It’s funny how you remember dress colors from when you were little…

I was helping my mom with some paperwork the other day and after a few hours of working, I ran across some of her oldest pictures in a couple of boxes… well, we HAD to stop and go down memory lane for just a little while. It was fun and I ran across a few pictures of me and my sister that I just had to share. I was struck by how I could see a black and white picture and still remember the texture and in most cases the color of the dresses… and YES… this was the late 50’s…and the very early 1960’s…

Okay…let’s start off with a very “lovely” portrait of me when I was 4. We were stationed in Italy and lived in an apartment up on the 7th floor I think. Get a load of those bangs…they look like some of the early pie bangs on the American Girl dolls…only shorter!

My pictures aren’t the greatest, but if you click on them they will enlarge…


Next up, I’m in an Easter dress standing on our balcony in Italy and I still remember this one. It was a light blue linen suit and just look at my sweet hat! All my pictures seem to have me squinting in the sun…


Another balcony picture… in my light blue and white dress…with my red sneakers… probably Keds… Just think of all the ironing my
mom had to do… I’m sure everything was cotton…and probably 100% cotton! (I do believe I’ve got a “Jeanne Marie” slip underneath that dress holding it out! :o)


Here is Cindy and me sitting in chairs on our balcony again… don’t we look all proper-like? I noticed we both have rings on our fingers…
I still remember the colors of this dress too… Dark brown and purple plaid…


This is one of my favorites… all three of us kids in front of the Christmas tree in our apartment in Italy… I don’t remember the color of this exact dress of mine but know they were pastels… mint green, pink, yellow, light blue… we had several of them… all with little bits of lace on the edges of the sleeves and around the necks.


When we left Italy we came back to Texas and this picture was taken of me and Cindy in our black and white checked dresses with our Jack Be Nimble smocks over the dresses… ah…color pictures…


We ALWAYS wore dresses… always! And always had black patent leather shoes on…

WHAT??? This can’t be… who are those two little ragamuffins? Yep, that’s me and Cindy again looking pretty destitute, don’t you think… I hadn’t ever seen this picture before…and got a big laugh out of it. My mom couldn’t even remember the car. I have what looks like a tootsie roll pop in my hand and I have NO IDEA what kind of shoes I’ve go going on there…and that hair cut…on both of us! YIKES! But we looked happy and like two peas in a pod!


Do you have a favorite dress that you remember from when you were younger?

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne


  1. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    I had a butter yellow dress — I think it was smocked. Yellow is not my best color, but it was my favorite color.

    Eisenhower was elected in 52 and 56, and Mamie’s bangs became a fashion statement. If you’ll look her up on Wikipedia, you’ll see pictures of her with very short bangs. What beautiful, thick, shiny hair you had. You still do.

    All parents insisted on taking pictures of their children squinting into the sun, though yours seem to have recovered from that — most of the pictures didn’t require squinting. Lucky you.

    Remember the pattern you based the blue dress on? To me it looked short and the socks were cute, but I never recall socks being worn with the cuffs up. Now look at the Christmas picture and the one with the jumpers. The pattern illustration was right. The scalloped top skirts in the Christmas picture would be nice on an AG dress in the near future, and the cute red jumpers would be nice for an Effner dress, don’t you think?

    Time for a new scrapbook of pictures from your childhood. These are too cute not to keep neatly filed. Many thanks for sharing, and thanks to your mother for keeping them for us.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Marilyn,
      I guess my mom was just following the fashion trend of Mamie by cutting our bangs like hers! I’m not sure she was into fashion trends when it came to the way we dressed, but I guess she tried!
      I just got a text from Cindy and she said she thought I needed to make a Jack Be Nimble dress!
      Thanks for your comments Marilyn….it’s fun to think back on things we used to wear, isn’t it?
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Linda Doyle says:

    What a cute blog today, Jeanne! I just laughed and laughed when I got to the end, after seeing that second to last picture of you and Cindy all prim and proper, then seeing that last one! What in the world? Were you on a road trip or something? And the hair! My mother too, had my hair cut and permed at a beauty shop and I came out looking like a poodle—-I just HATED it and I must have been only 6 or 7.

