When I was a little girl, I often had to wear hand me down clothing. Which was fine, except that they were hand me downs from my brother. NOT so girly. My Mum was a single working Mother in a working class neighborhood in Manchester, England, and money was a bit tight.
Sometimes, she would handsew me clothes. Yes, HAND sew. She didn't have a machine. She made me pretty skirts and dresses, sometimes with little matching bags. All very girly - I suppose to counteract the supply of scuffed pants and blue shirts I was getting from big brother. She worked all day, had a hot meal on the dinner table each night, kept our home immaculately clean and then managed to handsew clothing for me. How did she do it?!
I LOVED THESE GARMENTS. I recall so fondly now how I used to twirl and swirl in the sweet clothes my Mother had labored over. They were my favorite things. There was a sweet red fabric with tiny white flowers she made into a dress with a little matching laced trimmed pouch to carry. And a cream colored skirt with navy and yellow flowers with a blue detailing at the hem and a drawstring waist that was a great twirler.
Something else my Mother did, as I got older, was draw out patterns so I could sew clothes for my dolls. She drew simple patterns, gave me some fabric scraps with a needle and thread, and walked me through their construction. After some experience under my belt, I would sneak some of my brother's clothing to cut up to make Barbie sized dresses and skirts.
So here I am, decades later, recalling those days of handmade twirl skirts and red frilly dresses. Although I have access to stores full of affordable readymade clothing that my Mother never did, there is a special joy I take from sewing clothing for Delilah myself. The idea that she will twirl in a skirt I make for her, just as I twirled happily for my Mother so many years ago, is just wonderful.
Sewing for my daughter connects me to my Mother. And in turn, to my Grandmother who was a professional seamstress and sewed to support her family. Is it in the blood perhaps?
If you read through all that, thanks for sharing my trip down memory lane.
If you sew, what do you get out of it? What do you like about sewing - why do you do it?