From Second Standard (now P2) we were expected to learn how to sew and to make a hand-sewn garment. This entailed cutting out a newspaper pattern of the article to be sewn from a pattern supplied by the teacher. My first garment was an apron with a huge pocket across the front like a kangaroo’s pouch.

S Malachy’s Class of 1964

In Third Standard (P3) the garment was a pair of gingham knickers – no gusset, and as elastic was in short supply only the waist was elasticated. The finished product created much amusement among my aunts and always ended up used as a duster! My mother was not amused.

 ‘A waste of material, money and coupons’, was her comment when presented with the finished garment. I doubt whether Patsy ever received the materials to repeat the exercise.

As I progressed through the school my dress-making too progressed through flannelette petticoat to a longer version, supposed to be a nightdress, to the only decent wearable garment, a skirt made in Sixth Standard.

In addition to sewing, we were taught, with very little success on my part, how to knit. Indeed I only learned to knit after I had had my first baby!

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