I'd like to tell y'all the truth about sewing. It's something that I have always longed to learn how to do. Neither my mom or Na Na sew. When my Me Me died, my parents gave me some of her old things. Among the lady-like gloves, 1930's style hats and dainty handkerchiefs they gave me her old sewing kit. Inside I found needles and thread from the fifties and tons of buttons and snaps. It was a treasure, a piece of my grandmother that I never got to know.
You see, my Me Me wasn't the same Penny that sewed, wore elegant gloves or adorned her stylish up-do with a hat. My Me Me sat in a chair, inside a living room, with an oxygen tank and a pack of cigarettes. Me Me couldn't get up to greet me. She suffered from a hyrnia and wasn't much for socializing. She loved her family but by the time we were old enough to socialize we didn't quite understand why Me Me seemed so upset all the time. Grandpa was the one to greet us at the door, make us chocolate cake and watch us skate around the block. He picked out our Christmas gifts and hung the stockings up the staircase. We tried to get Me Me to play with us but she just couldn't. Her nurse was constantly by her side making us feel uncomfortable during our brief visits each summer and every other holiday. My idea of Me Me wasn't very lovely.
Even though she passed away shortly after my grandfather while I was in college, it wasn't until later years that I began to see Penny instead of Me Me. I have a picture of her and my grandfather all dressed up and ready to go out on the town. My granddad was a Vice President of J.C. Penny's (he would let us pick anything from the Christmas catalog that we wanted) and when they were younger they were pretty high society. My dad tells me how feisty his mother used to be and my mom says that Penny could beat anyone in a drinking game. She was full of life, energy, and love. She took time to wear the pretty gloves, adorn fur coats, and even sew for her children.
Having her sewing kit reminds me of the Penny I hope to meet someday. The Penny that would sit down with her granddaughter and teach her how to wind a bobbin thread. The Penny that would tell me not to lose my patience when I sew something backward or would show me how to attach entredeux to french lace. The Penny that would say, "I'm proud of the woman you have become."
I sew to bring forth a legacy I didn't know existed. Maybe one day my girls will want to learn the craft and make clothes for their children and their children's children to wear. It isn't just fabric, needlework or expensive lace, it is a heritage, a special gift to give those I might not ever get to meet. It is a part of me that lives on with them.
My skills are not superb but they suffice. My smocking is not always centered but the dresses are unique. Even though the day has been long and the couch presents itself so comfy and warm, I retire to the office each night to craft these outfits for my loved ones. Husband works on the computer and I sit in my upright chair with the lamp burning brightly so I can see my work. I mutter words of disgust and then of glee after I solve a problem. Fabric is strewn across the floor and thread is in the carpet to remind me of projects complete.
I sew to make memories.
Till next time, let your light shine!
Truth #1 – The Truth
Truth #2 – I hate laundry
Truth #3 – I’m bad at memorization
Truth #4 – My dogs drive me crazy
Truth #5 – I’m scared at getting in trouble
Truth #6 – I was nervous to start N2S
Truth #7 – I like to dance
Truth #8 – I enjoy a simple life
Truth #10 -I love a clean closet
Truth #11 – I am never satisfied with me
Truth #12 - I have a short temper
Truth #13 - I love things