Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Show-and-Tell Tuesday: How I learned to sew

I'm joining Pieces in her fun idea for "Show-and-Tell Tuesday." I thought I'd share some quirky things around the house that have to do with crafting.

This little apron is my very first machine-sewing project. I made it as a 4-H project during the summer I was 8 years old, so that would have been 1965. Cotton gingham was the fabric of choice for all 4-H aprons, and I remember my mother taking me shopping at Hemmingsen's in our little town of Auburn, Nebraska so I could pick out whatever color I wanted. That's where we also got the plastic "apron ring" to slip through the casing instead of making ties for the waist -- an odd gizmo that I've never seen in stores since then.

I washed and starched this little relic last night in honor of its photo op today, and looked closely at the machine stitching along the casings and hems. Yep, it was still the same as it was nearly 42 years ago. A little crooked, with the thread broken every few inches - evidence of where I'd corrected off-the-edge stitching mishaps while learning to use our old Singer sewing machine. Mother was wonderful at assuaging my angst when the apron earned only a lowly white ribbon at the county fair. I'd sewed every stitch myself, and that alone was something to be proud of, she said - and those words must have had an effect on me, because my white ribbon didn't squelch my interest in sewing one bit.

I entered two other machine-sewing projects in the fair that year -- a potholder to match my apron (that's when I learned what cotton batting was) and a pincushion made out of a scrap of rather ghastly brown wool we had at home. It was one of those triangular pincushions with a strap of elastic on it so you could wear it on your wrist. It was stuffed to the max with cut-up bits of Mother's old nylons -- always our stuffing of choice in those days before easy-to-find fiberfill. The potholder earned a middle-of-the-road red ribbon, and the pincushion earned a blue, so that cheered me up a lot. But of the three projects, the mistake-ridden apron is the only one I've kept all these years. Lessons learned - warm memories cherished.

And that's what I have for Show-and-Tell Tuesday. If you post something, too, be sure to let me know!


Wool Winder said...

I remember those plastic rings. My mother must have had an apron like that. Mom sewed all of our clothes in the 60s. I would sit at the kitchen table watching intently while she worked all day on her black Singer Featherweight. Wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing your story.

Pieces said...

What a great show and tell! I've never seen an apron ring like that. I love the story of your first sewing projects and your ribbons. Thanks for joining me today--it is fun to have company!

JorieJC2 said...

Thanks for your note over at crafting for a cause. I am still not 100% understanding how this blogspot stuff works, but i thought I'd come over here and say hi :) Hope to see you around these here internet ethers :)

Maureen said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am working on a preemie hat at the computer right now. I enjoyed looking back through your posts! Wonderful knitting and quilting projects! You have kept me inspired to continue my work on the preemie hats for our NICU!

Joe said...

Oh boy, I remember all THREE of those projects!!! The brown wool pin cushion was around for a loooooong time...it never followed you to college or anywhere else. White elastic, as I recall.

What fun...and I can't believe you still have that apron!!!

lindiepindie said...

What a fun apron to have from when you were young! I imagine the apron rings went quickly out of fashion when one toddler after another pulled a little too hard and aprons started landing on the floors of kitchens across America. :o)

I made some heart-shaped cushions for friends when I was 12. I think one friend still has hers. I stuffed it with bits of fabric - it was VERY heavy. :o)

www.jaen-3d.com said...

For my part one and all have to go through this.