Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Little seamstresses in the making

My grandmother was a seamstress.  She was an immigrant from Russia, via displaced persons camps in Europe.  My grandfather died eight years after the family came over - on one of the last immigrant ships to Ellis Island - and so Babushka took in sewing to support her three children.  Her sewing machine sat on a small desk in the dining room, and I remember hearing it going late into the evening when we went to visit.  She sewed nightgowns and dresses for my sister and me, and later clothes and rucksack carriers for our dollies.

She died a couple of years before I took an interest in sewing.  Sometimes I think wistfully of the things she could have shown me, had I gotten into it earlier.  And so, I have eagerly awaited the day when I could start teaching my own girls, now 4 and 3, to sew.

That day happened a couple weeks ago, spurred on by some Disney princess flannel that arrived in a package from my mother-in-law.  I drew lines and the girls cut the squares out themselves.  My 3-year-old needed a bit of help from me, but her older sister cut everything out on her own.


After I ironed over the edges, I put the pedal up on a Rubbermaid bin. My machine's pedal requires a gentle touch that she wasn't able to master, so we settled on me working the pedal while she sat on my lap and guided the fabric through on her own.


This sewing area is MUCH bigger than Babushka's.  Kind of makes me a little ashamed of my sewing space lust.


When she came to a pin, she took it out and stuck it in the pincushion you see next to her - Babushka's old pincushion.  Babushka never met any of my kids - or my husband - so it is nice to feel this connection.


She stitched the entire thing by herself.  When she was done, little sister climbed on my lap.  


She only managed about 1.5 sides before she got bored and went off to play while I finished up.


Ta-da!



6 comments:

  1. So great! And I saw the awesomely made doll clothes that were handmade by your grandmother!
    Emma keeps asking me to sew almost every day and I am just so tired that I say no every time. I hope to feel better in a month or so and go back to sewing and hopefully helping her in her projects. She knows how to work my machine but needs supervision. And she loves to design stuff from my scrap bin. :)

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    1. I am sure she is going to wind up just as crafty as her mama :)

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  2. After following you here from your comment on my blog, I just subscribed to your blog on feedly. I love the clothes you sew for yourself. I'm trying to get up the nerve to try it myself, but have the same issue that most patterns out look much better on a skinnier and smaller busted woman than me. I can't wait to see what you do next!

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    1. Thanks Heather! I'm really enjoying sewing for myself so I hope you give it a try!

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  3. Both of my grandmothers sewed. They sewed all of their children's clothing. My dad has saved a western shirt that his mother made him at 6 years old. It has applique and pearl snaps. Very nicely done. She raised 7 sons and sewed for all of them! My mom is also a talented sewist. I suppose there is nothing she can't sew. She taught my sis and I as children, but we never took much of an interest. I only began sewing last year at age 34. I still have those great memories of sewing with her, though. I am glad she shared her hobby with us.

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    1. There is something so neat about continuing that tradition, isn't there? Thanks for commenting!

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Hi! I am so happy you came by. Thanks for your comment!