    I remember an Easter outfit my mother made for my sister and I. We are about 2 years apart, and it was yellow and white organdy, with puffed sleeves and ruffles. I can’t imagine how we kept those dresses looking ironed!

    The picture of you and Cindy and your brother in front of the Christmas tree is so cute! Your brother sure rocked stripes and checks! Yes, I notice, always black patent shoes and white socks—except for that one with keds on. Don’t you have another sister? I thought you had two.

    And that Christmas tree, it’s just like the ones I remember from my childhood with the tinsel. That was a job putting all that on and making sure it hung down straight.

    Thanks you so much for the trip down memory lane!

    • Hi Linda,
      Well, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one laughing about that last picture. My sister just sent me a text and said she doesn’t remember that last picture either! So who knows where it came from. It was most likely in Italy…I have a passport picture and my hair was cut in that same little pixie haircut, but at least I looked like a human being… I don’t know what was going on, but it sure made me do a double take… :o)

      The picture of Bob in front of the Christmas tree is quite a turn around from what was happening in an earlier picture. Santa Clause came to our apartment and we had pictures taken with him. My brother wanted NO PART of him and just bawled his eyes out… or maybe this picture was taken before Santa Clause got there… I don’t remember…

      I do have a younger sister but she wasn’t born until we got back in Texas… after leaving Italy.

      It was fun for me to share my pictures with everyone too, and I hope it gave everyone a smile to start their day!
      Thanks Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. My g’ma made me a red/white checked dress with black cross stitch embroidery designs on it – with a tie in the back…. I loved that dress. 🙂 I still have it! (but, I never had a little girl to put it on!) It *is* fun to wander the ‘memory lane’ occasionally! 🙂

    • HI Mary,
      Maybe someday you’ll have a little granddaughter to wear your favorite little girl dress. You could have it framed and display it on a wall too.
      It is fun to go down memory lane every once in a while!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. What fun to see you and your siblings! We always wore dresses too, but did have some play clothes. I have pictures of me wearing dresses and scuffed up saddle shoes.

    One of my favorite “mommy made” dresses was from a McCall’s pattern from the 60’s She made all three of us girls dresses from this pattern – my older sister’s was blue, mine was red, and my younger sister’s was teal. They were all trimmed in white. Loved that full, round skirt, scooped back, and big bow!

    I don’t think I had bangs when I was little. Most photos have my hair pulled off to the side and fastened with a barrette or two. I remember begging for bangs when I was in the 5th grade (1966). They didn’t stay with me for long!

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    • HI Karen,
      Obviously we had some play clothes too…as is pretty apparent in the last picture! :o)
      I looked at the pattern in the link you sent and I LOVED the skirt style on that dress. It was always so flattering when it was fitted at the waist instead of all those gathers. It’s fun that you remember your dress colors too. I think fabric colors really stick in our mind and make a big impression on us more than we realize.

      It’s funny that you begged for bangs… and then didn’t like them when you got them! Oh well…
      Thanks for you comments Karen,
      Have a wonderful Saturday,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Cute pictures, Jeanne. I’m sure everyone has pictures that are adorable and some less than perfect, but it’s always fun to look at them and reminisce. I had a dress that was royal blue with little red and yellow flowers scattered all over it, short puffed sleeves trimmed in eyelet and it had a matching apron with a doll sewn in the middle. Her dress unzipped and underneath it said “I love you”. And , oh, yes, those requisite black patent leather shoes.I wore dresses a lot as well and Health-Tex was the brand of the early 1970’s. Wow, some of those outfits were totally wild color combinations. My daughter wore the apron dress as well as the German dirndl dresses my great aunt sent to me from Germany. My mom and grandmother made my eight grade graduation dress. pale blue with white flowers strewn across it and a small sailor collar. That one a remember required staying up until 1 am to get the full skirt hemmed.
    I didn’t realize you lived in Texas. I consider myself an honorary Texans because my grandmother was born and grew up there. She was born in Welcome and the farm was in Beasley. Even my daughter has seen it.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Laura,
      Yes, I guess we all have good and “not so good” pictures from our childhood… I’ll have to look for some more pictures when I go over to my moms house again. I was actually looking to see if I could find a picture of me holding a doll, but nothing! :o(

      Your dresses sound wonderfully sweet and I too, have “several…several” of those late night times when we stayed up most of the night finishing up Easter dresses mostly!

