About the women at the top of the page: This blog is dedicated to them. That’s my grandmother, great-grandmother and mother (and me). They taught me many things, including the importance of being creative. I mostly learned cooking and gardening from my mom – and at one point we began to learn together. But I did learn the importance planting a garden and putting up the harvest from an early age with my grandmother and great-grandma. In particular, I remember standing on a stool putting up corn and green beans one summer when very, very young.
All three of them taught me to sew. I must have been about eight when I made my first outfit. At least, I have distinct memories of hemming the top in this photo (note all the craft related gifts, and the RD Complete Guide to Sewing):
My great-grandmother spent a lot of time teaching me hand stitches. Of course, I didn’t want to learn hand stitches… I was itching to get on the machine. My mom made many of my clothes growing up, with my grandmother providing impeccably-made garments. Naturally, I didn’t always want to wear hand-made; I wanted Jordache and Izod, like all the other teens. But the gown my mother made me for my senior prom was gorgeous, and she made all my sisters’ gowns too. And, I got to sew a few things along the way. When it was time for me to do a college internship in DC, I bought several patterns, the fabric and notions and visited my grandmother to get all those outfits made! I still have the patterns. I remember how much she stressed the importance of grain lines and pressing while we sewed those dresses/suits together.
I gave up sewing for many, many years. In fact, for about 15 years. I even gave away my sewing machine. My husband has always encouraged my creative habits, enjoying what I prepare in the kitchen (and bragging about it), building me raised beds and doing the hard-scaping for me to fill will plants and flowers. Then, my mother-in-law bought me a new sewing machine after I asked to borrow hers to make curtains. The next Halloween, I made our costumes:
I was hooked. I learned so much from these lovely women. I’ve realize that I could have learned so much more had I been more appreciative of the gift they gave. I’ve been striving to improve ever since.