the coordinating jacket and scarf.  I am so tempted, if it's still available after the holidays, I might just have to buy it!  I think it would fit, oooooooh so yummy!

          You are a very talented designer, I also love your menswear!  (Your hubby is quite handsome too you lucky gal).  Thank You for sharing your very inspirational unique line!  So many great items, the quilts, the hats, bags, shirts, jackets, boxes....wow!  Mary

          1. Stormee | | #38

            Thank you so much. I am glad you like the dress and checked out both my shops. And my husband liked the compliment. I hope you come back to my shop again.

          2. MaryinColorado | | #39

            I will!  You have such cool stuff!  Take care, Mary

  9. Ocrafty1 | | #27

    When you said "over the years", it prompted me to ask...do you have young neices/granddaughters?  Have you seen the gorgeous "fairy" and princess skirts they have been selling???  There are a few patterns out there and I'll bet you could use the scarves to make some.  I have a catalog...I'll have to look up the name...that sells those for well over $40. You could make the wings as well...Just a thought.  I'm gonna have to go see what I have in my stash....My youngest granddaughter will LOVE her Grammy!


  10. KimStylesdotcom | | #28

    Hello Pat:

    You can send them to me!  Or, I would use them to make skirts.  Serge them together in panels and put an elastic casing at the waist, I have done this and it looks wonderful.  They make great beach coverups.  I have also used them to make tunics that look great over leggings or jeans.  Another idea is sew them together to make a shawl.   Or you can send them to me!

    Kim Styles  http://www.kimstyles.com



  11. HelgaDeb | | #36

    I like silk prints...  I go to Goodwill and buy mens silk ties for a buck a piece!  take them apart...  wash the silk by hand...  and woohoo...  lots of fresh prints and they're cut ont the bias!  I use them to make cording to use between the lining and the facings on jackets.  it adds a bit of color. 

    Also, the pieces would be great for the patchwork ideas posted here.


    1. Stormee | | #40

      I love this idea, I have a tote full of ties. I got most of them from a lady at my church whose husband passed away and he had the most beautiful ties. Then I always take the ones my husband does not want anymore. I am going to start using those ties. Thanks for sharing.

  12. MyrtleFillmore | | #41

    Here is an idea I intend for some of my scarves.  If you look at the cover of the January 2008 issue of Sew News, they are using a scarf as part of a blouse.  They used Decades of Style Patterns #3102, a 1931 vintage blouse.

    1. User avater
      JunkQueen | | #42

      On a business trip once, I forgot to pack my favorite blouse that "went with" my suit. I had, however, packed the full sized scarf I usually wore with it. So, I tied two corners of the scarf around my neck. Then I scrounged around in my brief case for some rubber bands which I looped together. I tied one end onto a bottom corner of the scarf, pulled the stretchy bands around my waist, and then tied the other corner to them, and viola! I had a silk blouse with a cowl neckline. I had to wear my jacket all day, but I almost always did anyway since most offices are too cold for me. Thereafter, I used that trick often. It delighted my friends, but they were usually not brave enough to do it themselves. Thank you from bringing this topic up, you've given me so many ideas. Please show us your creations from time to time.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #43

        Your creativity saved the day! Thanks for another excellent tip!  I really got a kick out of this one.  Maybe instead of finding the "perfect blouse pattern" for my new black pants suit, I'll just buy some silk scarves and rubber bands!  Then maybe I'll actually get those pants hemmed!  Mary

      2. Josefly | | #44

        When I was a kid growing up in Florida, we used that scarf trick often when we got sunburned and it was too painful to have anything on our shoulders. The silk scarves, which you could get back then for maybe 50 cents at Woolworth's, were large enough when folded in half diagonally, to reach around the waist and tie in back, and the other two corners then were brought around the neck and tied as you described. You've sent me down memory lane again.The elastic bands are a great way to make the trick work for an adult. You know those elastic clip-on things that were used for a while to gather in the back of a too-full dress? With the suspender-type clips? Those would work well, too.

