Skip to content


2012 March 29
by elizabeth_admin

After cranking out two dresses in the last 10 days, life is getting in the way of my sewing machines.  It took me two days to recover from my sewing hangover.  Last night’s excuse, however, was a wonderful performance of “Death of a Salesman” last night.  This weekend though, I am unexpectedly traveling back home to Chicago. 

My grandmother passed away this week so Jack and I are going back for her wake and funeral this weekend.  I think I may have mentioned this once before, but my grandmother sewed.  She worked in an upholstery factory I believe.  I remember that she made me a dress once for my birthday.  Of course, I didn’t appreciate it like I should have, far preferring toys to clothes at that age.  I still feel badly about my reaction.  So sewing goes way back in my family in one form or another.  Although I think I sew for vastly different reasons than my grandmother or my mother ever did.  I sew as a creative outlet, and they did because it was either their profession (my grandmother) or because it was a way to clothe yourself and others more cheaply than RTW (my mom).  And now my mom quilts for pleasure. 

It’s a cycle really.  Life.  What we do or don’t do and for what reasons.  I know sewing is “fashionable” now.  I hope it remains “fashionable” for a long time.  I love it.  Selfishly, I hope more and more 20-somethings “get into” sewing in the near term.  We need to keep the independent fabric and notion stores open and keep the business thriving and evolving, especially garment fabric stores.  The more people who start sewing and start loving it, the better. 

I hope you all have a good sewing weekend.  When I get back home, I’m going to sew a dress in honor of my grandmother and the dress she once made me as a little girl.

17 Responses leave one →
  1. Karen Mulkey permalink
    March 29, 2012

    I love this post as my Grandma taught me to sew and I’ve been sewing ever since. Grandma sewed for others to make money. During the depression she made women suits out of discarded men’s suits. The men’s pants were cut up to make a four gore skirt and the jackets were remade to fit a woman’s shape (can you just image all the ripping and hard work?). When i was a child she was a furrier mainly repairing and refashioning fur coats. My sister and I had such fun petting the furs – don’t hate me PETA! Anyway I have such fun memories of her teaching me my favorite passion. I know you will honor your Grandma this weekend and in years to come.

  2. jillnjosh permalink
    March 29, 2012

    My condolences on your loss.

    Bring a variety of clothing – it’s supposed to get as high as 80 on Sunday, depending on where you are.

  3. March 29, 2012

    I am very sorry to hear about your Grandmother. I think sewing a dress would be a lovely tribute.

  4. March 29, 2012

    Sorry to hear about your grandma. 🙁 It’s so hard to lose someone we are close to, even though we know that it’s part of the cycle of life. I think a new dress would be a very nice way to honor her memory. 🙂

  5. March 29, 2012

    That is a wonderful way to honor the memory of your Grandmother!

  6. Meredith P permalink
    March 29, 2012

    So sorry to hear about your Grandmother’s passing. I hope you have a safe and fulfilling trip. And definitely make a “granny dress” when you return.

    You have inspired me to work on a version of B5147, even though I’m trying to lose a tremendous amount of weight right now. What the heck, I’ll have that fitted dress down pat if I make (and fit) several over the summer. I certainly need some TNTs, that’s for sure. I just love all your versions, but especially the colorblocked one in fuschia and orange. Looks like intense sherbert! Yummy!

  7. Rosie permalink
    March 29, 2012

    My condolences to you and your family. I am sure Grandma is already smiling just knowing that you are contemplating sewing a dress in her honor. Have a safe trip!

  8. March 29, 2012

    I’m so sorry about your Grandma. What a treasure, though, that you’ll always feel that connection to her through sewing.

  9. March 29, 2012

    I’m so sorry about your grandma! 🙁 have a safe trip

  10. March 29, 2012

    So sorry about your grandmother, safe travel

  11. March 29, 2012

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother.

  12. Elaray permalink
    March 30, 2012

    You post resonated with me. My grandmother sewed and taught her two daughters (one of whom was my mother) to sew. I sew, but my daughter has no interest at all in sewing. Sometimes I feel like I dropped the ball. I also wondered if sewing is really “in fashion” as you said. Thanks to online connections, we know other people who sew, but are the numbers actually increasing? Are more 20-somethings sewing or are we just more aware of the ones who are? Anyway, I’ll be thinking of “sewing” ways I can honor the memories of my mother and grandmother.

  13. March 30, 2012

    I’m so sorry about your grandmother. How she would love you honoring her with a special dress. The perfect celebration of her life. I’ll hold you in my heart this weekend… safe travels. xoxoS

  14. March 30, 2012

    So sorry for your loss. Safe travels.

  15. Judi permalink
    March 30, 2012

    Your grandmother gave a beautiful gift to this world…your mother and you.

    How you reacted to the dress she made when you were a child was normal…because you were just a child and most children want toys. Granted, it wasn’t a good reaction, but I did the exact same thing and yes I do remember it.

    You are young and might not realize this for 30 more years: Those of us who remember and feel bad about things WE said or did that hurt other people are soooo blest in comparason to those who spend a lifetime remembering and feeling bad about things other people said or did to them!!! That mght not make much sense to you now, but it will someday.

    Making yourself a dress in her memory is wrapping yourself in her love!!!

  16. Lisa permalink
    April 1, 2012

    So very sorry to hear of your grandmother’s passing. My grandmother also sewed for a living, my mother sewed for us girls as an affordable alternative to buying ready to wear, and I sewed tons for my daughters when they were little.
    Today, as I went to cut out the pattern for the second dress I am making–made the first one for Bryn–my 4 yr old granddaughter–the second is for her little sister Elle–my new puppy, Minnie, ate the yoke front and back of the pattern!!
    I see that you sewed this pattern too, it’s Simplicity New Look 6016. Would you possibly be able to email me the yokes (numbers 9 & 10) so I can finish the dress for little Ellie? I feel terrible asking someone, yet hate to spend money on another pattern for just the yokes.
    Thank you in advance for any help you can give, from one sewer to another.

  17. April 7, 2012

    I too loved my Nanny who died years ago and I think of her and miss her still. I am sorry to hear of your loss and here’s to wonderful grandparents.

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

  • Follow SEWN...
  • My Weapons of Mass Construction

    Singer Featherweight 221 (1938)
    Baby Lock Imagine
    Brother 2340CV
    Husqvarna Viking Emerald 183
    RIP: Brother 1034D
  • Translation

  • I’m a proud member of

  • I support

    Project 95
  • Archives

  • Categories

  • The Trench Sew Along