Mother’s handmade clothes

My late father was an engineer but he also loved photography. All of these pictures were taken by him in the sixties, he and my mother were married in 1962. My mother made all the clothes herself using hand-cranked sewing machine. Later my late father bought her the white Janome, who had pretty advanced technology at that time.

Mother's handmade outfit
Polkadot dress with full skirt

I guess this is a must-have pose in the sixties. I love how simple the dress is, a fitted bodice with full skirt and zipper at the back. My mother said that they only had metal zipper at that time, so the zipper would get rusty after some time and needed to be replaced.
Mother's handmade outfit Mother's handmade outfit

These are pictures of my mother in her parent’s house. The pants look very comfortable! Picture on the right shows her in traditional Javanese outfit. The top is called ‘kebaya’ and the bottom part is batik cloth worn with pleats on the front, as how traditional Javanese women wear their batik.

Mother's handmade outfit Mother's handmade outfit

The dress on the left is my favorite! I love the wide neckline with collar. The pleats on the skirt are not full around but only on several points on each side.

Mother's handmade outfit Mother's handmade outfit

Mother's handmade outfit Mother's handmade outfit

I also love this check dress. And look at the scallops on the front of her maternity dress! The last picture is my mother and my eldest sister in 1964.

When I was a child, I used to see these as pictures of my mother and didn’t pay too much attention to the details. It is refreshing to see them now with ‘new’ eyes. Every details and patterns now stand out and I found myself wishing that all of these clothes still existed or at least can be recreated.

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  • absolutely beautiful, thank you

  • you have a very clever mumma. she makes beautiful clothes 🙂

  • The dresses are so wonderful!

  • This migt be the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen! You look so much like your mother!

  • What lovely pictures! You mom is beautiful- what a smile! I can see where you get your looks from. Love some of those dresses she’s wearing!

  • linda allen

    The clothes are beautiful, and your mother is a beautiful lady, such as yourself. I have been reading your blog for sometime. I show it to my husband. Your sewing is amazing.

    Keep it up.
    Love Linda

  • Wonderful!!! Your mother is amazing!

  • how beautiful! your mom’s dresses scream kate spade to me. love! (glad i found your blog)

  • Your dad’s photographs are really lovely and your mothers garment are wonderful. It is interesting how we are so influenced by our parents hobbies. A heart warming post:)

  • You are lucky to have such great memories!

  • amber

    Thanks for sharing these, they are beautiful and inspirational! Creativeness runs in the family… : )

  • ooohhh bakat turunan toh! i like your mother’s picture..

  • Love love love the batik and the kebaya! In Singapore, we had a group of people called the baba, from history they are mixed race, usually malay and chinese who speak malay and wear sarong kebaya. Was always intrigued by it. Your mother looked so beautiful when she was young!

  • Those are great pictures. I love old pictures! My favorite one is of her on the rocks, looks like she’s laughing and having a good time. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  • great pictures!! Thanks for sharing them with us 🙂
    My favourite is the dress with checks – wanna to make one like this myself!!

  • Jo

    Dear Novita, thank you for sharing these two beautiful stories with us. You are just as pretty as your mum and both very talented. What a wonderful pictures! Best to all of you from the Netherlands.

  • Marilyn

    Oh Novita, your mom is so beautiful and very talented!! I love all the dresses! Thank you for sharing these great pictures!!

  • Your mother is so elegant and has such great poise! I think you’ve inherited her stunning smile as well as her sense of style, lucky you!