Monday, January 2, 2012

A piece of history

My grandma on my mom's side was the seamstress in the family. I wish I could show you some of the things she made...some of them I'd still wear today! Plus, she made my mom clothes for her Barbies, and those are super cool to see. Think 1970's outfits on a Barbie. And she used to make herself and my mom matching outfits when my mom was younger. Oh, those pictures are so good. I have this picture of my grandma on a regular day.

She died of breast cancer when I was 16. In fact, my 16th birthday was the last time I saw her. She gave me a necklace that said "Sweet 16" worked into a gold heart. My sisters and I were aware that she had been battling cancer for the past couple years, but had no idea that she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer right around the time we were born, and had already beaten it once. Someone told a story at her funeral about how she and my grandpa found out that their church wanted/needed a new they bought a piano and hauled it in through the church window in the middle of a Saturday night. Come Sunday morning they played it cool as everyone walked in and saw this brand new piano! Isn't it amazing to hear about a person that you think you know from someone else's eyes?

My grandma didn't live to see me start sewing, but she was alive when I started cross-stitching, and she was always sending us crewel and latch-hook kits. I know she'd be proud of me, even though she didn't quilt. So when I was up at my grandparents' house this past summer I asked to see all of her sewing stuff. My grandpa let me have her sewing bench and her sewing box, plus some other odds and ends. I'm hoping he will let me having her custom sewing machine cabinet one of these days, but he uses it as a TV stand now, and a man's got to have his TV!


It was so cool to look through all the things that she had, and appreciate it from a sewing perspective.

My favorite little knick knack is definitely this Singer tin box. It was filled to the brim with buttons, some of which looked extremely old. I washed them all, and have used several of them in projects!

I also found labels...some of these which were for clothing, and which I absolutely treasure finding, and then some labels for my grandpa's work clothes [they built their own trucking business from the ground up, and memories of visiting them when I was little include lots of greasy, kind-hearted men in jumpsuits who would play games with my sister and I, no matter how much we got in their way!]

I've used some thread in a pillow for my couch, and I'd love to use some of the patterns that I found in the sewing seat, which as you can see in the picture above, it opens up. Most of the patterns are definitely not in style anymore, although they are fancy designers [go Grandma!].

And then there's adorable things like that pattern for the sock money and elephant, and the book of crochet [which is from the 1930's, according to the inside cover!]

It makes me very happy to have a little piece of my grandma with me in my sewing area :)

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