Textiles and Me

For as long as I can remember, I have loved textiles and sewing.  My mother gave me an old sock when I was very little and I laboriously hand sewed a little doll from it.  I still have that doll and if I can find it, I will show it to you one day.  I played with that doll, drew a face on it and enjoyed it for a long time.  It wasn’t like I didn’t have other dolls.  I got a doll every Christmas and had a whole family of them, but because I had made this doll, it was special to me. I have been sewing with needles since I could hold one in my hand and know what to do with it.

I remember Mother getting a new Singer sewing machine one year.  She was so proud of that machine and it is on that machine I learned to sew.  Plus having six years of Home Economics where I learned to sew clothes and drapes.  I remember Mother sewing clothes for me.  It was so fun for me to go to JC Penney’s with her and pick out the fabric and coming home and helping to cut out an outfit and Mother sewing it.  I remember a plaid dress,  a red and white dotted swiss dress with a big velvet sash(that I wore to the Ruth Lyons television show in Cincinnati)  and several other outfits.  I always had to have new clothes for the beginning of school, for Easter, for Christmas and other times.  Mother made most of them.  I also got hand me downs from my cousins in Detroit who had very expensive clothes.  To tell you the truth, I didn’t like wearing hand me downs except for my brothers’ pajamas.  Yes, I wore my brothers’ hand me down pajamas and was proud of it.

When I got old enough to be in 4-H I learned to embroider and to do Huck weaving.  I sewed a pillow cover and a dresser scarf(do people use dresser scarves any longer?)  and made dish towels with Huck weaving on them.  I still have those towels.  Yes, I don’t get rid of anything.

The love of textiles grew as I grew. In seventh grade I had a Home Economics teacher, Miss Glunt.  She wore dresses to her ankles and those old lady black shoes you see in old movies.  Her hair was always in a neat bun.  She was a stickler for doing things right.  You had to rip out anything she didn’t think was done properly.  I sewed a Kelly green straight skirt with a matching jacket and a green and white printed blouse in her class.  We had a style show and I was so proud to model that outfit.  In later years I sewed several outfits in Home Ec. One year my very best friend and I went shopping and bought the exact same material, a floral pique and bought the same pattern and we made matching dresses and we got to model them together in the  style show that year.   Now that’s friendship when you are willing to wear the same outfit together!

One year I modeled an empire waist dress.  I remember feeling so beautiful in that dress.  Kind of like Cinderella.  I was not a bit afraid of walking out on stage and modeling that dress, I loved it so much.  I guess you could say I am a model. Ha!

When we had children, I sewed for them.  One year I made myself and one of my sons outfits and we modeled together in a city style show.  It was a contest and I was hoping to win a prize.  I think I got second or third place.

This is just to say, I love textiles.  I love the feel of fabric and yarns.  I can look for hours online at all the beautiful fabrics that are offered on so many sites. How my mother would have loved it.  She never lived to see computers so widely used.  I am trying so hard not to buy any new fabric because I really need to use up what I have which can never be done if I sewed continuously for the next twenty years.   I can’t believe the choices there are and that new ideas just keep coming.   I have favorite fabric designers, but that can change at any time as new ones are always producing new fabrics.

I sewed my own clothes for many years until I got into quilting and sewing clothes went by the wayside.  I sew skirts for myself and recently I sewed a dress, but I don’t like how it fits so not sure how much I will wear it.  I have a couple of favorite blouse patterns that I use occasionally, but that’s the extent of my clothes sewing.


This is a skirt I am working on.  I have hundreds of old hankies, another textile I love,  and I used one in the pockets on the skirt.  I can make a skirt in an afternoon.  It’s relaxing to sew and I get lost in the making of something that can be of use.


This is a purse I made for Easter.  It cost me next to nothing as I used odds and ends of felt and fabric I had around my shop.

I have a whole lot more to say about textiles, but I will save it for my next post.  Hope you have some textiles you love in your life.  A favorite blouse, skirt, pillowcase.  Surround yourself with textiles you love.  Bye.

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