That Red-checked Bikini…

Have you ever had one? A red-checked bikini? ‘Tis the season, you know.

I had one. It’s the only time in my life I wore a bikini. I was 5. It was 1963 and that bikini was the most special article of clothing I had ever owned in my short life. It is also the first article of clothing I ever remember my mother (Betty Alderman) making, though I know she sewed for me regularly. Here’s a picture of my mom and dad from around that time in the 1960s. Mom sewed a LOT.

ImageAt 5 years old, I was in kindergarten, having started at 4. One day, probably toward the end of the school year, I got off the school bus and walked into my house where my mother promptly said, “Go look upstairs on your bed. I made you something.” Yes, I remember her words. And there it was, this little bikini in red and white checked. Because of the view of it that I remember, I believe I was only about a head taller than the side of my bed. I was that small. I couldn’t wait to put the bathing suit on and I did immediately. I remember nothing after that. Except for the fact I love red and white checks to this day.


While I don’t have a picture of that bikini, I do have a picture of me on, what I think, was my fourth birthday. (See above) And yes, I remember that dress, too, and can remember how I felt in it and I remember my socks and shoes. I always seem to remember my socks and shoes. Weird? Probably.

I guess what I’m getting at is do you remember a favorite outfit from you were just a little one? Please share!

That bathing suit was not the only article of clothing I remember. I remember two corduroy dresses. They were long-sleeved with patch pockets, smocking and a matching kerchief. This was the early 60s, you know. One was a peachy color and the other was a deep red wine color. I loved those dresses. But I had one more I remember and that was my tulip dress. At least that’s what I called it. It had big bright tulips all over it. It was straight and was sleeveless. I tried one time to where a large petticoat under it and my mother had me march right back upstairs to remove it. My first lesson in the fine art of dressing appropriately, I guess. Hee, hee. I still remember those dresses hanging in my closet – up high.

To this day, tulips are my favorite flower. Do you think I loved tulips first and then loved the dress? Or loved the dress first and because of that loved tulips?

As sewists, we have an opportunity to sew for our little children, grandchildren and friends. And who knows, perhaps your wee one will have a favorite memory of the dress you made for her that will last a lifetime.

Check out the Olive Ann patterns in Sue’s shop, O’Susannah’s Quilts. They are adorable. Or find another darling pattern, there are several.

Don’t forget to post your comments, share, Pin, Tweet or post to Facebook, etc. If you have a picture you want me to post, email it to me and I’ll get it up.

Thanks for reading and have a splendid day…Betsy




One thought on “That Red-checked Bikini…

  1. A trip down memory lane and it sure made me smile when you remembered how it felt wearing that dress in the picture. I too remember how I felt in a skirt my grandmother made me in the 60’s. The fabric was floral with a sheen like a polished cotton and I loved how soft it felt on me. Thank you for jarring a sweet memory. It never felt like we were not fashionable having a handmade skirt, but it was thrilling to have a new piece of clothing more than anything.


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