Mother Hubbard?

Have you ever thought about where the term Mother Hubbard dress comes from?

What about the Hawaiian term MuuMuu, the dress that covers a multitude of sins?

Well this week I was asked to copy a well worn Muumuu for a client’s mother as a birthday surprise. It seems that this woman wears only hospital scrubs at work and a muumuu at home and after years of this routine her daughter is fed up seeing these raggedy dresses hanging on her mother. She dug through a stack of old home made patterns that her 93 yr old granny had used to make the dresses for her mom a couple decades ago. Here is the original version:

  It was made well before sergers were around so all the seams and top stitching was done with a small zigzag.

My client wanted to start with 3 newer versions so I directed her to visit one of our nicer quilt shops in the area to buy some quality cotton that would hold up for another 20 years. We chatted about her mother and she was described as “old” and when I asked “how old” the answer was SIXTY!

So, still in shock, I rushed/sewed flat out to make up a couple of these dresses before the old dear as my Australian friend Kath would say “Popped her clogs” and would not get the full benefit of wearing new dresses before she departed this earth. Here is the result:

  They both have floral decorative top stitching and pockets which are hard to see in the photo. The final one will be in shades of purple in a batik fabric. I hope that hard-working 60 year old woman will enjoy these!

On a more glamorous note we have a new bridal salon in our little town. It opened a month ago and the owner is stocking high end/to die for bridal gowns from New York. Her strategy is to lure local women into her store so they won’t be tempted to buy their gowns in San Francisco or Seattle. Well after speaking to mothers of fussy brides, part of the adventure of buying a bridal gown IS traveling to those places and returning home with a treasure to make all your friends jealous. So we shall see how all this works out. Already I have been repairing some of her sample dresses from the shop for a bridal show this weekend. the dresses are so well made inside and out with some Augusta Jones dresses having their own laced up corsets inside! All the fabrics are silk with many gorgeous lace overlays….and New York prices…as in the “Say Yes to the Dress” TV program.

In our rural area where many women buy their ranching and casual clothes at the local grange it is hard to imagine them plonking down $4000 for a one time dress when that would certainly buy a ride-on mower for the hubby.

Fingers crossed my Oct 29th bride will be the last for the season and I can concentrate on my regular clients as they prepare for the mass migration to California and Arizona deserts and Hawaiian islands to wait out the coming winter.

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2 Responses to Mother Hubbard?

  1. Alethia says:

    Aw, so I remember the MuuMuu….60 years~OLD, LOL! Does she not know that 60 is like the new 40?!?!??! BTW, your updated muumuu looks great! It’s gonna be interesting to see how this new bridal shop holds up, especially at those prices. I have to look up that designer that wears the name of my hometown. :)
    Good luck on that being your last wedding gown for the season. By this time of the year we can usually see our walls in the workroom. But, we are still wall-to-wall full. And, I am working on a wedding party right now. Our work is never done. :)

  2. mrsmole says:

    Thanks, Alethia from Augusta,
    Do your clients ever realize that sometime as the season winds down seamstresses get a little jaded?

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