Thursday, May 29, 2008

Getting Started in Blog Land

This is something I've been wanting to do for many months but have never take the time to actually do it.

I would like to share aspects of my sewing (the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly) while also sharing some of my mother's beautiful handiwork with those who will appreciate it. My children (her only grandchildren) appreciate it to the extent that it is pretty to look at -- but only other stitchers will really appreciate the craftsmanship and skill. I have a collection of items that incorporates all types of handwork -- knitting, crocheting, embroidery, quilting, and sewing.

It's a challenge to decide what to show first! I've decided to start at the beginning with a pic of my mom in her single glamour days (she could have been a WWII pinup girl!) and a pic of me ... you can figure out which is which ...



This is the machine that she used to create all the clothes I wore growing up--from baby layette, to little farm-girl feedsack dresses, to high school prom dresses-- well, you get the idea! And this is also the machine that I used when I started sewing in the late '60s.



Even when she bought one of those "fancy zig-zag" machines with about 3 stitches, she still swore by her trusty White (White "Rotary Electric Sewing Machine" Series 77) ... a straight-stitch only machine that delivered (and I suppose still does) one of the best stitch qualities of any machine. The "rest of the story" for this machine is that dreaded knee/leg lever that powers the motor. At the time, I was learning to sew with both this machine and the zig-zag that had the foot pedal. You can guess what's coming -- I was so intent on concentrating on where I was placing the fabric under the presser foot, that I forgot where my leg was.... OUCH! The first (and hopefully last) time that I put a needle through my fingernail.





This is one of my favorite garments, circa mid-1970s. I wish it still fit, as these shirts are back in style! I can't say for certain but I think it was created one weekend when I was home from college. By the time I headed back to campus on Sunday afternoon, I had a brand new hand-embroidered shirt .... I wonder if she slept?


I know you want to see a close-up and I'm trying to figure that part out ... I may have to take a different picture and edit this post.




I'm still learning how to work with the layout capabilities here and hope to get better at this.







Ok, ok ... I can hear you now ... after all, what does any stitcher worth her mettle do when presented with someone else's work?????











Welllllll, turn it inside out ... duh! That was something that was paramount to her standard of quality ... the inside/wrong side/back side all had to match the quality of the outside/right side/front side! While I hated that when she was the mentor and I was the ... mentee? or demented? ... uh, one frustrated daughter .... I can certainly appreciate now the quality of the work and the work ethic that she instilled in me.


So I guess that is enough for today ...


I promise, more to come in the days to come ...

















6 comments:

Gayle said...

Testing all the cool tools ....

Christina said...

Great start Gayle, I love seeing your mom! She embroidered that in one weekend? It is beautiful! Could your DD wear it? Would you let her (LOL)?

Jean E. said...

This is fantastic, Gayle. I'm looking forward to more! Jean

Tina said...

Welcome to blogging! lol

Cathy's Fiber Expressions said...

Nice job Gayle,
Cathy

Tessa (inspiredsewing) said...

Hey there Gayle! No wonder you love that shirt - the hand embroidery is beautiful. I would try to figure out a way to add in a panel or something to make it fit again.

Love the inside view - there's something warm and fuzzy about the hand crafted look of the zigzagged seams rather than the sterile perfect overlocking we do nowadays. You can see the love and care your Mom put into making it.