Thursday, June 7, 2012

Beth's Great Grandma Being Crafty!

Sometimes I just have to laugh at myself considering myself "crafty."  Like it's a big deal to make some of my kids' clothes, or make a meal or two without a recipe, or give homemade gifts instead of buying, or reusing and repurposing things to make them last.  When my grandma and great-grandma were raising their families, it was just...what they did.  All the time.  Without any fanfare or credit.  And it's what everyone else did too.  But I do think that my grandma would be happy to see her sewing machine getting use, even if it's not as much as when she was busy with it all the time. And if I keep plugging away at it, maybe someday my kids' wardrobes will be more handmade than bought (I better be quick, so that happens before they start refusing handmade clothes!)

 And I do think, even though I never met her, that if my great-grandma Martha could see her great-great-granddaughter here in the dress she made and hand-embroidered for my grandma, that she would be proud that her handiwork has lasted almost 100 years, and that it looks so dang cute on Little Sister.

Ack!  How sweet is this?  Just the right size now.
Little Sister showing off the hand-embroidered details
Look at those details on the collar and sleeve!  And hand-made button loops!  And the pierced detail at the waist! 
The embroidered flowers are repeated at the hem

I love how the black details keep it from being TOO cutesy.
And then black mary-janes don't look too heavy with it (HA-like Iris
would let me pick her shoes.)
It does make me wonder if any of the things I'm making are still going to look sweet in 90 years.  I'm pretty sure most of my upcycled projects don't have quite as timeless of a look.  Good thing most of the dresses I make only take an hour or two!  I'm not sure I'm cut out for heirloom-style kids' clothing.  But just in case, I'm planning on holding on to the stuff I make--even if they look dated when my grandkids fit into them, that would still be fun to see :)

Hey, while we're at it--here's Little Sister wearing a dress that my grandma (the one who originally wore the pink-and-white number above) made for me, so...circa 1980.

As if you couldn't tell when it was made just by looking at it.
And here's one that my mom made for me.  I was a flower girl in a wedding.  It's 100% silk--for a toddler!  Can you imagine?  It was the same fabric as the bridesmaids dresses. Little Sister wore it for Easter this year, and she didn't even ruin it.

Piped collar, waist, and sleeves--something I have yet to try.  
Back view. It was a wee bit short, but that's what leggings are for!

So, on the subject of my crafty heritage, I have been using my grandma's sewing machine for years now, as I mentioned above.  Recently my mom also passed Grandma's serger on to me.  It's been sitting at Mom's house for a long time, and when I took it to a big sewing center to have it checked out and serviced, they told me it was all locked up, probably rusted, and that if they were to fix it it would probably cost as much as a new one so I might as well take it to the dump.  I was sooooo disappointed--I had really started to get excited about having a serger.  Well, before dumping it, a friend took it to a friend who fixes sewing machines to take a look just in case, and...VOILA!


He fixed it!  It works beautifully (or so he tells me; I have no idea how to work it yet.)  He fully cleaned and restored it, and he charged me less than a regular old service at the sewing center.  I'm so excited!  If you are in the Seattle area and need sewing machine or serger service, I will give you his number; he was GREAT.
Lookie!  My machine did that!
 Now I'll be able to make these lovely outfits pictured on the manual, right?  Can't wait ;)
Just say YES to denim-yoke blouses.
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