Remember rickrack? If that term doesn’t resonate with you, think back to the 1950s and 1960s when you saw zigzag decorative touches on little girl’s dresses.
Sometimes the rickrack was there just to pretty it up. It could also serve to hide the line where the hem was let down on a too-short dress. Often a dress was made to grow-into with an extra-wide hem that later extended as the child grew.
Rickrack appeared as an accent too for something like an apron. In the picture below, there’s rickrack on the pocket of the red apron and along the edge of the feed sack fabric apron.
I did some quick research and found that it was used even back in the 1860s where it was called waved crocket braid. It fell out of favor for a time in the 1890s through 1910 as other types of braided accents were used.
Wikipedia says, “In America in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, rickrack was used to decorate feed sack dresses. These dresses were worn as everyday attire, and were constructed from the brightly colored and patterned fabric bags that animal feed, flour, and other goods were shipped in.”