Friday, January 28, 2011


George and I took some time today to go shopping for supplies. That was hard for me to do when the shop was open 6 days a week, by quitting time, I only wanted to go home. So, often times I had projects in mind, but nothing to make them with. That should improve now with the shortened hours.

Driving home, it occurred to us that the craft store we had been in didn't have any fabric for sale. I realize that you might not find it odd that I would be thinking about that, but you may be surprised that the subject of fabric would interest George.

But then you may not have known our mothers. Both were quite talented in the sewing department. My mom did it more as a hobby, and as a way to save money on clothes. She made most of her clothing, and much of mine and my sister Jo's, including prom dresses and wedding gowns. (Although after she made mine, she said if she had to do it over, she would have bought one!)

George's mom made all those things, and even men's suits. As far as I know, my mom never quite got up the nerve to attempt suit jackets. His mom also made clothing for other people, earning extra money. We have a list she wrote that listed out clothing she made, and for who it was for, including cheerleader uniforms!

George and I started wondering if anyone sews clothes anymore. It's probably cheaper to buy ready  made clothes these days, it was reaching that point towards the end of mom's sewing days. I can't remember the last time I heard someone say they had made an outfit.

I would guess that most fabric these days is sold for craft projects. And I know lots of people who quilt, or make curtains etc. But clothes? I wonder.

One of my strongest childhood memories is sitting at the pattern book desk in the fabric store. I loved to look at the pattern books! I thought they were more fun than looking at a catalog! And then mom would let me look for them in the big wide pattern drawers in the store. I felt so grown-up!

I wish I was the seamstress that my mom was, but I didn't pick it up too well. I would help mom lay out the pattern on the new fabric, and help her cut it out, but I lost interest after that. I did make a few things when I was a teen, but then I went several years without sewing. I do some now as craft projects, and the more I do, the more I enjoy it. Will I ever tackle a quilt? Hmmm, probably not, but then, stranger things have happened!

One more thing.........I wish George and I had pictures of our mom's at their sewing machines. The memories are firmly etched in our minds, but I'm sure our kids would have loved to have had photos showing their two grandma's in their labor of love. If your mom or grandma is a seamstress - take a picture!


Jo said...

Actually, I'm pretty sure Mom took a tailoring class through the Extension Service and made a coat. That's close enough to making a suit to count in my book!!

Interesting you wrote this article ... I've been going through photos and just decided yesterday to keep all my prom date photos just so I would have pics of the gowns that Mom made.

Barb said...

Yes, she did, I think I kept the coat. And yes, that was probably about the same as making a suit coat, I didn't think of that. George's mom made quite a few men's suits - when George and I were dating, she had made all of his. I'm not sure if she made Bill's or not, I'll have to ask George. My guess would be that she did.

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