Thursday, May 7, 2009

Flour Sack Dresses

Some of my blogger friends post things that light my mind up with memories. When I read one of Michelle's post at Chocolate and Marmalade Tea my mind flittered to flour sacks.

When I was a child flour came in cloth sacks and not the paper sacks we have today. The sacks were sometimes plain, but then the makers of flour decided they could entice the housewife with prints to buy their flour. The flour sacks were used for all sorts of things. I've included a poem at the end of this post that tells of their many uses.

Mama made me and my sister many flour sack dresses and blouses.

Yes, you can click on these pictures for a larger view.

This is a picture of me at about 10 months old that shows one of the flour sacks dresses. Wasn't I a cute thang :-)

Isn't that a great print!

I think Mama still has that dressing table bench. It has been recovered a couple of times... maybe more.

Here is a dress that Mama made for one of my baby dolls. Another lovely print.

I think I wore clothing made from flour sacks until I was at least twelve years old. I also wore a lot of hand-me-downs from my brothers. My first pair of girl's jeans was when I was in the 6th grade and my second when I was was in the eleventh grade. After I got married I had my own ladies jeans... but I stole a pair or two of Frank's overalls :-)

Nowadays flour sack towels can be found in most kitchen areas of stores. I haven't seen them in prints though.

Oh... there were also feed sacks that had pretty prints too. Both the feed and flours sacks were made into beautiful quilts. I did see a few pictures of them on the internet, but forgot to bookmark them. So you will have to do the work on that :-)

It is dreary again today and I'm not much on researching where to find vintage sacks, but I will another day.

I hope you enjoy this poem and that maybe it will spark a memory for a few of you.

The Flour Sack
by Colleen B. Hubert
When girls' dresses were made from flour sacks...

In that long ago time when things were saved,
When roads were graveled and barrels were staved,
When worn-out clothing was used as rags,
And there were no plastic wrap or bags,
And the well and the pump were way out back,
A versatile item, was the flour sack.

Pillsbury's Best, Mother's and Gold Medal, too
Stamped their names proudly in purple and blue.
The string sewn on top was pulled and kept -
The flour emptied and spills were swept.
The bag was folded and stored in a sack
That durable, practical flour sack.

The sack could be filled with feathers and down,
For a pillow, or t'would make a nice sleeping gown.
It could carry a book and be a school bag,
Or become a mail sack slung over a nag.
It made a very convenient pack,
That adaptable, cotton flour sack.

Bleached and sewn, it was dutifully worn
As bibs, diapers, or kerchief adorned.
It was made into skirts, blouses and slips,
And Mom braided rugs from one hundred strips.
She made ruffled curtains for the house or shack
From that humble but treasured flour sack!

As a strainer for milk or apple juice,
To wave men in, it was a very good use;
As a sling for a sprained wrist or a break,
To help Mother roll up a jelly cake,
As a window shade or to stuff a crack,
We used a sturdy, common flour sack!

As dish towels, embroidered or not,
They covered up dough, helped pass pans so hot,
Tied up dishes for neighbors in need,
And for men out in the field to seed;
They dried dishes from pan, not rack
That absorbent, handy flour sack!

We polished and cleaned stove and table,
Scoured and scrubbed from cellar to gable,
We dusted the bureau and oak bed post,
Made costumes for October (a scary ghost),
And a parachute for a cat named Jack,
From that lowly, useful old flour sack!

So now my friends, when they ask you
As curious youngsters often do,
“Before plastic wrap, Elmer's Glue
And paper towels, what did you do?”
Tell them loudly and with pride don't lack,
“Grandmother had that wonderful flour sack!”



  1. Morning Zaroga, What a cute picture of you. I remember the pretty flour sacks but I don't remember having anything made out of them. What treasures you have!

  2. You were a cutie. I have several pictures of my grandma and her sisters wearing flower/feed sack dresses. I will see if I can post them latter.

  3. That was just wonderful! I love the dress for you and the doll. To bad things are so disposable now adays.
    Wish we could go back to the simple times.

  4. Love this poem, my mom wore flour sack clothing, but I can't see past the white cloth ones I see in some stores today. What darling print!! (what SMART marketing:)
    Darling picture:)

  5. I don't remember Flour Sack dresses but I do remember the southern chain Sky City and a Paper Dress in the early 70's!

  6. Zaroga those are adorable dresses! I admit I couldn't picture them but this helps. :) The poem is adorable! I hope the weather is better soon. I think it's going to be sunny this weekend here!

  7. I don't remember flour sack dresses but my mom has talked a lot about them. I love the dresses and the picture of you is darling.

  8. Hi Zaroga~ My mom talks about wearing flour sack dresses. I didn't realize the companies made them in prints. These dresses are so cute- your picture is so sweet:)

    If you don't mind, I am going to snag the poem and send it to my mom. I know she would enjoy it:)

    Have a great Mothers Day weekend:)



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