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hd1.2 - A SWEET GRADUATE IN HOMESPUN. outgrown. How we...
A SWEET GRADUATE IN HOMESPUN. outgrown. How we enjoyed the pretty "store-bought" effcvts of these antique garments after they were turned and pressed and cut into good style And the secret pleasure of cheating some one Into the belief that the goods had "run the blockade and cost an enormous sum of confederate money. Whenever one was so fortunate as to appear In something new or the old with the new effect the common question was "where did you get your new dress. or th.it pretty ribbon or lace In our class many of the girls were in moderate circumstances and could not be xp td to buy e goods. In view of this fact our l -loved and considerate teacher conceived the happy idea of having each member of the class as he expressed It "throw a garment around herself which would make Jefferson Davis tip his hat" it must be of the confederate homespun home-woven goods made from the home-grown cotton aid dyed with the home dyes and fashioned at home by the hands of our own mothers and sisters. Then came the time for development of skill and ingenuity in the loved ones at home who set about to accomplish the task imposed by the good teacher's suggestion. Then came the carding the spinning the dyeing the weaving the cutting and the making of these graduating gowns for the dear absent girls. T.i-- ch v jjcd in ui" > a pretty piece of dress gooJs in those days was to give the homespun cloth a "store bought" ap pearance. To nave sail trat iliry'i dress Took' an eli-.spp.t gingham worsted or even silk raw silk often being Imitat ed was sufficient praise and compensation for all of the tedious work and time expended upon It. how hignly prized was a hank or so of genuine "Turkey red" thread could the same be found It was can fully arl p.'T.-Tiirvtily us- 1 to make the greatest display sometimes a thread or so tari'ttii ii .nt Wall' .r nii'.r.g. or b.i to brighten the dull leaden-colored home- dyed background or body of the goods an3 again la brier-stitch or herring-bone embroidered edge of collar and cuffs. This neat trimming bad a wonderfully fine effect to\tri relieving toe plafhress ana coarseness of some of the homespun cloth. Sometimes a bright woolen thread was shotted tnrouijh ' r woven ingeniously i represent a dot or line here and there i then a pitc -d ScuK-n plaid or brig1'- cloth of some kind used as trimming gave the garment me desired effect to decieve somebody. Old ribbons and wcrnout garments of gay colored wool or silk were often ray- eleU te.tstd an.l ear.ltii and spun into thread to be u..ve" in .his way. and the effect was both pleasing and mystifying. The .r-- rai-i .iii all sent messages home to d. e her drupes as pretty as 'twos possible to make them. Soma oftthe c'.ass sc- rctiy rebelled against wear- tug so coaoe a.i i unbecoming a garment on such an important day in life's history. Failing to consider the matter from a pa- trl-illc s'.AnJpoint they looked upon it wifh perni 3 a'ucut the same disgust as a bride Yo' jli lava done had uiiu been called upon to wear anything but bridal atfTre on her wcJuir.g day. Their hon-ea boir.g so scattered circumstances diJ net al any concert f action in the matter of uniformity either in color or quality of goods for so many girls the only requisition or .on was that each dress sliDuli oe .he result of home industry and ingenuity. Mothers were therefore forced to exercise their cwa taste and judgment and to employ the best of such materials as they had at hood and it seemed to be the pride of each woman's heart not oniy to please her daughter but to gratify her own am- Eltlon ir. maiiing the praiseworthy garment which would cause our honored president to "lift his hat. How anxiously and eagerly we waited to see those commencement dresses And what marvelous surprises awaited us It was really an experiment with us then this wearing { f