Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Apron Appreciation

My mother learned to sew when I was in fourth grade. Back then, it was cheaper to make your own clothes, so she made dresses, mostly for herself, but sometimes for her daughters. One of the first projects I remember her doing was matching mother and daughter dresses for herself and the three of us girls. Sleeveless A-line dresses with a ruffle along the bottom, in a beautiful white fabric with large red daisies on it.

Here is a piece of the leftover daisy fabric, which I found recently. I absolutely love it! Always did. I wish Mom had saved the dresses, but they are long since gone.

When I was in sixth grade she offered me sewing lessons given by a local department store. I was good at it and liked it, though by high school I rather resented being expected to make any new clothes I wanted. I was envious of girls whose Mom's made them lots of pretty clothes. But, honestly, with five kids in my family by then, I knew that was beyond my mom's capabilities. In any case, I got enough practice at it that by high school I was able to take a basic pattern and make some creative changes to it. Like the time I copied a dress worn by Barbra Streisand in "Funny Girl". LOL

For decades I did not value or appreciate my sewing skills, even though in my early twenties, I was able to make my wedding dress from a beautiful Vogue pattern. It had a gorgeous French lace and hand glued pearls. (I couldn't find anything I liked off the rack.) I thought sewing skills were pretty mundane... "traditional women's work", but I've come to appreciate the talent and skill required. Mostly, I like the creative aspect of it and the uniqueness of whatever I've made because I almost never follow a pattern or directions exactly as they are presented. I haven't made my own clothes for decades, though I do have a few special pieces waiting to be made now. I gravitated to more artistic sewing...quilts and such.

I inherited all of my mom's fabric, most of it scraps, because she pretty much bought a pattern and fabric and made it, before she bought anything else. But there was a pretty little flower patterned fabric (three and half yards) that she bought and never got around to making whatever she had planned for it.

I decided to make matching aprons for my sisters and I from it. Two of my mom's skills and favorite things to do were baking and sewing, so this seems like an appropriate way to honor of her and put the fabric to good use. Here is the first one.

P.S. I just realized, as I was reminiscing about that first dress I made in sewing class that it was made from a daisy fabric also! Tiny white daisies on a turquoise background. How funny!

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