Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sew and tell.


I had the great fortune to know my great-grandmother. I was her first great-grandchild so I was born early in the mix, and she lived until I was 28 {and Carrie was a year old}. At her request, I inherited her sewing machine.
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My great-grandmother lived in a time when women sewed their own clothing, or paid someone else to tailor it. I wonder if she enjoyed sewing as much as I do. Did she ever sew for pleasure, or always out of necessity? At any rate, I love having her sewing machine in my home ~ a sweet reminder of the tie that binds us.
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Part two of this post holds another piece of sewing nostalgia. My step-father, Rod has an amazing collection of toys from his childhood. His parents were obviously very generous with toy giving, and also very meticulous about how their children cared for their toys. Every piece of his childhood memorabilia is in immaculate condition. Not only does he have all of the toys that belonged to him, but he also has some of his sister's collection as she tragically lost her life in an auto accident years ago while in her early twenties.
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During a recent visit to my mother's home, Rod produced this little gem from his collection, and I was honored when he offered it to me. This sweet little reminder of a young girl with aspirations to sew doll clothes and the likes ~ just like me.
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This weekend I'll be spending lots of time with my simple sewing machine ~ now 30 years old and still purring like a kitten. I have several sewing projects to tackle {for pleasure, not necessity}.
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I wonder if my sewing machine will someday be someone else's treasure, but I suppose it doesn't matter. It's definitely among the many things that I treasure here and now.

18 comments:

Sian said...

Lovely, lovely post. That little blue sewing machine is truly one of the lovliest things I've seen in a long time. And I'm completely in awe of the generation span in your family - I was 32 when my Grandma died at the age of 93, so we are a whole step behind you iykwim.

scrappyjacky said...

I agree with Sian's comments.... lucky you.
I have my mum's original Singer....and love it...though I don't actually use it....she definately sewed for pleasure as well as necessity....though most of her 'pleasure' sewing was hand done....whereas the machine tended to be for utilitarian sewing.

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a lovely post! Both of the sewing machines are treasures, but I'm partial to the big black one. I only knew one of my grandparents (my father's mother); she passed away when I was about 10. I inherited her silver (through my dad) and much of her hand-made lace. We also have several crocheted quilts she made for us over the years.
Rinda

Rod said...

I felt it very important to pass on my sister's little sewing machine to my "first" step-daughter as I know Bonnie would have done it herself had she lived to know you. Thanks for the post.
Rod

Mom said...

To quote Sian--"lovely, lovely"! In a nutshell you were able to capture something very precious. The pictures are so sweet--however, your narration is what captures me.......my daughter and her gifts! Amazing!

helena said...

love the old machines - the gold on black would be great to use on a collage.

love how your cats have taken over the worktable.

I have the thimble that my grandmother always used - I love having things that were used

Clair said...

How nice it is to have something that means so much to you on many different levels.

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

What a sweet post! How lucky you were to know your great grandmother. Mine died long before I was born. But my grandmother has now been a great grandmother for 30 years - which amazes me! If my nephew hurries up, she'll be a great-great. Crossing my fingers and toes!

Rhona said...

What a beautiful post - I love the sewing machines you've inherited. I sometimes wish I'd kept my first machines - if only I'd known what I'd feel now, then! :o)

Amy said...

Those machines are absolute beauties Deb! By comparison I was very young when my grandmothers died ... 17 and 25, I still really miss them both and I'm sad that they didn't get to see my kids.

sharyncarlson said...

Lovely post! What wonderful stories. These are definitely items to treasure :)

Karen said...

Oh those sewing machines are just gorgeous. I especially like the little blue one. I can remember my gran having an old singer sewing machine and teaching me to make dolls clothes - thank you for resurrecting such a happy memory.

humel said...

Oh, these are beautiful machines - no wonder you treasure them. And what a lovely post :-)

Becky said...

What a lovely memory. The little sewing machine is gorgeous and reminds me of one I had as a child. I wonder where my grandmother's Singer machine went? Such a shame when things like this get lost - you are very lucky to have them and their history to document :) Also, have to say, love the photo of the cats with the sewing machine :D

A Thrifty Mrs said...

What a great post. I agree with whoever said that the blue machine is just lovely, so beautiful.

traci said...

I wish I would have learned to sew from my grandmother. She could sew anything. Many of our outfits growing up were made by her. Even swimsuits. Such great memories.

SarahLP said...

What a wonderful post, Deb.. I loved hearing about your great grandmother and her sewing. My Nana gave me her sewing machine a few years ago as she can't use it any more.. it's probably from the 1970s (judging by the instruction booklet!) and it works great. I should really sew more.. for pleasure and for domestic purposes!

Jana said...

You are so blessed to have known your great grandmother, and for so long. The sewing machine is a wonderful link to have between you both. And your step fathers gift to you was very sweet. I guess he knows that you are the perfect person for it. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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