      I don’t live in Texas anymore… we moved from there to Southern Illinois when I started 4th grade… We lived in Wichita Falls… Tornado Alley as I recall it being called.

      Thanks for your memories you shared with us, Laura,
      Blessings to you on this beautiful Saturday…at least here it’s beautiful….
      Blessings, Jeanne

    • Linda Doyle says:

      Laura, my daughter had a dress like you described with a doll on the front of the apron, in fact it was Raggedy Ann, and underneath her dress, it also said “I love you.” This was in the very early 70’s, maybe you and Jennifer had the same dress!

      • Hi Linda,
        I still have that dress!! The little girl on mine has blonde braids. This was the early 1970’s as well. I wore it for my kindergarten picture in 1973. Maybe your daughter and I did have the same dress. I had a couple of Polly Flinders dresses as well, but the label on this one is unrecognizable.

  6. Just adorable! Love the balcony photos. Especially the one with the hanging laundry in the background. So European. I always wondered what one did if a clothes pin snapped? Underwear flying around the neighborhood?
    Check the skirt length on all of your adorable dresses. Knee length or just above. That was the length I was remembering for Janie’s last dress.
    I had the exact hairstyle shown in your Texas sister dresses. Never knew it was attributed to Mamie. I did not like the Toni perm required with it at all.
    Thanks for sharing your photos. Great trip down memory lane.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Joy,
      I’m not sure what happened if something dropped,….I guess we went downstairs and picked it up! I hadn’t thought of it until you mentioned it.
      I realize the skirt lengths in the actual 50’s and 60’s were a bit shorter than what I make on my dolls, but I’ve tried making them shorter on the dolls and they don’t look so great… something about their proportions… If someone wants their dresses shorter after they win it, I’m sure I could hem it for them if they liked.
      Oh yes, the Toni perms… I remember them well, and even had the Toni doll that came with the perm for her too… Ahhhh…all those great memories…
      Thanks for all your comments Joy, so glad you enjoyed the post…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Jeannie B. in TX says:

    Jeanne, oh, I have enjoyed seeing your pictures this morning. Brings back many memories for me of all the dresses my mother made for me when I was a little girl. The linen suit you wore is very familiar to me. My younger sister and I {often dressed alike} wore a similar linen like suit for one Easter in the late fifties or early sixties. My mother was always working late into the night before a holiday with little time for a firm pressing of dress hems. I remember that the pleats of our skirts were more of gentle folds as opposed to nice crisp pleats.
    You mentioned the ironing……. heaven help the housewife with all the cotton and natural fiber piece goods they had to work with. There was always a mountain of ironing to be done with six children. I remember my assignments starting about in the 5th grade when my mother went back to work. I had to iron the dish towels, my dad’s cotton pajamas and his cotton boxer shorts. As I grew older I was assigned the general ironing which included my brother’s oxford cloth shirts and corduroy trousers. This was in addition to other housekeeping chores. My younger sister helped but she was assigned to babysit my older sister’s children who were now coming along in rapid order. My older sisters were married and would work evenings and weekends to help out with expenses at their homes. Often I hear people make negative comments on households where the older siblings help care for the younger ones. This was totally common in my neighborhood and upbringing. So many children and loads of work for the mother. The fathers in our neighborhood were all blue collar workers so they all took extra work to help feed their families. They were not home unless it was Sunday. My own father worked three jobs and my mother a part-time job to pay the bills. We all worked as soon as we could in high school. This still meant there were no extras in the budget. It is so different now…. !!!
    Okay, so my favorite dress from my childhood is the pink dotted swiss dress my mother made for me when I turned 5. I have a picture of me in the dress. I also had long blonde ringlets. Hence, the reason I made a pink dotted swiss dress for my LD’s. I have a few pics of the little girls in that dress. Each are wearing a blonde wig with lots of curls. I’d love to send it to you but I don’t think I have your correct email address.
    Another matter: I showed Jack the pic of you and your sister in front of the car. He believes it to be a 1955 Chevy. As to the house in Texas, I am not sure if that was military housing or not. Jack said he does not remember houses with shingles like that or the open yard space in family housing in TX. He said he remembers his Granddaddy {Frank} and his Uncle Jesse putting that type of siding on his Grandma’s {Carrie Belle} house back in the 1950’s. oh, now he tells me that Uncle Jesse and Aunt Pauline {Annie Pauline} had a 1955 Chevy like the one shown. Uncle Jesse work for Chev/GMC.
    Okay, I’m done.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Jeannie,
      I think you might get a gold star for having the longest post in a long time… Marilyn may have beat you once before, but if not, it’s a close tie! I love it when you all tell me stories about yourselves…
      I think Cindy and I wore quite a few things that we matchy-matchy… and I’m not sure where my mom got our things. She didn’t sew for us back then..yet..

