Hot! The “Ma in her Kerchief” Outfit

The Facts
Fabric: White cotton broadcloth $4, grey stretch sateen (mend item, not including in price)
Pattern: modified Simplicity 2211 and 2245
Notions: 5 buttons from stash ($.50)
Time to complete: 7 hours (7 eps of Upstairs Downstairs)
First worn: To dinner on Sunday
Wear again? Throughout the summer for sure
Total price: $4.50

I don’t remember seeing a lot of my parent’s family photos from when they were kids. I’m sure film was expensive, but also I think they’re all in slide-form and who owns a slide projector any more?! The few iconic ones I can remember seeing are certainly all slides waiting to be digitized (mom’s big project for two summers now). I happened to find this one in an album for “Enlargements” (mainly school/dance pictures from my bros and me) and I was taken by how all the girls seemed to be dressed the same.

This pic is from June 1966 so my mom is probably a sophomore in high school. She is the oldest of the five siblings; four girls, one boy. I’m not sure why they’ve decided this moment for a family pic on the porch. It’s not for anyone’s birthday that I can tell. Maybe for last day of school? We still take pics like this when we get together, so maybe it’s for no other reason than to have picture of that moment in time.

Anyway, I have no imagination for colorizing black and white pictures so I just went for a white and grey outfit. At first I thought all the girls were in dresses, but based on the way my mom’s left wrist is cocked out I think she’s wearing pants or shorts with pockets. I thought a sleeveless version of my tried-n-true Simplicity 2211 would be similar to her top at least. I embellished with a ruffle along the placket which was super annoying to put in! Don’t look too closely because it’s not exactly pretty.

I made these shorts last summer in a bout of fearless, novice sewing, but I wore them…once? maybe? I basically took the Lisette trousers pattern and just made the legs short enough to be shorts. I liked the fit, but I bungled up the fancy cuffs I made something awful! So I unpicked them and just turned up the hem instead. If it ever warms up enough around here I’ll certainly wear them a lot this summer!



Liz has been sewing since April 2011 but has been crafty all her life. Her full-time job is as a museum curator at a smallish institution, where her DIY skills often come in handy. Liz likes to sew while watching TV, which she uses to measure the amount of time it takes to finish.


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  1. Cute blouse… I love the added ruffle.Happy sewing.

  2. Cute blouse, and the shorts fit beautifully! I love the grey and white colour scheme. It’s so classic.

    My initial thought with the picture is that they were going to church. Was your family religious? It could be Easter – breaking out the white clothes for summer. And your mom’s hand looks to me like she is holding a book in both hands, or has front patch pockets.

    • Thanks Leimomi.
      June would be too late for Easter, but Church is possible – although none of the girls are wearing anything on their heads but my mom. And back then you had to wear a hat to church. I’ll have to ask her this weekend if she knows what it was for.

  3. Classic! I love the ruffle, it really kicks this up a notch from ordinary white tank to something super cute.. :)

  4. Hi Liz, great outfit, perfect for the summer and the color palette is very out to the beach Hamptons feel.