One of my most favorite memories growing up is sitting at my grandmother's feet while she sewed. I would gather the small pieces of cloth together and with her dress maker pins make doll clothes for my little clothes pin dolls. I would take a pen and draw a face on the doll and then color her some hair so you could tell if it was a boy or a girl. I loved this time. My grandmother's sewing machine was a pedal machine and the hum of the machine and the creaking of the peddle would eventually lull me to sleep in the piles of cloth on the floor. I am a white noise kind of girl and sleep quite peacefully with a humming sound playing in my thoughts. I am still that way....a ceiling fan will put me to sleep in a heartbeat. But this post is not about white noise, it is about sewing. My mom sewed too. I remember when I was small she would get scraps of fabric and make me some of the cutest outfits. We did not have much money then and she was very thrifty with what she had. My mom could go to the department store, look at a dress, come home, take a brown paper bag, cut a pattern and produce the outfit. My mom missed her calling in life. She should have been a fashion designer. She was awesome with a needle and thread...just like both of my grandmothers....and then I came along. I took Home Economics in junior high and it was horribly painful for me. I just could not measure up to my ancestors where sewing and cooking were concerned....but I tried. It was one of my first "C's" in school. About that time in my life....Villager dresses became the latest style and fad....they were shirtwaist dresses made out of pastel kettle cloth...and I wanted one. We were still poor....so my mom....not missing a beat went to Burdines, looked at the dress, came home and produced one that looked just like it....tucks in the front and all. It was identical....but not to me. It was a second. Where the little tag went that said Villager in the original dress...mine had a little tag that said Made with Love by Wilma. I was mortified. Kids can be so cruel....and the upper crust kids of my school made fun of my dress and called me a ragamuffin. I thought I would die. I hated those dresses because they caused me extreme pain during phys. ed at school. I never told my mom that....I just told her I did not want the dresses anymore....and believe me...I had one in every color of kettle cloth there was. I continued to wear them....at least when I left the house....I would have a change of clothes in my purse...and change at my friends house before getting on the bus. When we got home I would change back. My mom was none the worse for wear...she never knew. I went to work for Burdines when I was 16. My first purchase was going to be a real Villager dress. Know what...it wasn't. After I had worked so hard for that check....I just could not spend it all on just a dress.....sooooo....I developed my first compulsion. I bought shoes! LOL....I eventually worked in the shoe department of Burdines and shoes became my life's blood. I could not wait for a new shipment to come in....oh I didn't buy NEW shoes...I would buy the ones on the sale rack. I learned...I could have two...and sometimes three for what one cost. Valuable lesson. I had some of the best looking shoes at school and my friends were envious. This story takes a funny twist....because when I had my first child....I bloomed as a seamstress. I loved making cute little things for Kat. I smocked, did french hand-sewing, candlewicking, I loved anything that involved a needle and thread. Where was this girl when I was in junior high and needed to pass Home Ec.? I was an adult now...and I learned the cost of those Villager dresses. I discovered just how much love went into each and every one of those shirtwaist dresses my mother made for me. I actually apologized to my mom one day out of the blue. I simply said, "I am sorry, Mom." She asked me why and I could not tell her that I was ashamed of the homemade clothes and shouldn't have been...I just told her...for all the times I had hurt her when I was growing up....she smiled and hugged me tightly. Today, I would love to have one of those dresses....the blue one was my favorite. Happy Tuesday!
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
10 months ago