      All little girls growing up on the 50’s and 60’s must have had the task of ironing the little things like hankies and dish towels and then graduated to the bigger things like shirts and skirts. I remember having huge bags of clothes sprinkled down with water using a coke bottle and a sprinkler. They were put in the freezer as we were told they ironed better if they were cold. I didn’t care much for ironing and got out of some of it when I learned to sew. I’d trade sewing for ironing…it was my start on learning to sew… I’m glad I graduated from professional “ironer” to professional “seamstress!” That sounds a bit like I’m bragging, but I didn’t know how else to say it…

      You sent me a piece of pink with white dots dotted swiss but I haven’t used it yet… I think I will soon. I’d love to see your picture… my email address is:

      We were living off base in this house…it was at Sheppard Air Force Base in Burkburnett, TX. I don’t remember much about it… it was on the corner, we had a collie named Lassie and our friends dog Snoopy got ran over right in front of our house.. seriously that’s about all I remember. I remember running and jumping on our bed and one of the legs fell through the floor… we got in trouble!!!
      Thanks for your sweet comments too, Jeannie,
      Have a great Saturday,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Loved looking at the old pictures. I had bangs but mine were 1960’s so a little longer and very smooth. I had natural waves and my Mom being a beautician was able to get them just right. I was very specific about my hair and it always had to be princess hair though my mother had a thing for buns ( boy was that a process getting my long hair up) and I wore that many a Sunday going to church and for a formal picture. My favorite dress at that time was yellow one with what I thought of as rainbows going through the pleated bottom (pleats remember those now I think it is just broomstick skirts). I was sure that the person who made it was looking at a rainbow at the time. Funny how your pictures brought up the memories and yes we wore dresses a lot, even on cold snowy winter days I always had a dress on going to church. Thank you for your fun post.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Donna,
      This has been fun for me hearing from everyone about what was their favorite dress and most of all just the memories associated with those times… It was such a simpler time and so less complicated than it is today.
      I had the bun thing too…but when I got a little older. I remember getting sweaty and then all these little “sweat curls” or tendrils would pop up around my face…
      Your favorite dress sounds very sweet too… it seems like yellow was a popular color for everyone.
      Thanks so much Donna,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Anne Johnson says:

    Happy Saturday!

    What a wonderful post, Jeanne! So nostalgic! You were an adorable child! So many of us fondly recall those days and many of those style elements — Peter Pan collars, puffy sleeves, full skirts, pinafores, and Mary Janes. I can definitely see how your dolly designs are influenced by the clothing of our childhoods, and I can appreciate why you love to sew them!

    One of the earliest memories I have is of two-year-old me posing for an Easter picture in 1959 in a blue linen ensemble not unlike your Easter suit. My dress, too, had the pleats in front, but with a full length coat to match instead of a shorter jacket. The hat was very similar to yours and also had a matching draw-string purse. Best of all, I wore tiny white gloves like mommy’s and clutched my first dolly, Linda Lee, who had a matching outfit as well! At two, I could not yet pronounce my “Ls,” much to my grandma’s delight. She would deliberately and repeatedly call my doll Linda Lou, upon which I would immediately correct her and say, “Not ‘inda ‘ee, grandma, ‘inda ‘oo!” Grandma never tired of it until my speech improved!

    We had far fewer clothes back then, so we always changed from school clothes or Sunday best into play clothes afterwards. Some of my favorite play clothes for spring were coordinating “pedal pusher” outfits that had button down tops with matching trim on the pants, just like yours, Jeanne. How cute you and your sister look! My pixie look, however, was the result of trying to cut my own hair, after which mother didn’t have many options!

