Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sew and Sew

 Cleaning shelves
recently at my Mother's house
In New Zealand

 I found her Elna Sewing machine handbook

 Bought before I was born

 The sewing machine
produced most of the garments
we wore as children

until we learned to sew
and made our own

 The sewing machine could even embroider

 In a back pocket of the handbook
I found the original guarantee
from the Robertson reversible Sewing Machine Co

My mother's three girls
dressed in their beautiful dresses
But my favourite dress 
was a red spotted summer number
with matching red piping,
hence the caption on the postcard above



  1. These things are a delight to discover, aren't they? Your mother's sewing machine handbook, so beautifully preserved and the 'proof of the pudding' in the charming photograph of you and your sisters.

  2. That postcard is so adorable! You must have been a spunky little girl to love the red spots best -- and not the demure pastel dress.

    My mother and grandmother used to make me lovely clothes. Wistful feelings for the loss of all that.

  3. What an amazing find. wonder what happened to the machine?

  4. So many memories attached to that little machine! The three of you are adorable all sitting sweetly in a row.

    My mother sewed beautifully too - I was always proud to wear her fabrications as they never looked homemade. I sewed my own wedding gown with the skills I learned from my mother and if I do say so myself it was elegant.

    Does your mother ever get to see your blog Delwyn? So many memories recorded here that she would surely treasure.

  5. Hi Bonnie

    I often print out posts that I think Mum would enjoy and send them over to her. I recently gave her the albatross posts from Kauai and she loved them. Remember the post I wrote with my Father's drawings from when he was a child? Well we incorporated some of that post into the service brochure for the funeral and it came up very well and inspired a lot of chat.

    Like you I sewed right up until I moved to Australia and found K mart for the kid's clothing and a sarong for me! But I did have a little comeback and made many dresses for our last daughter.

    Now I want a sewing machine to make art... particularly of the mailing variety....

    Happy days

  6. Hi Noela

    I imagine it was given away. My mother loves to recycle belongings...

    Happy days

  7. Your photo could be of me and my 2 sisters, Delwyn, our mother sewed some of our clothes too. The sewing machine beckons me too, after receiving a sewn postcard art myself.

  8. roughterrain craneJuly 31, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    I can imagine how she was pleased at buying the machine for her family.

  9. What a treasure. I learned to sew in high school and bought my first sewing machine at a pawn shop for $20. I made all of my clothes throughout high school. You have some great memories here. Blessings!

  10. Most women our age know how to sew, our mothers sewed. We all made our own clothes. I learned to sew when I was about 9 or 10 using my mother's old Singer. Made many of my clothes in high school and college. My daughter never learned how to sew though because by that time I had mostly stopped, too busy. I recently had my machine cleaned, oiled and put to rights and am teaching my g'girls how to sew. It's been fun for me, reacquainting myself with sewing.

  11. My mom sewed a lot of clothes for us as well. Love the picture of three sisters.

  12. Thanks, Delwyn, this brought back such fond memories of dresses, skirts and coats made by my mother so I could be well dressed despite not having much money. I remember vividly my favorite yellow smocked summer dress when I was 7 years old.

  13. It is always fun to find old stuff I think-- the memories are important.
    So you are going to Japan in November- how wonderful. I myself am coming to Honolulu in Nov. but will not be going on to Kauai. I received your fabulous card from NZ, and that got me going on my card back to you, today. I apparently need these sort of prompts. :-)
    happy days..

  14. My mother had an Elna too and passed on many tricks. My Brother is sitting on the table right now, taking up sleeves that are too long. Mum used to do my hair the same as the middle sister; always neat with fresh bows each day.

    Whenever I get the machine out I think of Mum.

  15. These memories are priceless, Delwyn. The photo of you and your sisters makes me smile. Are you the sis with the dot?


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