Finally got around to listening to "A stitch in time: dressmaking in Australia" a recent broadcast on Radio National's Hindsight program.
To quote from the website:
Before the advent of cheap ready-to-wear clothing mass-produced in offshore factories, dressmaking was an essential and versatile skill in women's lives, something they could deploy to feel like a million dollars, or use to earn a dollar or two. This feature probes the role of dressmaking in the lives of Australian women across the generations, as a domestic economic strategy, a female accomplishment, an aspect of technical education, a livelihood.
Seriously, do yourself a favour, it's both fascinating and extremely well done. It surveys the history from colonial Australia to contemporary bloggers. Excellent.
The image is of Patricia Lee in the dressmaking class at the Canberra Technical College, courtesy of the ever fabulous ACT Heritage Library.