Monday, April 13, 2009

Little Blessings

Recently, my favourite pastime has been reading other people's blogs (usually one after another) and in the process learning about new painting and sewing techniques. I love to read about how each person got started sewing whether it was a grandmother or mother who started them off to sewing their own clothes or that of their dolls.

My mother was a very experienced seamstress and could manipulate any piece of material into a beautiful garment even without the use of patterns. I would have loved to have learned everything she knew but unfortunately never got the chance as she passed away when I was four years old. My mother's sister quickly stepped in and became the mother figure that me and my siblings look up to, to this day.

It was during the spring of 1987 with my (grad reception looming) that I was taught a valuable lesson and developed a driving need to learn about sewing I never thought I had in me. I was approached by a friend and told that she could have my grad dress sewn for me. I was very excited throughout the months of planning until the day of or the day before the grad reception when I was informed that the dress would not be finished due to time constraints and that I would have to make do with whatever was in my closet. I guess that things are not always what they seem. That night at the reception I vowed to myself that I would never again rely on someone to do something for me that I could learn to do for myself. Somehow that negative experience was a true blessing in "heavy" disguise because without ever having experienced that I would have never been propelled into learning how to sew. I am still trying to squeeze out some lemonade from those sour lemons by trying to learn everything there is through books, mags, and tutorials.

After graduation I took private lessons from a seamstress who had worked in some couture ateliers in Europe and proceeded to go home and duplicate everything I had learned in a second garment so I would not forget the techniques. I was taught the basics at first then jacket tailoring, hemming, finishing seams, handsewn buttonholes (which I still can not master perfectly), etc......I am by no means an experienced seamstress. Just a couple of months ago I learned what a Full Bust Adjustment was and I'm looking forward to trying it out on a shirt or blouse. I probably will not get it right away. Maybe on my fourth attempt but I am dead set on learning everything there is to know.

My biggest supporter to this day has been my mom (mom's sister) because she would always tell me to go ahead and purchase material I loved regardless of the cost and to believe in my abilities. She would tell me and still does that even if I ruin a piece I will get some experience (knowledge) out of it for the next one. I had seen a blue wool material once which I swooned over and she bought it for me on the sly and lugged it on the bus and metro (we live an hour from downtown) to surprise me when I got home. Just keep in mind that she is only 5'2 and this material which was 5 meters of heavy wool weighed about 1/3 of her weight. She huffed and puffed but managed to get it home. She is my little firecracker and I love her.

I guess that true blessings come in many forms we do not recognize but only in hindsight do we seriously realise the magnitude of their existence.


  1. This almost made me cry. My mom raised my cousins (the 2 who were still at home when her sister dies. Their dad had died years earlier. My cousins were 12 and 16 so not as young as you. Our pastor talked about how we learn from making mistakes on Easter Sunday. If that wasn't true I would never have learned anything. Most of what I know I have learned through my blunders and that includes in my sewing1

  2. Wow what an interesting insight into your sewing history - I love hearing about how people get "bit" by the sewing bug :)
    Your mom (mom's sister) sounds like a real treasure, what a wonderful woman :)