Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Flour Sack

I remember the floral flour sacks very well. I once made myself a dress with them. It was a project in high school. A subject we had was called Home Ek. We called it Home Ek, but it probably was ec for economics. The class was mostly about food as I recall because we had to learn how to cook.
It really was a fun class. I loved it. We also had to learn how to sew. My project was a dress with a zipper in the side seam. Does anybody remember dresses with a zipper in the side seam.
Mom had saved several flour sacks of the same fabric. That was a bit of a challenge to lay out the pattern on the pieces of the flour sacks that had been ripped apart and washed and ironed.
We didn't have to make it with flour sacks and everybody else had regular fabric, but I wanted to make mine with the sacks.
I was worried about putting in the zipper so my Mom showed me how to put the zipper in and she was an expert in the field of sewing. I went to school the next day and it was time to put the zipper in. I put that zipper in exactly how Mom told me to and I guess lady luck was with me because it went in perfectly. That teacher was so impressed with my zipper job and she made me feel wonderful. So wonderful that I still remember if after all these years.


THE FLOUR SACK BY COLLEEN B. HUBERT
 
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 FEATHER AND DOWN, FOR A PILLOW, OR T'WOULD MAKE A 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!"