Sunday, 8 May 2011

A salute to my greatest fashion inspiration...

Mom wearing a Simplicity dress
Mom.

It is my Mom who is my greatest fashion inspiration.  She is the one who planted the seed that grew into the love of sewing.  It is one of the greatest gifts she gave to me.

She doesn't sew as much as she use to, but my memories of her sewing live vividly in my heart.

Now a days, she limits her sewing to projects around the house.  The windows are impeccably dressed with curtains and drapes that my mom has made.  She hems her husband's pants when she gets annoyed with how long it takes me to do the job. And she seems to be taking to new sewing projects now that she has a serger to play around with.  

We didn't have a lot of money growing up and it was a time when socks were mended and fabric was recycled.  One of my favourite pieces my mom made with the recycled fabric from one of her old coats.

Simplicity and Style Patterns circa 1968.
I still have the pattern.  It was a cute little jumper with triangle pockets on the front--I thought it was the cat's meow!

She also made clothes for my brothers, and tended to the family alterations, hemming and patching our clothing.  My brothers and I were tree climbers and there was a lot of mending back in the day.

As time past, I was intrigued by my mom's talent.  She didn't have a lot of time to teach me how to sew.  I caught the bug as I watched her fit sewing projects into her busy hectic schedule.

You see my Mom was never a stay-at-home mom.  She is what the newer generation refer to as that mythical "super-mom".  She worked a full-time job opposite shifts from my dad so that one of them could stay home with us.  During those sleep-deprived years raising four energetic children, she managed to make home cooked meals, the best popsicles a kid could ask for, canned fruits and vegetables.  Man, did I ever dislike pickled beets!  But I digress.... and she baked... man, did she ever bake!  Bread, buns, cakes.  My brothers and I were very lucky.  It is the reason my mom didn't have the time to sit down and teach me how to sew, she was too busy sharing her love with all of her kids.

Mom's first sewing machine, back in the sixties, was a Singer treadle sewing machine, she still has it.  When she would go off to work the evening shift I would start planning to do something that she would never let me do on my own.

First, I had to wait for my dad to pass out thinking that his kids were safely tucked into bed and then head downstairs.  Yes, I use to sneak downstairs and sew on her Singer treadle sewing machine.  Oh what a glorious machine!

I would finish sewing projects that I started at school.  This was back in the day when they offered Home Economics classes and not just for a few weeks.   It was back in the day when Home Economic classes were more than sewing a pair of pajama bottoms.

I had an awesome sewing teacher back in those days.  She encouraged us to chose challenging projects and she mentored us through the process.  Something that my mom did not have the luxury of time to do.

This sneaky arrangement came to an abrupt end when I lost the one bobbin case to the sewing machine.  I likely, mistakenly, threw it out when I was cleaning up the evidence of my late night sewing excursion in that dimly lit room in the basement.  Mom was needless to say very upset with me.

New sewing machines replaced the Singer treadle sewing machine that sat unusable in the basement until my younger brother, Gabriel, gave my mom the best gift she would ask for.  He found a box of Singer treadle sewing machine accessories while out at a garage sale.

I don't think she'll ever forgive me for losing her Singer treadle sewing machine bobbin case.  I think that she is just glad that she didn't stop having kids after me.

I love you Mom!  Happy Mother's Day.

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