Tuesday, January 17, 2012

{ In which she taught me to sew..... }

There are moments that are forever etched in your mind, no matter how young you may have been there just seem to be certain pockets in time that you remember as vividly as if you had just experienced them.

For me, there have been quite a few along my life but I think one of the most vivid ones, are the ones spent either with my greatgrandma in the kitchen or my grandma in her sewing room and later, sewing shop.

My grandmother Odete is this beautiful woman with the prettiest green eyes and dark hair.

She has been sewing what seems like forever.  You see, she's a Seamstress and for many years I sat at her feet, or at her side and watched every move she made, listened, learned and applied.

The photo above was taken I think, shortly after she married my grandfather, matter of fact you can see his photo in her necklace :)

The reason I'm bringing this up, aside from the fact that I love reminiscing and looking at old photographs, is because I was recently asked where I learned how to sew, and the credit all goes to this amazing woman.

She used to make the most amazing wedding dresses, intricate designs, tiny little pearls and small little decorative stitches, and she did this by hand.

I used to sit and watch her hands as she worked, they seemed to have a rhythm all their own, it's like the minute they connected with the fabric they move at their own pace, she would talk, she would laugh, she would listen to music and she would ask me about my current crush, or school work or what I wanted to do in the future, and all while sewing.

I remember many times going straight to her shop after school, I would have a sandwich and something to drink and then I would sit with her, she started off by giving me the job I most detested and I did tell her that I didn't want to do it, but she told me if I wanted to learn how to sew I would learn every single part of it, not just the fun........so when something needed to be pulled apart, there I was.

 As ye sew, so shall ye rip.  ~Author Unknown

Then I guess I was promoted, I started helping with minor alterations, ladies would come in with dresses to be taken in, skirts to be hemmed, pants to be taken out etc.  That was my job and it's one I took very seriously, I was determined to get it right.

But for me the moment came when she sat me at her Serger and said "alright go for it" and my hands literally shook as I very slowly plodded along, in a very zig zaggy kinda line because I couldn't even keep it straight, I was terrified and kept telling her that the fact that it was sewing AND cutting away the fabric was freaking me out because if I made a mistake it was ruined.  She just laughed....she knew better.

She had this amazing faith in me that I couldn't even see for myself.

When I was about 20, I got a job at the local mall, I was working for Singer and one of my tasks was to teach a weekly group of ladies how to sew.  They would bring in their machines and I taught them everything from threading to changing the footer, to what it did and even sewing small projects.  For that though, I had to take a 2 week course, I could have gone by myself but I chose to take my grandma with me.

 I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

It was such an amazing time, we went every day, got to sit around with another 30 or so young girls and their moms etc, learn a bunch of sewing skills, eat lunch and just have fun.  I loved it.

I am by no way an expert, I still struggle and when I stumble along I pick up the phone and ask my grandma, because you know even though she's 87 years old now, she still sews and she still knows her business well.  She laughs at me when I make idiotic mistakes, or rather, we laugh together.

I will forever hold these precious memories in my heart.

So, if you're thinking of learning how to sew, I can tell you that it really is one of those skills that is not hard to learn at all, it's something that you will use for years and years to come and it's something that you're never too old to learn.

May your bobbin always be full!  ~Author Unknown


  1. Sandra,

    I really enjoyed hearing about your grandmother. Great story, great post! I really need to learn to sew!

  2. Your post made me miss my Mom. Like you, I too would spend entire afternoons with my Mom learning. I really miss her.

  3. What a nice tribute to your Grandma! You have as lot of her talent and you have her beautiful eyes too!

  4. What a lovely lady! You are very blessed to have her. I wish someone had taught me to sew & cook because now I am having to teach myself - the hard way!! and at an old age - but sometimes, you can teach an old dog new tricks :)

  5. Sandra, I cheated I read your post tonight and enjoyed, wow, you have your g.g.'s eyes, I think, and as well her talents.. love the post too as I love to hear stories from the "olden days" Sue

  6. Such a sweet post about your grandmother. How blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from her!

  7. Such a sweet and lovely memory. My MIL taught me everything I know about sewing. She is a wonderful woman. Your greagrandma is so beautiful. She has natural beauty. Thanks for sharing!

  8. My mother and grandmother both sewed. I can a bit. I bought my daughter a sewing machine when she turned 14. She likes grandma to teach her and has done a few things. Now my sons girlfriend sees and I couldn't be happier about that - especially since she doesn't cook !! Lol

  9. Great story! I can see the family resemblance. My grams was a wonderful seamstress too and taught me so many things. Thanks for sharing your memory.

  10. Thank you for sharing. Reminded me of my mom and how much I miss her, now she is miles away.

  11. Pretty picture of your Grandmother! I think you look like her a bit, for sure through the eyes :)

  12. I always enjoy coming over to your blog and reading posts like this one. Too often we forget how important those people are who shape our lives. For me, it was my "Nana." Maybe, one day soon, I'll do a post about her. Thanks for this inspiring story!



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