Monday, October 13, 2008

In the Beginning

In the beginning....I learned to sew with three instructors, my 4-H leader, my home ec teacher and finally with the one who didn't approve of the way the others taught me, my mother. Mom was a strict teacher. If the stitching wasn't right, you ripped it out, using a pin. No seam rippers in the early 50s. I learned to do the frog stitch the hard way.
Mom had a New Home Treadle machine. Grandpa Gaylord found it at an aution and bought it for her. It was old when she got it. But she sewed clothing for herself and for me. She made kitchen curtains for our farmhouse of red and white gingham. She made diapers for my sister and brother before they were born.
By the time I decided I really liked to make my own clothing that New Home was wearing out. The bobbin case was worn, stitches weren't perfect any longer. The bobbin tension was worn out.
Fresh out of high school, I went to work at Security Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Binghamton. After a few months one lunch hour I walked up the street to the Singer Sewing Center and bought a Singer Featherweight. We used that machine to make clothing for both of us.
After I got married mom bought a Kenmore machine. She continued to sew for herself for the rest of her life. She would make a housedress and apron to match.
My Featherweight is still going strong. It was used to sew clothing for me and for my daughter until she became a teen, in the era of patch over patch bell bottoms. Later I used the FW for quilting.


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