Friday, November 11, 2005

Learning to sew

Although it's possible Mother put together a few pieces of fabric for me to stitch on her sewing machine, I think she was smart to turn me over to the 4-H leader, Mrs. Bechtold, when I was in 7th grade, and have her show me. My first project was a green cotton skirt with a small black heart print, with an elastic band inside a casing. I would actually go to Mrs. Bechtold's house for private instruction. That kept things much calmer at home, because I had to rip a lot out. Mrs. Bechtold taught many girls in our community how to sew and show items at the county fair.

Before that, Mother had taught me a few embroidery stitches and a little bit about crochet. Mother made crocheted coverings for the arms and backs of our furniture, and she also made rugs out of our old clothes, with what looked like a simple crochet stitch making long strips which were then stitched together. We could sit on the rugs and identify our old clothing. Everyone else's mother did the same thing, so I doubt if we ever thought it was anything artistic or exceptional. Thinking back, it was a lot of work. The old clothes were cut on the bias a certain width, and then that was turned and hem stitched. Then the strips were rolled into a big ball, and at night, Mother would start crocheting the stips into long chains.

So when my daughter seemed old enough--maybe 10 years old--I decided to teach her embroidery, although I'd never been very good at it myself, rarely completing a project. We actually used these projects (tea towels and pillow cases), but if I'd been smart I would have put them away. This is a pattern my daughter used for a tea towel or two.

According to the sticker, it was purchased at G.C. Murphy's on Lane Ave. in Upper Arlington, probably in the mid-70s. This variety store closed and the building was remodeled sort of as an interior mall with boutique type stores. Then it became a computer store in the 80s, and now is a Wild Oats natural food store.

This Vogue pattern for Christmas projects was used to make a few items, and after poking around in the linens, I found a pillow case, which fortunately I'd put away before it was completely worn out.

I made a serious mistake with this "mother-daughter-bonding" project. I used an old pillow case instead of a new one. It is now very fragile.

1 comment:

Jane said...

You suggested I take up sewing with my girls, in case you have missed it- I am not domestic. Just this morning I told husband I wanted HIM to mass produce American Girl doll outfits for sale on eBay.