Good morning to all my readers. Thanks goes out today to all who are reading and commenting. I truly appreciate the feedback and also enjoy the remarks. Hope you will continue to give feedback and comments.
Todays topic is sewing. Once again, as I think back to childhood, sewing was a very large part of my life..not that I was a seamstress or anything.
When I was a young child, my Grandmother had an old treadle Singer sewing machine downstairs in the basement...not far from the laundry room. Now that is where she would sew and make repairs on torn clothing. I remember the first time she sat me down in front of the machine. She, step by step, carefully showed me how to thread it and so on and so forth. The running of the machine was easy...all you needed to do was pump your feet on the bottom iron grid and it moved the machines mechanisms along. I had to have a shorter chair than Grandma since my legs weren't as long as hers. I remember her giving me simple pieces of fabric that I put together. She taught me how to stitch a pillow case together..now thinking about that, it was probably the most simplest of projects to do. As years went on...I would learn how to make a ruffle by running a long stitch and pulling one side of the thread to gather it up. And the I learned about measuring it out along the edge of the pillowcase for a decoration. The next phase I took on by myself...I could fix my doll clothes.
One Christmas, I got my very own child's Singer sewing machine. Nothing like you would buy today for a child. It was made of a heavy metal and it really performed like one of those more modern day adult machines. In fact, I still own it. I display it on a shelf in my sewing area. I am so proud to have kept it ...I unfortunately do not have my grandmother's sewing machine, but I do own my mother-in-law's treadle Singer sewing machine and my husband's grandmother's White treadle Sewing machine.
Now, through the years, I did attempt to learn to sew. My cousin Sandy, got married and lived upstairs from us. She was really into sewing...she must have taken sewing in high school. I was not allowed any type of classes that had anything to do with home economics or the arts. My mother was pretty insistent that I take only the main subjects and honker down in all the business classes. Well, anyway, my cousin attempted to teach me to sew. I remember the first time going upstairs for a lesson and it was how to lay down a pattern. She showed me how to pull a strand of thread out of the fabric so the I could line that up with the grain line on the pattern. It all seemed so ridiculous to me that I lost interest pretty quickly and decided that sewing may just not be for me.
And then many years later, I became engaged to a young man when I was 19...his mother was a seamstress from Italy. She knew all the shortcuts and was a wonderful teacher. If you ever attempted to make a nice knot at the end of a needle and constantly never get it right...as was the case for me....She taught me the best method ever and I have used it till this very day. I became finally interested in the art of sewing...thank you Judy wherever you may be. Her son and I never did get married. But I got so many gifts from that relationship. The art of sewing was one. After he and I broke up...I went to Hawaii and wanted to have a new wardrobe, so now with the talents acquired, I made myself some of the most awesome outfits to wear.
As years passed, I married my husband and was blessed with 2 girls. My mother bought me my own sewing machine as a gift one year. It came from Montgomery Wards. It was a really heavy sewing machine that took all sorts of punishment...nothing like the plastic machines that they sell today. I remember..the deal was made that in exchange for the gift.....I had to learn to sew and make her some clothes. Well, let me tell you. I had this Big "How to Sew" book that got plenty of use. I made my mother suits for work, Blouses galore. I made my girls pants, shorts, dresses, pinafores. I even one year made them purple corduroy coats with a thermal lining and sheep skin fur lining that had attached hoods and Nero collar closures. That machine took all that heavy fabric and sewed those seams together like a dream. One Christmas, when money was REALLY tight and the big thing that year was the Cabbage Patch dolls... I sewed outfits upon outfits for their dolls. I made every little dress they ever wore for the holidays and when they got into High School, even sewed their prom gowns. Well, my favorite was one that was slim lined in a charcoal grey velvet with white pleated satin sleeve straps with a huge white satin train. It was gorgeous!
It went on from there and I sewed little bride dresses for flower girls, and then went on to sew gowns for entire bridal parties.
Now a days, I no longer bother to do sewing....my passions have changed and I only pull the machine out for an occasional crafting project. I have sewn rag purses with friends as something fun to learn and do.
One day my daughter said she would like a sewing machine for Christmas...you cannot imagine the excitement I had over hearing that request...you see, no matter how hard I tried, neither of my daughter ever cared to learn any of the arts that I knew how to do. So when this request came in, thought..."OK....the tables have turned." But the only reason I think she wanted it was so that when I visited, I could do whatever sewing was needed. At first it was the dining room curtains and I attempted to teach her how to use the machine...needles to say...I did the curtains to avoid any more tears on my daughters part. I assumed from that day on, that unless the granddaughters' decided one day to earn to sew...the machine will only be used by me.
When my last Granddaughter was born, I sewed the sheets for the crib and matching bumper pads, matching pillow that wrapped around the baby so they can sit, and the largest Diaper bag I think I could ever imagine with the rag style effect. My daughter later used it for a beach bag, if that tells you anything. She wanted the straps big and long so that you could easily put it over the buggy handles. I sewed the other granddaughter purses and bean bags for their rooms.
Now in my life, l have this unbelievable young lady that I am so proud to call my friend, and feel as though this was God's choice in giving me a third child.
She has so wanted to learn to sew. She comes over and spends the weekends on occasion with me. We craft and laugh and do all sorts of fun and wonderful activities. I couldn't love her more than if she were my own flesh and blood. Well, one day she brought over her mother-in-law's sewing machine and we went shopping for fabric and I taught her to sew a runner for her dining room table that was reversible. Since then, she has wanted a machine of her own...but you know how things are when you are younger...the money you need is not always there. Now, this young lady base coats more wood for me to paint than is ever imaginable...so last Christmas, I bought her Brother sewing machine. She was so overwhelmed by the gesture. I am not sure why, because she is the most giving young lady I have ever known.
So recently, she came over and she and I took a trip to the fabric store and I taught her all about fabrics and linings, threads and patterns. She decided she wanted to make a quilt...turned out the pattern was a rag quilt in an antiqued Americana fabrics. We sat in a side room for about 40 minutes putting together the bolts of fabric so that she could visually see how it would turn out. We came back and began cutting the squares of fabric and batting. She was amazed with my a rotary cutter and the cutting board. She got halfway through the blanket before she left. I am so confident that she now has the skills to move ahead on her own to sew.
Funny how life can take it's twists and turns. How we all seemed to be stitched together in one way or another. The nicest compliment I ever received was that she asked me if someday we could do a project TOGETHER. That way she will always have a piece of me to cherish. A piece that we both made with our hands together.
Families are pieces of our lives sewn together...I look forward to that day and that project.