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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Seamstress

For some reason I was thinking about the lost art of sewing this week. I think it might be because I was at a street party with my neighbor, Wendy, who is a professional seamstress, and I am simply in awe of the cool things she sews and creates. In particular, we were at a baby shower for our neighbor Stephanie a couple of weeks ago and Wendy  made the mom-to-be a really cute long john onesie sleeper. It might sound like nothing much but when you're used to buying baby clothes from stores it really is a novelty to see something that was actually created by hand.

I feel like I can really appreciate this handiwork because I come from a family of seamstresses. My Mémère Moquin (my maternal [thanks for the catch, Aunt Sher] grandmother) was a seamstress who took in sewing to help support the family. She made my mother's wedding dress and many dresses and other articles of clothing while I was growing up. On Sundays when we would visit her we would always be toting a bag of things to mend or shorten. Then, her daughter, my Aunt Jackie, took up where she left off, making her daughter brenda's, as well as my sister's, wedding dress and most of her own clothing. Her daughter, Brenda, took over from there and has made clothes for years. 

Obviously Aline's (my mother!) daughter's did not inherit Mémère's grand sewing skills, and unfortunately for our family, I think the legacy of sewing will end with cousin Brenda. (EXCEPT for my mother-in-law Pat who has sewn for years and took up quilting just 10 years ago, and has since made hundreds of quilts and other amazing and beautiful home accent items such as runners, wall hangings, purses, placemats...you name it.)

Still, it seems like not too many young people sew these days, and with all the school budget cuts I wonder if it's even offered in schools anymore. What a shame. It's such a cool skill to have and a true dying art.

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