Social Fabric 5-6 June 2021

Tartan Skirt

My granny made it for my mum in the eighties; it was constructed from the leftover tartan of my dad and uncle’s kilts - the family tartan! She made a few for her daughters and daughters-in-law at the time but they have all been taken by the grandchildren now. I wore it more when I moved out of Scotland because it reminded me of home. My granny made a lot of dresses and skirts, for weddings and parties over the years. She was very proud of the things she made and owned (and never got rid of anything). I spoke to her about her clothes before she died, and she talked of the things she wore from as young as four. Her favourite pair of brown corduroy shorts, and the blue cotton dress she wore to the dance she met my grandad in. I think if there comes a point where I have to pass this tartan skirt to someone else, it will be hard to let it go.

I did domestic science at school, where we did sewing. And with mum being a great sewer she used to encourage me. And of course I made the kids’ stuff. I can’t make boys’ stuff so I knitted for them. I can’t remember when I gave up sewing. I think it was after Mandy’s wedding. I got fed up. I had done enough. When did you make the tartan skirts? Your dad would have been... you would get these kilts when you were around late teens I think - maybe twenty-one? I can’t remember, so it would have been around about then. And I made the girls the tartan skirts. I think those were about the last things that I had done, apart from wedding stuff. And then my sewing machine burst...

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