SEWING – A LOST ART?

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When I was growing up in the late 50s and early 60s my mom sewed most of my clothes. She was also the extended family seamstress, sewing bridesmaids dresses, Halloween costumes, café curtains, elaborate drapes, doll clothes, and anything else she could find fabric for or figure out how to do. When our old family truck needed new seat covers she had my dad remove the bench seats and she sewed new covers for them. When my brother bought his first home she sewed heavy canvas curtains for his sliding glass door, which she also stenciled with a western theme. My daughter-in-law’s wedding dress was started by my mother-in-law and finished by my mom (after my M-I-L fell and broke both legs). By the time her Crohns disease got the best of her, I inherited a Pfaff and a Bernina sewing machine, a serger, boxes and boxes of various notions, and a room full of fabric.

I learned to sew in Home Economics classes in high school and by watching and learning from my mom. Most of my sewing projects turn out remarkably well seeing as how at least a seam or two has to be ripped out and redone! It has been fun to make Easter dresses for the granddaughters and placemats and napkins for the church bazaar. Our booth at the Lakewood 400 Antiques Market has had several pillows that I made from quilts and old bedspreads. Sewing is relaxing and fun for me and I was happy to see my youngest granddaughter begging me to teach her to sew last year. I was a little nervous because she was only seven at the time but I started her out on stitching straight seams and made sure to constantly harp on keeping her little fingers away from the needle. She did fine and I hope she will continue to enjoy learning to sew.

Sewing is becoming a lost art for most people because there are fewer and fewer places to learn to sew. I don’t think it is taught in high school and most moms are too busy to do any casual sewing for fun. But as long as there are places to purchase notions and fabric I have confidence that there will always be one or two of us seamstresses in the family. After all, somebody has to make the Easter dresses!

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