The art of sewing has skipped my generation as well as my Mom’s generation. But my grandmother, Nan, was a wonderful seamstress who created many beautiful outfits, quilts, window coverings, pillowcases and many other beautiful creations that I still treasure today many years after she is no longer with us.
My perspective may not be traditionally what you expect from the essays you receive, but it’s more of a tribute to honor all the expert seamstresses like my Nan and let them know we appreciate the skill and artistic ability. Sewing seems to be a long lost skill, and it’s heartbreaking to see that since I know how much joy the wonderful art of sewing has brought to my family and me. I do think it is very important to celebrate those with such a tremendous talent and gift and let them know how much joy they bring to people like me and others who don’t have that special touch.
My childhood is filled with memories of watching my grandmother make all kinds of things and listening to her tell me stories about the clothes she made for work and her children, my Dad. She told me stories of window treatment, comforters, and blankets she made. When you looked around her home, it was a beautiful work of art, filled with hand-made items everywhere you looked.
I remember sitting with her one day when I was quite young and looking at pictures of my parent’s wedding and the beautiful gown she was wearing. I told her she looked beautiful and she went on to tell me how she shopped for months to find the perfect colour and fabric for her gown.
She told me how she searched for a dress pattern she liked and ended up using several patterns to create a unique dress that was all her own. She told me about how she pieced her dress together using her sewing machine and modified it to her exact liking. It was perfect, and she looked beautiful! She was so proud of her dress, and after all, who wouldn’t be, it was one of a kind, and she was going to be able to attend her first son’s wedding wearing her design.
I also remember sitting in my home and talking to my Mom about the beautiful window treatments on my windows, and she told me that my Nan made them for me as a gift when we bought our home. All our beds were adorned with beautiful quilts made by both my grandmother and great grandmother. Our home was also filled with love and beautiful hand-made creations. I didn’t realize it then, but I was surrounded by perfection.
There is one memory that touches my heart so greatly that I can cry just thinking about it. I remember the Christmas morning when she gave my brother and I bath robes that she made. I was only four years old, and my brother was age 3. They were so soft and warm, and I loved mine. It was beautiful! I remember her excitement as we opened the gifts and I remember my excitement too.
I couldn’t wait to put it on. I wore my robe every day until it was so small that I couldn’t wear it anymore then I packed it away in my hope chest in the hope that someday I can pass it down to my little girl and tell her the story about my Nan who made it for me. I know it will bring a smile to my face and allow me to look back and remember my joy each time I see her wearing it.
So, at age 17 I don’t know too much about using, cleaning or selecting a sewing machine but I do know what a wonderful impact it had on my daily life and bringing my family together. I hope that someday that I can learn to sew just like my grandmother and those before her so that I can bring those same loving hands, beautiful creations and traditions to those who follow me and the many generations to come.