Thursday, June 21, 2012

Alterations

Come along with me upstairs to my sewing room, I have some alterations to do.
Daughter J has some sweet little tops that don't quite fit. They need a little pin and tuck.

Please, have a seat while I sew a few seams.
This little room was once a bedroom for my two daughters. It is very pink and girlie. It has two large windows that bring in lots of light.

I love this room, not only because my precious girls grew up here, but also because it is my little get-away.

I love to come up here on rainy days and sew the day away.


Getting away to sew doesn't happen as often as I would like. I have to plan ahead. Life gets in the way. But when I do have the afternoon free, it is pure bliss.


I learned to use a sewing machine in school 'Home Economics' in 7th grade. But I had been hand sewing already for years. By the time I was using a sewing machine, I had already made pillows, stuffed animals, and repaired clothing.

But in 8th grade, I sewed myself something to wear. This was a revelation! I could actually sew something well enough to wear! I made the prettiest little ensemble. (I was convinced in my Junior High Mind) It had a cross over top with ties, and flowy pants. I have a picture of myself wearing it. It was pale green cotton and I was very tan and I wore it to the party where I met Hubby. (See 'Our Life Together' in the Archives) (It was the summer before 9th grade) It was my lucky outfit.


I was so proud of myself for sewing it, that I wore that pant suit all summer! O.k., it's a little ill fitted. Um, check out the beaded curtain. It was the Hippie generation, don't forget! (There's some damage to the photo, I don't really have on strange looking bracelets!)

This was me the summer I met Hubby. Little did I know that one day I would sit down at something called a computer and post this picture on my blog, over 30 years later. Still with the same guy. And many adventures and 4 grown children later.


With that green pant suit success behind me I was ready to take on the sewing world! Lol! So when I chose my courses in High School, naturally I chose a full credit course in Sewing! For two years I sewed daily for l hour, instructed by the most talented and creative sewing instructor. We sewed dresses, and slacks, blouses and housewares, pajamas and tailored jackets. I learned to match plaids, cut on the bias, and sew a French Seam. I was in heaven.

When that course ended, I took Cooking classes. Another two years of learning to bake bread, make a souffle', whip up a holiday dinner for 12, complete with home-made biscuits. Everything we cooked, we gave away to the teacher's lounge. Naturally, we were the most popular class in High School. The Principal regularly stopped in, not to make sure the class was behaving, but to sample the treats!

My life of domestic bliss in training.


And now after years of sewing at the kitchen table, I now have my very own sewing room. This room with it's echos of little girl giggles, sleep-overs, stuffed animals and Barbie Dolls. A few little keepsakes were left behind. The Victorian paintings of charming domestic life. The Frilly lamps and flowery boxes.

Saved for the next generation to inhabit these rooms. The future granddaughters and grandsons (across the hall) that come for sleepovers at Gram and Pap's.


I have sewn prom dresses, bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, tiny baby nightgowns and bonnets, curtains and slipcovers for neglected windows and furniture, quilts and wall hangings, dolls, teddy bears, duvet covers.

Many hours spent in solitary domesticity, with the humming of the sewing machine long into the wee hours.

Lately I haven't felt much like sewing. This recent past has been sad with losing my Mother and with my Father having Alzheimer's. My creativity has been slow to return. But I am doing a little at a time. My children may not need prom dresses or badges sewn on cub scout uniforms. But they still make me feel like they need me by bringing me their alterations.


And while I sit and sew,  I have time to daydream and appreciate all that I have. In the quiet, cheerful room with the brightly lit windows and the sweet memories, not only do I alter my daughter's clothing, but I give my outlook some alterations in the meantime. I have this precious time to reflect and plan, reminisce and dream.


Life flies by at the speed of light. It's wonderful to take this time to surround myself with the things I love, using my talent to come full circle, all these years later. Something I only dreamed about, back  when I dreamed all of this up. Back in sewing class when I daydreamed about wearing the green pant suit as I sewed.


12 comments:

  1. This is classic, Karen! Growing up I remember my Mother always sewing something for the house and telling me stories of her sewing her own clothes when she was younger. When I grew into elementary and onto jr high school, she found a sewing class a few nights a week that I became quite fond of. Sewing many things like blankets, shorts, bags, dresses, shirts. All of which I still have tucked away in my garage. I've always valued those lessons and even though there are many times I feel confident enough to get behind the wheel of that amazing sewing machine, I still bring my alterations over to my Mother's house too. Even my Husbands items needing a bit of a tug and snip here and there. We enjoy it and sometimes I sit with her in her sewing room talking of projects she's working on while she sews away. Moments I cherish.
    After my Grandmother passed, my Mother took some of my Grandmother's well-known silk shirts she wore and made a quilt out of them. Along with individual keepsake pillows or scarfs made out of her silk clothing for various familiy members. These are momentums that I will keep forever and forever hold dear to my heart the times we share in front of the sewing machine. Thank you Karen!

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  2. What a sweet little room to create in!

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  3. Sarah, I always love to hear your stories. It is so nice that you have these precious memories of sewing with your Mom.
    I love that she took your Grandmother's silk blouses and sewed keepsakes with them for family members.
    Thank you for sharing these sweet memories.xx

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  4. Thank you, Michelle for your sweet comment and for stopping by! xx

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  5. Loved this post and completely identified with it! I love your sewing room too!

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  6. Thank you, Dianne, we have so much in common! xx

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  7. How wonderful to have a place for creativity... a room full of memories and dreams.
    Thank you so much for stopping by to visit.
    Not only do we share kitties with the same name but my fraternal Grandmother was Scottish too.With a name like Agnace Calderwood Sutherland before her marriage to my Grandfather there was no doubt of her ancestry.
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Susan

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  8. Thank you, Susan for visiting - and for sharing your Scottish ancestry! Don't you just love those Scottish names - so distinctive! And of course, we share our love of the name Ling-Ling.xx

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  9. How lovely! I like that!
    BShell

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  10. I love your sewing room - it's nice to have that space, but the memories are the special part of that room. (I like what you said - you have memories AND dreams.)

    My mawmaw taught me to sew, but I am not a tailor as she was (and apparently you are). I wish I had been able to take a two-year class! (Maybe one day...)

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  11. I had a similar pant suit, but it was large flowers in red, white, and blue. About 1969. But I didn't sew it - my sister did. She had the knack to sew beautifully! :)
    Sorry for the loss of your Mother and your Father's illness. I lost my Mom last August - and miss her so much.
    I have a little 1950's Singer Featherweight that sews perfect stitches. I haven't made anything with it for quite some time, but am getting the "itch" to sew. :)
    Hope you have a great weekend!
    Hugs,
    Zuzu

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  12. I loved reading this post, and seeing the photo of you with your Lucky Outfit. How amazing that your sewing talent has indeed taken you full circle. And I LOVE your sewing room!

    My mother and grandmother were both very talented dressmakers, and taught me how to sew. For a long time I made just about everything I wore except for underwear and shoes. I'd like to get back to sewing too - I've only made things like curtains or quilts for other people in the last while.

    And there is something so soothing about hand sewing, too.

    I hope you'll blog some more about your sewing!

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Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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