Sunday, 2 August 2009

My Sewing Inspiration

Who inspired you to sew? Someone asked me the other day. My inspiration, like many others, was my mother, but my mother is like no other. What makes her so special is her determination, patience, creativity, generosity, and I have never met anyone who can sew like her.

Growing up during World War II in England, my mother’s house was bombed on Christmas Eve. Luckily, she, her mother, and brother were in the Anderson shelter so all survived, but a few days later, she and her brother were evacuated into the country.

Their new home was dreadful. A mean lady took them in for the money. My mother was forced to look after the old lady and a houseful of dogs and cats. The few toys they had were confiscated and food was severely rationed. Any extra money my grandmother sent for food, my mother and her brother never saw.
When the lady died, my mother and her brother finally found relief and went to live in Lancaster Castle with a bunch of other children, some nuns, and prisoners.
You see, Lancaster Castle also operated as a prison. In fact, back in 1899, only 30+ years before, children had also been imprisoned here with adults, but to my mother and her brother, life suddenly opened up to them and the world never seemed so exciting.

They had almost nothing, but my mother and her brother would escape into a fantasy world by creating art with everything and anything at hand. They painted with berries and dead caterpillars and fashioned murals out of shrapnel. My mother even once found an old yellow raincoat and discovered when you cut it and placed it right sides together, it stuck together. She made doll’s clothes for dolls she didn’t even own. Who knew this was the beginning of her sewing career?

Tomorrow – Read about Coming to America – my mother’s journey to Hollywood to design costumes for the stars.
p.s. - Who was your sewing inspiration?


Nannieflash said...

Wow Michele you certainly have quite a family history. My mum also has always done sewing and she used to make our clothes and when my sister and I joined a dancing class, she even made their costumes. Ive sort of followed in her footsteps and have even made my children clothes, though not recently and I now repair and take up others peoples clothes instead. Take care with love and hugs Shirleyxxxx

Merry said...

What an amazing story Michele...thanks so much for sharing. It is amazing what we have now in such a short amount of time compared to our parents. I am inspired by my Mum also who can sew anything. I need patterns to sew but my Mum you take her to a shop and say I like that and she can just whip up a look a like.

clare's craftroom said...

What an absolutely wonderful story .I have no idea where my craftiness came from , my beautiful mum can't thread a needle , but she's gorgeous anyway .

michele said...

Thank you for the wonderful comments. I wonder if there's anyone who learned to sew from their father?

cindy said...

you mom and her brother had such a harrowing childhood. it's incredible what young people can endure and overcome. very interesting story.

Bette's Bags said...

I can't wait for the next installment.