homespun on a "swell" occasion. Commeaceonfiii heretofore had been a tlm of "dress parade. when the finest and most becoming suits- were donned and the girls were very apprehensive now that these homespun gowns would not be becoming. I for one however bad an plied hence it had been presumed by some of the girls that I would not comply with our principal's 'request especially as It was not compulsory and a wager was laid to the effect that on commencement occasion I would array myself In the most becoming "store bought" dress I possessed. Totally unaware of this surmise and wager against me I walked proudly into the chapel on commencement morning dressed for the first time in my new homespun frock astonishing even myself with its fine effect for it had at a little distance every appearance of all-wool goods. There was a ripple of excitement whispers ran high among the girls and I a rd one of them say "I told you I knew she would not wear homespun. I humored the joke by feigning not to have overheard the remark. One of the girls purposely took a seat by me and felt the cloth then laughingly whispered to me "It is really homespun but I'll not tell It. because I've lost my bet. Another said "Dear me I have lost a wager on your dress. I said you were too patriotic not to wear homespun on this oc casion but lo here you are au-rayed in fine 'store clothes. The dresses each and all were illustrative of how necessity was e means of developing talent In those times of dis tress and deprivation. They were also an evidence of the ability of our heroic south ern women ti-aceompllah treat things in times of Important emergencies. Not the least wonderful of the developments of those times of poverty and dearth was seen in the genius displayed by skilled "back country" women who brought to such a high degree of perfection the art of adding bright colors to our homespun In the manipulations of different parts of dye yielding plants of our wo ds and fields. Ma of these country women made a regular bud' ness of dyeing threads they had made im portant discoveries in the pursuit of their art. It la needless to say that on this special occasion the. adyide and. assistance of tb mast skilled dyers of each neighbor hood were brought into requisition by our mothers and guairdians. Our appearance on the stage that day was novel anS Interesting. Although our hqme pun gowns were all made chiefly from the same fleecy staple no two. outfits were alike so far as the mere dress went the girls presented an appearance as varied as the plumage of so many birds collected from different countries was due to the variety of dye stuffs used and also to the manner In which toe materials had been woven and U the diverse styles of trt "I "i make my paper too long to give In octsll the surprising delusions of all of these ingeniously wrought costumes though many of them are well worth mention. One trikln gown was green worn by a girl from Mississippi. What became of all of these unique and deftly trimmed costumes Alas when the war ended and the blockade was no more the girls in their eagerness to obtain finer and more becoming goods no longer prized their old homespuns they trafficked them off or threw them aside as not worth the keeping. The fate of each of them might make interesting history but had all of those pretty girls carefully preserved their graduating gowns and placed them in some museum they would doubtless attract more attention today than the costliest raiment of all the queens of the world. Recalling this old-time commencement brings to mind something which I must mention. It is the unique and interesting essay delivered by one of our classmates that day. Her subject was "The Mirror. She was an attractive beauty of the Irish type with black hair "shingled" like a boy's this adding to-the youthful charm of her face. She had large violet eyes with long black lashes touching cheeks resemb ling'the ripe peach in their freshness and glow and pure white teeth between red laughing lips. She was graceful In form and brilliant of mind. An agreeable surprise awaited our class when we were requested to rise while she delivered her remarks to us without manuscript or no to. She dreamed to she said that the spirits had given her her subject and that they opened to her vision a panoramic scene She stood a it were of in a HOMESPuN. If the 're presi mone was. 