        1. User avater
          JunkQueen | | #45

          Those devices would certainly work, and the rubber bands were a result of necessity being the mother of invention that morning in West Virginia so many years ago. Being a tall buxom woman at the time, I used the whole scarf for coverage. Two adjacent corners were tied behind my neck. Then the other two adjacent corners (not diagonal) of course wouldn't go around my waist, and I was fearful just stuffing it in my skirt would result and a "show and tell" presentation rather than my prepared text later in the day.....I wish I had thought of your solutions when I wore the scarf "blouses" later on. Scarves would make wonderful halter tops for young girls.

          1. Josefly | | #46

            Ah, so your scarf adaptation was not quite the same. Seems yours might make for a fuller, puffier look under the neckline - a nice look. It was a clever on-the-spot solution.

          2. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #47

            I needed the fullness under the neckline as I was quite "fluffy" in that area of my body for most of my life! The neckline looked like a cowl neckline. At times I'd wear a heavy necklace to tame it just a bit.

          3. MaryinColorado | | #49

            We used to hem the top end, put a ribbon through it like a drawstring tie and just wrap the bottom around the waist.  There were even patterns for them that included a piece to extend the back more. 

        2. MaryinColorado | | #48

          Memory lane, oh yes, we used to make them all the time!  Back when I had a teeny tiny body I didn't wear them under a jacket though, lol.

          1. Josefly | | #50

            Mind, I wore the scarf-halter when 9, 10, 11 years old. When I got to be a teenager I wouldn't have been seen dead in one. We were very modest in those days, at least where I lived, so even before I needed a bra, I wouldn't have worn something backless like the scarf-garment. In the late fifties and early sixties, even our bathing suits were laughably modest compared to what is worn now. Anybody remember that far back?

          2. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #51

            Indeed I do. Cleavage and bra or slip straps were considered immodest and gauche. I.E., cleavage on teenagers. My mother policed this diligently.

            Edited 11/22/2008 3:04 pm by JunkQueen

          3. Josefly | | #52

            Cleavage? Didn't have much of that, back then. I'm probably not remembering correctly, but I don't think we pushed our mothers very much on the point of revealing clothes, either. Things did change relatively fast though, in the sixties.

          4. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #53

            My problem was that I DID have ample cleavage, and I wasn't thrilled with it, either. Mother made most of my clothes, and she always set the buttons so my blouses were appropriately modest. And no, we did NOT push our mothers on that point. As I recall, you were considered "fast" if you wore revealing clothing, and peer pressure was very strict. Oh my, how times have changed. Remember when The Bop was considered risque? Well, there was The Bop and The 'Dirty' Bop...The town where I lived and the kids I ran around with could well have been the original Happy Days cast and location, including The Fonz. And I feel so blessed to still have so many of those people as beloved friends now.

          5. User avater
            rodezzy2 | | #54

            Yes, I was a teenager during the sixties and we missed a lot of the total modesty stuff.  We started wearing halter tops, shorts and short skirts when I came through the late sixties.  I was modestly hip!  I wore short skirts, but not brutally short, halter tops that were not really revealing and I never wore shorts, large thighs, never felt comfortable in those. But I wore walking shorts.   

          6. Josefly | | #58

            Ro, you must've grown up in a fashion-conscious urban area, - in Chicago? It's amazing how many months or years behind, in styles at least, a small town can be. When I was in college in Florida, all the "hippie" fashions and causes that were sweeping California and large schools in the East, were not to be seen on our campus for several years. The mini-skirt wasn't seen until the early 70's. By then I was in Atlanta, which was far more fashionable, but still behind New York, LA, and Chicago by at least a year.

          7. User avater
            rodezzy2 | | #59

            Both Chicago and Three Rivers Michigan.

          8. Josefly | | #57

            I do remember the Bop, and some people were quite shocking in the way they did it, at least in that time. I'm getting a good laugh, thinking about how prudish we were back then. The small towns I lived in were wonderful - everybody knew everybody else and their uncle! And your business was everybody else's. I had to move during the middle of my teens, and though it was only 80 miles away, and still a relatively small town, the culture was strikingly different! When we moved there, the town was undergoing a boom due to the space program at Cape Canaveral, and so many new kids poured into the schools, making it seem a rootless place. I loved being there through high school, but didn't stay in touch with anyone after I went away to college. However, recently I was contacted by 4 of my old friends from the previous town, and they've stayed in touch with each other and with their entire class, to this day, even though almost none of them live in the town anymore, they still have class reunions, and they know where everybody is. I think that's amazing. You're so fortunate to have those long-term friends. I think friends who knew you when you were young are very special - they know you in a way that others can't.

