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Friday, October 16, 2020

Granny's Depression-Era Make Do Clothes Hangers

My maternal grandmother was a woman of many unusual talents. She had played high school basketball before the turn of the twentieth century, yet she also excelled at all the housewifely arts of sewing, keeping a home, cooking, and gardening. She had chickens and a milch cow, and a garden second only to my own mother's in terms of rare and unusual plants. 

She was six feet tall in bare feet, but we never saw her in bare feet. She always wore heels. Even her slippers were tall heels. She said she had worn them for so long that she could not walk in flats. I thought her very elegant in those heels.

Granny was a magician at the art of making do. These clothes hangers were wrapped with long strips of leftover cloth, and decorated with a gathered cloth flower. And this was done during the Depression, when every last scrap was important and was used. She also made braided rag rugs of all sizes, and her sense of color was astounding.

Depression era make-do handiwork cloth


They say interests tend to "skip" a generation: My own mother did not care for such endeavors. Deeply marked by the privations of the Depression and the shock of World War II, she and my father rarely spent money, but they both preferred to buy, in a very limited manner, our home's decor. I grew up fascinated by my Granny's handiwork, though, and spent many hours embroidering and hand-sewing little items in imitation of hers.

In the rush of my most recent move, I had to leave many things behind. All of my padded hangers, laboriously collected from various estate sales over a period of 20 years, were left. I like the slim profile of the old wire hangers, so I think I may try to wrap a few hangers myself now. 

    Kind regards,

    Olde Dame Holly Rose

1 comment :

  1. My “other” grandmother, not really a relative at all, used to use strips of old sheets to cover coat hangers. I will post a photo because I still have one or two.

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