May 12, 2013

Mother's Influence and My Blog View

Mother's Day is today and I have been saving up until today to write about my mother. I have mentioned in previous posts that she is the source of my thimble collection and much of my enthusiasm for sewing. I have her sewing machine as a constant reminder of her devotion to me and her craft.
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 As my brother once stated  to a young friend, "My Mom can do anything".
My friends envied my clothes because she could replicate anything from the pages of Seventeen magazine. This picture of me with Mom and Dad is taken before my brother's wedding in 1964. Why we thought the driveway was an appropriate setting eludes me. Mom made my bridesmaid's dress and her dress. Dad had to go store bought.

Mom also made the bridal gown which must be a rare thing for a mother-in-law to be to create the bride's gown. I don't know if we kept it out of view of my brother. Two of the attendants can be seen in the background. We had brocade dresses in fall colors. My sister-in-laws dress had a lot of beautiful details that I do not have pictures of.

When I married in 1967 my self-designed dress was much simpler.
I can show you the details because I still have the dress although it was not well-preserved. The beautiful silk linen fabric has deteriorated to a crispy tan and the simple train is missing and I am a bit fuzzy on this but I think I am wearing the same veil and crown as my sister-in-law.


Here it is today. It doesn't fit this mannequin any better than it fits me!

The neckline is trimmed with tatting from a handkerchief made by a great aunt. Nice that it turned the same color as the fabric. I asked for all the pin-tucks. I always liked that detail which is repeated on the skirt. Mom covered every little button. I can't believe I EVER got into this.
Mom made dresses for numerous other bridesmaids and  even a wedding gown for a friend. She could also slip cover and upholster furniture and made draperies. She was completely self-taught until she took up smocking.  She did sign up for instructions on the process but turning the work into clothing was a breeze for her.

 This is my daughter who was a late in life child who came along when her brothers were in high school. Mom could really show her skills with a grand-daughter. All of the following dresses were made for her.

Here is my grand-daughter (child of eldest son) wearing one of her aunt's special dresses. She just turned two a month ago and it fit perfectly. I am saving them in case of a "direct descendant" from my daughter!
Computer to left of the tape dispenser. My serger sits on my drawing/cutting table.
 My Blog View
In response to my blogging British friend at Wolves In London I am posting a picture of the view from my sewing/blogging room. I like to refer to this messy space as the shop. I do not have a view of a gigantic cactus as "Wolves" had, but a mundane suburban view of the neighbor's house with all of it's vehicles. It is minus the net encased trampoline so far this year. It has a nice north light and lots of chances to see dog-walkers and kids on scooters and bikes. In place of a cactus I have a low-growing Japanese maple that I love to gaze at when it is in leaf. The curtains are gauzy so even if I want to have a bit of privacy, I can spy through them.


  1. I love this. The pictures are great.

  2. Crikey, what a talented family! Those dresses are absolutely amazing.

    I love your view as well, that house looks (to my English eyes) like every house I imagine should be in America! So much space, so much sky, so much green, compared to what I see... About the only similarity is that I have a Japanese maple in my back garden as well!

  3. (I just wrote this comment before but I think it got swallowed, so sorry if it shows up twice now...)

    Wow, what an amazingly talented family! Those dresses are just beautiful, I adore your wedding dress especially.

    Thanks for sharing your view too. It looks (to my English eyes) like a classic American vista. The grass! The sky! The huge houses! I think the only thing in common with my small, cramped outlook is that I also have a Japanese maple in my garden...

    Lovely to see it.


  4. I too have those kinds of memories, but my view from my sewing machine is not out a window. I have sewing room in my basement, so the messy room is what I look at. Not very inspiring, but... Great post.