'OU yc r mani' s "xp' bu con l erata hat"-it al t.ashl ne,1 moth rs Ol S S t aC ompli h impo ed 11. T. h { vc" C 1 II to l.irr' dre s L n el'gJ t ed" uJ. n pr.z d o c uld card 'Y'C U gre test .n "r 1ir. u t t lJrig lLen 1. .c1en- ol red h me- k t an brier- tltch jo cun -bad tn brl bt nr h 'If r i pi c cutc'n r garm nt to dtCi ve col0r J ele an. nl t' i w s plea illg .r .l .1.1 Jt 1lI "sages .1\ e drc. t. J. of the c s s J coar e a..G' u h 1I 's t C'l1 ljer -txic 3 afll' Jnt l k J u n t 1e j.i .i1 'i 'rJr wcll.ir. jJ.\ Dir.5' an\ \It lh ullrormity uige5 ll1 dr ss Ir.g Juity. ch S h d SE'em t e w man's plea e r\sl- thc e awajt d .n Comme cp.mtlt "dec s hom pun g wns pre umed wag r commen ement dre sed E head 1 r ally be- ause oc- 'OU 'stor t t UIl1 eroJc .a.ccomPlll\h em nc1es. nd s en dltrer t i w RllY I f o oJe\Zg s b 1 I ecal th adtl lled 4 el 0. n st e an hQmespun IIta ple b rdI 'al a.ndalso t tr d t1et \l surprl ing ing ll1ously ot I story I an I I --tls to. the ling the laugh In manu- I note t. Itoodaa oton I eff 'ts d txp-ne iv e 0 ap- na a ! Itk arfuIt er.i" dv display-sometimes tflrs I ii u Wa p r , b ef- an f car l \ gris. av ii 1 v .50 aud t. pcr1js. .i th s ttlon pt re- dis- em woeds lIaty Im- P.nl thg yera to trimming. b I I boy's--this to as . . " - " , ! " , " . , , , " ( , . , ? " : . - ¬ , ¬ , " " , - , - , . , . , ' ¬ . , ¬ , , , . . - _ - : ; , < = " > , " " ¬ . ' - ; ; : > - . . , , ( ¬ ) , . . " " , ! ' . - - : . > . ' . . . . ' . : , , - ; , - , - . . ¬ . . , . ? - , ' - , , . , - , . . . " , ' . . . ( ? . ! . - , : . - , . - . - ' : . \ ¬ ' . ' . - . - . < ' . - ' . , , ; > , ' * . . . - : . , ¬ - / ¬ ; , - . , ' . . , , ¬ . , . ' , : , - . ¬ " . " " ! ! , > " " ¬ . , , ? " . " - - . . , , , ; ' ' , , " " . , ¬ , , - . , : " ; . " ¬ . , , " , ' . ' . " : " , . ¬ , , ! - ' . " " , , ¬ . ¬ . ¬ - ( . " " , ! - . > ' > ' ¬ ; ¬ . . . ¬ . . , . ; , - , > ° " , ° " , . , . ? , , , , ; . , , . - . . " . " , , " " ' - . , , ' , , . . ¬ . , , , ¬ , , * , ' . . . . . ' . . . . ( ) ' " ' ( ' ! } ' ! " } " ' - \ \ " . . : ) ' . ' ' . . , . " ' , , < , . } " ' . ' , . \ \ ' ( > ' . . \ ' ' - " \ ' \ " " , . . ) ' ; , " " " ! . " : ; ; ' " , " , < ; " , " ' ) ' : - ' " . " ) ' } . . " ' ' " . ' . ' , : - . " , , : , ' . . " " . > " ' . \ \ ' . ' : : ! - ' " , ; : ! ! ! ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ; : , : ' ' ) - ' " " ! ; , ' ! ! : , ; , " . : > " . > . . . > , : ; ' : ! . . ; ! , . . ; , : " , ) . . : - [ \ " ' : ' ! ; . ( , , , { ! \ ! > : ; ' ! - : : ! , . , \ ' ! ( , : , ! ) ' > ' . ' \ ' ) ' [ " . . , " . , . " ! " " ( : . ) . " - " . . : ; . . . , , . . : ( : ' ' , \ : : ; . ' ' ! : . , . . . , ) ' ) ( - ' : } ; ( ) < ' ! ; " ' . : . \ ' ' ' : - ) . ' ( . ; : ( . \ . . ( : ' ; . : " \ ' \ . : . . : ; . : ' ; : ) . . . . . : ; . . . : : ! . . . - - . . ' , : - \ ) ' ) ' ! ; : $ : ) ; . ' : : ' ' : ; ; . \ ) : ) " - . . . " : . . ; ; . : : , ) \ , & ' . . ' ! : \ ' ) ' ' " . < : ' } ' . , ' . ' ' \ ' ) . < \ , \ : . ' . \ : ! \ . , . \ . } ' " : : > ; \ ; ; : : / : ; ! \ . ! . . , \ ! : ! : & ; ' . ! & \ ' ! . < . . . . : ! ' ' . ; . . ! ) ' : \ ' " : : : ! . } . ' \ " ) ' : ! ! " . : . . ' - - : : ' ! : . . . . & ' , . , ! . ' ' ; - & ; ' . , - , . - - , ; , " . ; , - . - , ' , ; ' ' ; ; ) ' ; ' ; ' . ; ; - " ; ; ) , ; . , ; - , ; ; . ; ; ; - ' ; ' - ' - ' ' ' - ' - - . . - . % . . . ' - - - _

Clipped from
  1. The Atlanta Constitution,
  2. 10 Mar 1895, Sun,
  3. Page 2

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