Saturday, January 28, 2023

{ Blog 365 #28 - Fabric stores }

I have many fond memories of my grandmother Odete.  We were extremely close, we pretty much did everything together.  For some that may seem strange, but I know that there are many more out there that understand the love for a grandmother.

She was my listener, advisor, partner in crime.  

She taught me how to sew, how to use sewing machines, how to do everything relating to sewing, actually.  But she also taught me how to cook, she told me stories, we shared cups of tea and took long walks, and I mean, longgggggg walks from our home to town.

We enjoyed lunches at Wimpy, eating burgers and fries.  Or we would skip the food and order their waffles with whipped cream or ice cream.

One of the things we most enjoyed doing, was walking through the local fabric stores.  There were some that she would specifically go in for crochet yarn, and others were just fabric.

I was sitting watching TV yesterday, and I don't even remember what I was watching, but a fabric store came into the screen.  I was taken aback by just how quickly it transported me back in time.

It's almost like I was right there.  I could even smell the fabric.

The thing I most remember?
The rolls of fabric.  Every color and pattern you could imagine, just laid out.  Some on shelves, and some on long tables.  I would sit and look through each one, feeling the fabric slip through my fingers.

We would pick out fabric for her seamstress business, and for ourselves.  

I remember I wanted a dress, made in the most beautiful pale blue linen.  She obliged and made me the prettiest form fitting dress, which I proudly wore to work.  I wish I had kept it, but I think it was in one my boxes left in South Africa, and now, it's probably gone.

I helped her make that dress, and was so proud of it.  

Another thing we loved doing was pick out sewing thread and patterns.  Oh my word!!!

The boxes and boxes of patterns.  Simplicity and Burda.  Do you remember those?  She had so many vintage looking patterns that I loved looking through.  I used to make a pile of the ones I wanted to make for myself, never quite getting to make them, but that pile was mine none the less.

Whenever she had a client that needed something made, she would ask me to cut out the pattern.  I can't tell you how excited I used to get, cutting through that flimsy brown tissue paper.

It makes me miss those times.  

In the back of our house, we had a small room that she turned into a sewing studio.  She had tables along the back wall.  One for cutting, and then one for her sewing machines, and another for her overlocking machines.  Those were my favorite to use.  Hahahah

The fact that the machine sewed and cut the fabric at the same time, fascinated me.

She was very meticulous about her work, and very strict with her machines.  But, she let me work on them under her watchful eye.  I vividly remember the day she said I could try the overlock machine. 

We had bought some fleece fabric to make some blankets or something, I can't even remember.  She let me make my own.  I sat at the machine, eager to get going, and she stood right behind me, telling me what each part of the machine did, how to thread it, how to hold the fabric, where to place my hands and so forth.

At the time, I was a little frustrated because being 13 years old,  I just wanted to let it rip, so to speak.  

Today, I completely understand why she watched me like a hawk, and boy would I give anything to have her stand behind me today, when I sit at my own machine.

Her machines????

All from Singer.  That was her favorite.  I'll have to tell you one day, of how I worked at a sewing shop at our local mall, and I had to take a sewing course for a week.  My grandmother went with me every day, because it was given by Singer itself, and she was just thrilled about that.

My machine today?  From Singer of course.


Sewing Day

As I pulled out the machine this past week, and made the plastic bag holder, and some kitchen towels, I realized that I need to do more sewing.  I love it, love everything about it.  

Hence, my post today.  

Because the machine, and then the fabric store on the tv, brought back so many wonderful memories.  I want to sew, I want to make things for myself, for my home, for fun.

I want to look through patterns and cut them out, and buy colorful thread, oil my sewing machine and sit at the table pinning and cutting.

It's an art.  An art that is being forgotten, and like much else nowadays, being passed over for other things like tik tok videos or the latest fad.

I say we bring back the things that truly matter.  I want to see more women sitting at a machine, hand sewing or embroidering.
My first candlewicking pillow.  It's so old and falling apart, but I love it so much.


Speaking of embroidering, that's another art that I plan on revisiting.  I have all my embroidery floss, and even have a new project that my sister in law gifted me for Christmas, so keep an eye out for that in an upcoming Blog 365 post.  I plan on doing a lot more of that, including Candlewicking which I LOVE and haven't done in years.

My friends, my sweet ladies, I have to tell you that I didn't understand why I was doing Blog 365, or why God had put that on my heart.  But, I can tell you with all certainty, that merely 27 days into it, I think I know why.

Through this process of blogging every day, and trying to make sure I have something to blog about, I have re-found my love for some many activities I used to enjoy.

What a blessing!

Thank you Lord, thank you, thank you, for making me remember who I am, for pulling me away from the modern world and back into what truly matters.  

I think 2023 needs to be the year, to bring back Homemaking and all the lost arts, in all their full glory.

What do you say?



Jean said...

Beautiful post. My mom could sew and made me some of my clothes when I was young. However, despite trying, I never learned. Still shudder at the thought of my very crooked pillow from home ec class. Do think the world could definitely use more emphasis on all those lost arts. And your grandmother sounds so very special. Happy Saturday!

@irina_sweet_home said...

I also learned from a young age to sew by machine, to embroider, to sew tapestry. But only after the fall of communism did burda patterns, tapestries, various sewing and knitting threads appear in our country. Now I don't have time to work as much as I I would like to. My sewing machine is a Pfaff brand. My mother was a very good seamstress. She made the patterns by herself, when she came home from work, after eight hours , she knitted or sewed clothes, because there was almost nothing to buy in the shops.I apologize if I make mistakes in what I say, I use google translate, my English is not very good :)

Daniela said...

Like Irina, I also translate my comments and this makes me comment less often.
But, I follow your posts with great pleasure and I really like what you write.
I too have a sewing machine (Singer) that I sew with sometimes, but I am still a beginner and would like to use it more.