This week I learned about my great-great grandmother, Sarah Ingram. Her husband died in an accident at the mill where he worked and she used her skills as a seamstress to support three young children. I found several ads in an old Greenwood, Mississippi newspaper where she advertised.
Sarah passed her sewing skills down to her daughter and granddaughters. My grandmother, Mary Ann, told me she and her sisters were envied by the other girls in school because they had the most beautiful clothes! This would have been in Montgomery, Alabama, during the 1930s and 1940s.
Grandmama Mary Ann used to make me dresses like the ones in this picture, into the early 1990s. They were so old fashioned, I really hated them. When I was ten, she sent one made of teddy bear fabric with a big (seriously GIANT) white bib and pink sash. This week it started to make more sense. She enjoyed making us beautiful clothes like her mom and grandmother had done for her. I had no idea it was a family tradition and I have a lot more appreciation and respect for my grandmother’s “old fashioned” hobby.
It wasn’t just a hobby to Sarah Ingram and her daughter. It was a necessity and they took pride in their ability to make something beautiful in an otherwise challenging situation.