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Fantastic Feedsack: 1930s DIY

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Even though fabric shipping bags have been in popular use since the early 1800s, it wasn’t until the turn of the century that these bags began to take on new uses. Thrifty wives began turning their husbands farming sacks into quilts, diapers, towels and other apparel. When manufactures noticed this trend they began to produce printed bags in order to lure and keep customers. By the 1930s-1940s feedsack dresses had become so popular that patterns were printed specifically showing how to make use of the dimensions of the bags. Many mills even allowed women to purchase yardage of their fabric if they had bought a bag with a print they fell in love with; some manufactures even went so far as to print patterns right on to the reverse side of the sacks. After WWII innovations in paper packaging made these fabric bags obsolete, however, retailers like Anthropology and Urban Outfitters perpetuate the charming look of these small scale and colorful prints today. And with even the most extreme fashionistas being a little thrifty these days, 30s feedsack dresses beg the question: what clothing can our generation make from our everyday materials.

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