          9. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #60

            My town was smaller than that, and we were well-policed/chaperoned no matter what we were doing. We'd dance on the tennis courts at the high school at night by car headlights and radios. The principal, who lived across the street, would saunter over, sit on the steps of the school, appropriate cold cokes for us from the machines inside, and stay there until we were ready to go home. I wish we had appreciated him and TOLD him when he was alive, but we were just kids, you know? A rare phenomenon of a heavy snowfall in South Texas resulted in most of us playing hooky my senior year. The merchants in town came out of the stores and had snow ball fights with us. Made snowmen with us. Fed us snacks and drinks. One of my best girlfriend's parents owned a local supermarket. They sent their delivery truck to their house with all kinds of goodies for us while we danced and partied when we were tired of running around. We weren't prudes by THAT day's standards, but by today's standards..... oh yeah. It was just a different time. And I could do a mean version of the Bop..... not often in public.

          10. Josefly | | #61

            Lovely memories.

          11. MaryinColorado | | #55

            They were double fabric so nothing showed in front.  It was 1970 and I had graduated and moved from a rural small town to a hot southern city.  I weighed 86# and was built like Twiggy, so it wasn't sexy, just cool.  I came from a very strict religious background too, so never wore them near my family or their friends.  Although they really didn't reveal as much as a modest tank swimsuit does! 

            We did wear mini skirts to high school though the dress code said "to the crease in the back of the knee."   Mine were often coulotte style.  I loved turtlenecks and matching tights with miniskirts or jumpers too.  We also wore alot of "tent" dresses in psychedelic prints.  I loved sewing them for myself and sometimes for friends too.  For Easter one year, I made a lavendar tent dress with a matching coat that was just darling, and Mother approved.  She would've kept me in Victorian ruffles and puffy sleeves and ribbons to this day if she could.  Mary

            Edited 11/23/2008 12:07 am by MaryinColorado

          12. Josefly | | #56

            Yes, I remember that the scarf-halters were really quite modest. I just meant the bare back would've been too much for the small town where I lived, in that era, and at the age I was. When younger, we wore them when sunburned shoulders made anything else uncomfortable and the soft silk felt wonderful. They weren't tight in the front, but rather blousy, so there was nothing at all to be embarrassed about - it was just the culture I was in. We were years behind the more urban styles.Your lavender tent dress sounds beautiful. It brings back another memory - When I was 14 I moved from one tiny town to another town a little larger - pop. 25,000. It was 1958, in the spring, and one girl wore a "chemise" dress to school - 9th grade. Do you remember that the loose, waistless style - not quite so full as a tent dress - was called a "chemise"? It was the very latest style at the time, and was not at all immodest, just no waistline. We had seen pictures of the style, but no one had worn one in that town before. Well, one of the junior high teachers, the home economics teacher, actually, demanded that the girl call her mother to bring her a change of dress. It was buzzing around the school in a matter of minutes. Everybody knew the teacher was overreacting, but she had her way. As if it were immoral, or something, to wear something loose-fitting - I suppose she thought it looked too much like a maternity dress. I hope that teacher died soon - she would have had an apoplexy if she lived just a few years longer! :>)

          13. MaryinColorado | | #62

            Oh that sounds so cruel!  The poor girl!  A relative of mine was very good at debate and loved Government, he was failed for being a "bad citizen" because his hair was longish.   He went and took exams at the college and graduated ahead of his class just to "show them".  (Not a GED).

              3 years later, 1968), our school dropped the dress code because they were sued by an Honor Student from California for expelling him his first day of school for having long hair.  They said he couldn't come back until he cut it.  He won the suit!

          14. Josefly | | #64

            You know, the girl, whose name I can't remember, thought the whole incident was ridiculous, and most every student thought so too. She actually laughed in the teacher's face. I've always liked and admired teachers, and was taught to show respect to them even if I didn't feel it; and if this had happened to me, I would've been mortified. But this teacher struck me as wanting simply to exert her power. The girl, I suppose, had the confidence to wear a new style, and to recognize the absurdity of objections to it. Like the boys you mentioned in your post. I like and admire that, too.