    Thank you so much for taking us on a wistful trip down memory lane! The photos are just charming, and I hope you will share some others in the future. Have a good weekend!


    One of the first

    • Jeanne W says:

      Thanks for your comments Anne,
      It’s fun to hear how others dressed in the 50’s and 60’s too. This post turned out better than I hoped it would. I think I like to sew because I always loved dresses more than pants. In fact, I remember I had 31 maternity dresses, mostly made by me… I loaned them to a friend and she gave them to a friend and I never got them back. It would have been fun to have made the fabrics into a quilt of some kind… :o(
      I wish I could find a picture of me with doll when I was younger. I was absolutely CRAZY for Barbie and did tons of sewing for her, but don’t have a single picture of me with her or sewing for her… oh well…
      Yep, we had those pedal pushers too… oh, it makes me long for those olden days…
      Thanks so much Anne,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post today… I certainly enjoyed hearing from all of you…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. The pictures are just darling. The clothes are fairy tale material with the little organdy pinafores and puffy sleeves. Thanks for sharing them. I’m glad you spared us by telling us your Mother didn’t make the dresses. I was wondering and would have felt really bad if I hadn’t made them for daughters if I hadn’t only had boys.

    My favorite dress was a purple color, so unusual at that time, with the sash and bow. The first time I remember being really angry was when I outgrew it and was told I couldn’t wear it anymore.

    My Nana had a school for beauticians in the 1940s and 50s in St. Louis. I remember the horror of getting a permanent with some kind of equipment that had clamps that hung from electrical wires that went over rollers on your hair and you couldn’t move your head. It heated up and made the curls. I’m really dating myself but I’d like to hear if anyone else experienced this type of permanent. Actually she had the school even earlier and supported three families through the depression with the earnings.

    I would bet this post will set a record with all of the wonderful memories. Thanks once again for the inspiration you give us all.

    • Linda Doyle says:

      Susette, yes, I DO remember those horrible permanents! I was terrified of them and the burning and worst of all, the horrible smell! I live in St. Louis and had my permanent at some beauty shop there, and I do believe I tried running out of the shop after awhile, but those curlers were on my head, and like you said, you couldn’t move. it happened in the late 40’s, so I am dating myself too! I looked like a poodle and it took forever for it to grow out!

      • Hi, Linda. So happy to hear from you even on such a weird subject! My daughters-in-law would just not believe what things were like for girls. I left St. Louis when I was 15 but would love to share some memories of St. Louis if you’d like to send me your email through Jeanne.

      • Jeanne W says:

        HI Linda,
        My goodness, this sounds more like torture than a beauty treatment!
        ~ Jeanne

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Susette,
      My mom didn’t sew when we were in Italy. In fact, she told me daddy had to get down in the floor and help her with her first pattern….she said she didn’t have a clue where to start… I would have loved to have been a little fly on the wall for this!
      Oh yes, I remember it being traumatic when you outgrew something you liked…

      That is so neat about your Nana having a beauty school and helping others during the drpression… and what a nightmare of a way to get curls in your hair. It must have been terribly frightening for a little girl.

      It was fun for me to share and equally fun to read about everyone else’s favorite memories of dresses and more.
      Thanks so much Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. I enjoyed the pictures today. Your hair looks so thick and full of body in all the pictures. We were all squinting into the sun in those days–I remember we generally had to go outside on a sunny day and whomever took the picture had to have the sun behind them, resulting in the ones being photographed having to face into the sun. The jack be nimble dress would be a fun one to duplicate. It’s very cute, especially in the red and gray.

    I remember my favorite dress being pink and white check with little brown flocked bears placed randomly over the checks. It had short puffed sleeves and a sash that tied in back. What I didn’t like were the scratchy net slips. Sometimes they weren’t really slips, but attached underskirts. Either way, they were pretty awful to wear.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Carolyn,
      I do remember that tip…always have the sun over your shoulder when taking pictures… I guess squinting wasn’t just reserved for me…
      I may have to duplicate the Jack Be Nimble dresses… my sister suggested it too.

      Your favorite dress sounds sweet… with little flocked bears on it… and yes, I remember those slips being scratchy too… what we went through… :o)
      Thanks Carolyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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