They made the dress out of their old wagon cover.
Thank you to those that participated on facebook and our blog! The winner of 4th Day’s drawing is Shelly Brown who won a Nauvoo Temple Sun Stone replica ornament.
Read the whole Susan Well’s wagon canvas story below in her account from the Juvenile Instructor, Dec. 1918:
“I well remember Brother Brigham’s Christmas party of 1849. Like the girls of today, on receiving my invitation the first thought was “nothing to wear.” This was literally true, as all our clothing was shabby and patched.
Necessity is the mother of invention, so, after careful consideration, the wagon cover that had done such a faithful service during our journey across the plains, was brought out. We couldn’t afford canvas and our cover consisted of several thicknesses of unbleached factory cloth. This was carefully dyed and as good luck would have it, it turned out a very pretty brown.
We made this into dresses for myself and sister, trimmed with silk from an old cape of mother’s. This cape, black, lined with light brown, not only furnished trimming for our dresses, but I made poke bonnets from the black with quilting lining of the light brown. I had embroidered buckskin mocassins with ravellings from a piece of silk, but I believe for this occasion father, who was a shoemaker, made me a pair of slippers from his old boot legs. I tell you my first ball dress was stunning!”
Find something this Christmas just sitting around and make a homemade gift for someone that they will always treasure.
Taken from: Susan Arrington Madsen, Christmas A Joyful Heritage, p. 1-2.