my mother passed away long before i was ready for her to leave. i was a young woman in my twenties and she left before i was able to ask so many pertinent questions that would come as i entered my years of motherhood. i could only speculate about her pregnancies, her years with young babes and toddlers. alas, she was definitely gone long before i could ask her to teach me to sew. my mom, along with so many other skills, could sew, not just a hem friends, but she could make clothes and costumes. i do long for a scanner now for this page would be filled of images with me and my sister donning matching “STOP” and “GO” dresses. you would ooh and ahh over the halloween we were perfect as laura and mary ingalls, or the pink felt rabbit costume, the list really does go on.
in the months following her passing my sister and i shuffled through many belongings. we tried hard to figure out what to do with these treasures as we moved through our nomadic years. the sewing machine landed in a new home during one epic yard sale in autumn of 1994.
now, i have a daughter who wants to sew. i have tried to find her another teacher, but somehow parsing that job out has not led to success. (she did have a grand time sewing with her aunt in boston, but that was just a few short days).
it took the passing of another great woman to get me and madeline ready to sew. a friend and CSA member who, just as my mother did, left this world too early for our liking. as her husband sorted and cleared, her sewing machine found its way to our home.
it also took a long and particularly cold winter to seal the deal. we didn’t tire of the knitting needles or the loom, but we just wanted more. the first project was fun and simple, aprons for the girls at the birthday party. now, we are moving on, thinking of patterns and garments. we make a good team my girl and me. she has the agile fingers of a pre teen. she can get her hands into those nooks and crannies that i find too difficult to reach. (my calloused hands don’t help that i am sure). she also seems to be able to see better than i do (i am one step away from hanging my readers from my neck!). this also seems to be a skill that helps sewing immensely. thread and needles are just so tiny! lest you think i don’t add anything to the mix, dear madeline can’t cut fabric at all in a straight line and her seams need work, both places i can jump right in with zeal!
i have to admit we are getting used to this winter’s indoor life, just when spring creeps closer and we will shift outside. every corner of our home is packed with a project. perhaps in the busy season that lies ahead they won’t gather dust….