The fabric in the photo below is from the late 1950s or very early 1960s...isn't it cute? I love the little scissors, spools of thread and patches of fabric. I wish I knew what colors were in it; this photo is black and white and I was too young to remember the fabric.
The photo below shows my twin sister and I wearing matching outfits made from the above fabric. Isn't the fabric cute? I think I was destined to love fabric and creating things from fabric...so be careful how you dress your children; you never know how the fabrics will influence them for the rest of their lives!
Can you guess which one is me?
Of course, clothing and fabric really don't define your destiny. My twin sister can't sew a stitch and takes clothes to the cleaners to get a button sewn on, which I think is really funny.
In actuality, I learned to sew in Girl Scouts. Mrs. Barbeau was a fellow Scout's mother and she was brave enough to host a number of my troop members for several classes in learning the basics of sewing. I still remember the dress I made: light blue floral with a gathered bodice and ties in the back. I loved that dress!
The first window treatments I ever made were for my first home, which is just one block away from my current home. I live in an older neighbhorhood that is seeing a lot of new construction, and my previous sweet little yellow home was recently sold to a developer and is in the process of demolition. The owner let me come and say "goodbye" to my house last week; the kitchen valances I made in 1986 were still hanging over the kitchen sink! That was both a little scary and also a little bittersweet.
As long as I can remember, I have loved fabrics and daydreaming about what could be created with it. When I was in high school, local department stores J.C. Penney, Foley's and my favorite, the family owned Sakowitz stores, had fabric departments that I would roam around in for hours looking at patterns and fabrics. Sakowitz went out of business a number of years ago and Foley's has been taken over by Macy's, and the fabric departments disappeared long before the stores closed or changed hands.
I took sewing classes at J.C. Penney's, too. I remember buying all of my class supplies there, and agonizing over which sewing kit to purchase. I ended up choosing a light blue and white gingham kit that I still have somewhere. For the first several years of my business, I sewed my client window treatments on my mom's Singer sewing machine that Dad had won in a sales contest when I was in high school. I took that machine to college so that I could sew while I was away from home.
My mom sewed when we were younger. With five kids, it was practical to be able to make a few things. She hated sewing! We all knew that we should stay out of her way when she was trying to work on a sewing project. As a matter of fact, here is part of a poem I wrote for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary several years ago:
"People often ask me if my mom taught me to sew...
After I stop laughing, I have to tell them "NO!"
For my mom, sewing was an earthly form of hell;
There'd be pattern pieces flying, and curse words I can't tell.
We'd close the door and hope that mom would get a grip,
But every seam she sewed was a seam she'd have to rip!
But if I think about it...Mom DID help me to sew:
She drove me to sewing class at J.C. Penney Co.!
, Of course, she really wasn't cursing while sewing, but it fit well into the poem so I had to include it for dramatic efffect - sorry Mom!
My mom's birthday was last week and she, my dad and I had lunch together this week to celebrate. The photo above is my lovely, sweet, funny mother.
Happy birthday, Mom, I love you and I'm glad you're my mom!!!
Both of my parents have been tremendously supportive of me, my business, and of course, my sewing. In a future post, I will write about and showcase some of the beautiful woodwork my dad has done for my office and for some of my projects.