Monday, November 12, 2007

Stitch in time

My friends here where I live are an odd hodgepodge of various types of people and ages too. One of my favorite people is a woman in her 70's who lives in a little town just north of here. Her home is in the historic district just a block off of a traditional small town downtown. Her little Sheltie guards the front yard with her fierce yips.

This past Friday, we spent the day together at her home. She was teaching me how to sew. It was incredible loads of fun spending time with her, learning from her, and eating her cream cheese and olive sandwiches.

When Momma was here, she went with me to buy a sewing machine and then helped me learn to thread it. She made a list of essentials and braved Joann's with me to stock my sewing box. We ran out of time though, before we got to have a full blown sewing lesson.

My grandmother Honey was a seamstress. An artist really. The clothes she made were perfect. My mother's wardrobe was the envy of her college friends, and all of it was made by Honey. My Barbies were the best dressed dolls ever. I still have most of the clothes she made for them including the wedding dress with layers of ruffles, the slip, the petticoat, the veil, and the flowers that had a little elastic band to help Barbie hold onto them while walking down the aisle.

Momma and Honey would talk me through their sewing, but I never did any hands on work with them. I have to do something hands on to really get it.

However, it did give me a lot of the vocabulary to start off my lesson with Mrs. S. Friday morning, I loaded up my machine, material, pattern, and all the notions and headed up to her house.

I knew that I wanted to be able to produce the end results of sewing, but I didn't know that I would enjoy the process so much. Part of that, of course, was the good company. But yesterday, while Guy and Papa were putting in the living room flooring and Lovely was drowning in projects for school, I sewed.

And I liked it.

Little Bird will have rompers and jon jon's. Princess will have a new winter coat. Guy and I will have cheesy matching pj pants. I even bought a pattern and material to make Bird's baptism outfit.

I have never been a crafty person. I don't visualize things well, and I'm terrible at knowing where to start on a project. But sewing connects me to the women in my family that came before me. It gives me a great reason to spend the day with Mrs. S.

It gives me a skill that will create things for my family and friends. I like that.

And the cream cheese and olive sandwiches. Those are pretty good too.

10 comments:

  1. That is totally awesome! We just inherited an antique sewing maching from hubby's grandparents, and it still works.

    Good luck with that!

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  2. OK, cream cheese and olive sandwiches are one of my FAVORITE childhood treats!

    I'm so glad about the sewing. I like the continuity it represents, you, your mother, your grandmother.

    Perfect.

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  3. For a project in the tenth grade, I sewed a skirt. I even cheated, using the top portion of an old pair of jeans and merely sewing some fabric to the bottom of it. I was drawn to this project because my mother sewed all of her own clothes when she was in college. And as an adult she had gone and sewn my comforter and drapes in my bedroom. I loved the idea of inheriting this skill. The notion of passing it generation to generation.

    Yeah, the skirt was a mess, my mother almost strangled me and I made a solemn vow to never again touch a sewing machine.

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  4. Good for you! I wish I could sew. I've tried but I hate dealing with that darn bobbin and I can never get the stitching straight.

    Cream cheese and olive sandwiches rock!

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  5. What a great post!
    I have always wanted to learn to sew...I'm just not good at it. What wonderful memories and keepsakes you've created and kept to share!

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  6. Um ... what's a jon jon? (I keep racking my brain, but I've got no idea!)

    I love to sew, although I sew every stitch by hand because the sewing machine that I inherited is and always has been rather cranky. I have a beautiful blue dress with princess seams that I sewed in college that I'll show you sometime ... it's in lieu of all those baby clothes that I never made.

    Although I can stitch a mean halloween costume!

    It sounds like an absolutely lovely day, and a great new pasttime. I can't wait to see pictures of your finished projects!

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  7. Jenn NMD :o)11:09 PM

    I am so excited for you!!! It's always fun to see what you can create with some fabric and thread.

    What a perfect day! I know you were blessed by the time spent and I know Mrs. S was doubly blessed!

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  8. How funny, I had a sewing lesson today. My mom and sister are like your mom and your Honey. Me, more like you!

    But today after my lesson I was playing around and I made a funny little primitive bag for The Poo. On the phone with my sister she said, "My mom made me a special little bag. I love it."

    I almost died from happiness right there.

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  9. I'll think of you the next time I sit at my machine.

    And please, please, please don't mention those sandwiches again. My thighs will hate you for it.

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  10. everything goes better with cream cheese and olives - crackers, celery, bread....

    my grandmother sewed for me until her death two years ago. i channeled her spirit in the first ever outfit for my daughter last year. okay, so it was a dorothy dress from the wizard of oz but man, the dress is still holding up just fine.

    what a feeling of accomplishment when making something from scraps of material.

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