Do you have it? My sisters claim that I inherited the sewing gene and they didn’t. Maybe this is why I find myself engaged in home sewing projects whenever I visit them. They joke about shackling me to the sewing machine when they know I’m coming. If you take a look at the Home Dec section of my Gallery, you will see that the usual beneficiaries are the Usual Suspects (my sisters).
Our mother was an excellent seamstress, fast and accurate. She sewed all of our school clothes and even made pajamas for us when we were little kids. This was back in the days when it was much cheaper to sew garments than to buy them. Every fall before school started, we would go shopping for fabric (we called it material back then) and patterns. Mother had veto power, though she rarely used it. We always had several new outfits to begin the school year, and we would pick our favorite to wear on the first day. Mother worked full-time, so how she found time to make all of our clothes and hers as well is a mystery to me.
My mother taught me to sew the summer before I started high school. I learned on an old White treadle sewing machine. I don’t remember where we got that sewing machine or what happened to it, but I sure wish I still had it. It sewed like a dream, once you got the rhythm of working the treadle. On my first day of high school, I proudly wore a dress I had made – a sleeveless shift with bias piping around the neck and armholes. It was a green and blue print, and I wore it with a blue velvet beret, which I thought was terribly chic but probably looked silly.
Last year, while antiquing at the beach with my quilt group, the Quisters, I found a wrought iron side support from an old White treadle sewing machine. It came home with me and now lives in the garden in the back yard. It’s a lovely reminder of my mother and the year my sewing gene kicked in.