          15. MaryinColorado | | #66

            I would've been mortified too.  In my opinion that teacher showed very poor judgment by not at least taking the girl aside and doing it privately.  Sometimes these things cause long term self esteem problems.

          16. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #73

            It is such a shame that sometimes teachers who should know better feel that they should make examples of one student in order to maintain their positions of power.  And they often do it with stupid examples like that.  The worst part, that as much as we would love to protect our kids from that kind of unfairness, it is also a lesson on what can happen in the working world as well.  There are people out there who feel they must squash independence and attitudes they do not like.  It was my job to teach my girls how to handle unfair situations, not bail them out.  To bolster their self esteem when it was squashed by someone or something, by teaching them how to figure it out and how to handle it with support.   I also taught my kids responsibility and respect, but not be afraid to question.  Cathy

          17. miatamomma | | #63

            When my DDs were in jr hi in the early 70s, they were not permitted to wear empire styled dresses as it was thought they looked like maternity dresses.  This was in a large midwestern city, not a small town rural area.  Supposedly it was distracting to other students.


          18. Josefly | | #65

            I'm pretty sure that was this teacher's response to the "Chemise" - she suspected that the girl was pregnant, or even if not, everyone would think that she was pregnant, and it would be a distraction. But the teacher's reaction caused much more distraction and discussion; she became a laughingstock among the students, sadly. Still, she held sway. What a silly waste of energy.

          19. MaryinColorado | | #67

            When I was in junior high, eighth grade, I still thought you could get pregnant from "French kissing" whatever that was.  I didn't get to have any say about my own clothes until I was about 15 either.  My girlfriends and I shared clothes too, and sometimes changed after we got to school so our mother's wouldn't "know".  Having parents that were too strict caused us to be a bit sneaky.

            We sure got off the subject of silk scarves, lol.

            Edited 11/27/2008 9:49 am by MaryinColorado

          20. Josefly | | #68

            Heh-heh. I was Miss Goody-Two-Shoes, I think. It would never have occurred to me to switch clothes. I missed out on a lot of fun.You're right - another thread gets bent. You can almost always tell that's happened just by looking at the number of messages in any particular thread. The long ones usually have something interesting going on.

          21. MaryinColorado | | #69

            I was miss goody two shoes the first two years, then I did get a bit sneaky the last two years.  I usually got caught if I actually wasn't where I was supposed to be though.  I did get away with riding with friends to McDonalds' a few times during lunchhour.  I even got caught going to my own brother's house to visit him one day.  His friends still remember me crying in front of everyone.  Too embarrassing!  Mary

          22. Josefly | | #70

            I did have a few embarrassing moments, but not enough to prepare me for what my children would think up to do! My kids will be better prepared to imagine what their kids might get into. :>)

          23. User avater
            JunkQueen | | #71

            Now that's funny, I don't care WHO you are!!!!

          24. Josefly | | #74

            I'm trying to find a positive outcome from allowing my kids to get away with more than I should've. :> So maybe, since they know what they managed to do, maybe they'll be more alert than I was?

          25. MaryinColorado | | #72

            I know what you mean!  I loved the privledge of watching my children and grandchildren explore their world.  They tested and stretched boundaries and sometimes got their good clothes dirty.  They have good morals and good manners but know it's okay to respectfully question people in authority. 

          26. Josefly | | #75

            I learned so much from having children. Exploring the limits is good for kids; having appropriate limits and proportionate consequences is also good. Sometimes that seems obvious, but it's not always. I think it's hard knowing when to protect kids and when to let them experience.

          27. MaryinColorado | | #76

            Absolutely!  Even if they came with a perfect child specific manual, we were busy reading childrens books to them, with them, or teaching them to read.  We do our best and give our best and pray God will take care of the rest.

            My grandkids were much younger than my children were when they learned the big word "accountability". 


          28. Josefly | | #77

            What you say is so true.... If I'd had that manual, I would've read the wrong pages! Whatever situations we foresee and brace ourselves for are usually not the ones that actually come about, anyway, are they?My kids grew up to be lovely, responsible adults with happy families of their own, and we still have lots of good times together. But sometimes it felt like a wild ride, getting there. More silk scarves?

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