Saturday, May 5, 2012


I do not remember ever breaking a toy. I actually think that I've accidentally broken way more things as an adult than I did as a child. Including toys. Luckily, Hubs can fix anything.

When DoodleBug and I went to visit Mimi (my mother) on Thursday, we pulled out the old Singer sewing machine because Mimi's machine is not just broken. It died. She's been sewing clothes for the lovelies and me on her machine since 1989. Including prom dresses and Breezy's wedding gown.

 I was reminded of playing around with her sewing machine when I was growing up. That was my first clue that I would not be a seamstress. Ever. No patience.

The first time Mother let me sew something all by myself, I was pretty excited. It was like a milestone- being old enough to be left alone to sew on the machine. Especially for someone who comes from a family of some amazing seamstresses.

I do not remember what it was I was making--a shirt or a dress--but I remember NOT being able to get it right. Just the simple side seams were not a problem.

But those #$%$ sleeves were. I sew the armholes up. Undid them. I sewed the wrong sleeve on the wrong side. Undid them. I sewed the sleeves closed. Undid them.

The next time I tried to sew something was after I had children of my own. When I made Breezy a rag doll. I suck at sewing. Totally. I know it and I'm ok with it.

I'm quite content living with the memories of the women in the family who could sew so beautifully--which would be all of them except me.

I didn't get that particular gene.

But I did enjoy wearing the clothes. So did the lovelies. As a matter of fact, Mimi still makes clothes for us. And Birdie got the gene! She's already sewing aprons and quilts and skirts.

It is nice to know that someone will be continuing the sewing tradition for the next generation.

This post is part of the NaBloPoMo for May. The theme is PLAY and they provide prompts for those who want/need them. BUT you do NOT have to stick to the theme. You just have to post every day. The prompt that inspired this post was- "Talk about a toy you broke as a child." 


  1. Hi Pam. Hope your weekend is going well. I can so relate to this post my friend, as my mum was a trained Tailoress, and a brilliant seamstress. She always made my clothes and the girls, and her garments were as well finished on the inside as they were on the outside! But me?! Sorry, the gene just completely passed me by. I can't even use a sewing machine. The thread always used to break. It was so frustrating and then I just ggave up in disgust! Fortunately, my two daughters CAN sew, and daughtger number one actually has her degree in Fashion Design & Textiles. Poor mum would have been so proud of her!

  2. I have a Singer from around 1929 with the booklet. A number 66. Excellent photos. Someday I will have to photograph ours so future generations can see it. I've told my children that it must always remain in the family. It belonged to my grandfather on my fathers side. He was a tailor. Thank you for sharing your memories.

  3. okay reason 150 of the things we have in common. That is the same sewing machine I use every time I sew.
    I would be lost without my featherweight and that little green book.
    I have had other machines but this is the one I learned on too and I always go back. I love my machine. It is the one my girls have learned on too.
    I love your pictures they are beautiful.

  4. Diane- My mother made her own wedding gown and all the bridesmaids' dresses. The lovelies like to draw a picture of what they want and then Mother just makes her own pattern and sews it up. Disgusting really. LOL

    Debby- Mother has already handed this one down to Birdie since she can actually sew. LOL She tried it out and it worked just fine! Definitely post pictures of yours! I'd love to see them!

    Kim- Mother loves hers too. The machine she's been using since 89 just flat gave out. But that little featherweight? Still going!

  5. My mother had a sewing machine just like that. Every year she made me a Christmas dress or jumper in velvet with sequined designs sewn on by hand. Your post brings back memories!

  6. Look at all of those nice pictures Pam! Did you take a class or something? I really like those old machines...

  7. Awesome pictures!! My MIL has a machine very similar, but with the foot pedal still on it. It's from the time we did not have electricity here yet (around 1950's). I'm sure your daughter will be proud to keep this machine in honor of her Mi maw's memory!

  8. GP- Mine made my Christmas dresses too and the lovelies'! I'm so glad that you share similar memories! They are quite special, aren't they?

    Jessica- I did but that was way back in college when we had to learn to develop film. WAY back. LOL What I have is a really good camera. It's hard to take a bad picture with it.

    Betty- Thanks! My aunt has one with the foot pedal. It was my great grandmother's. I do love those old machines!

  9. Oh, my gosh, I am so glad someone else felt the same way about the Broken toy prompt!

    I love all your photos of the old sewing machine, so cool.

    I can't sew either. I think it is great that your daughter is continuing the tradition :)

  10. Wow, I'm so impressed with your mother's skill as a seamstress, I thought that kind of skill had gone.
    I rem. the Singer sewing machine my Mum had, and she made clothes for us, but it was not ELECTRIC! yikes, that isfab, an electric Singer! When my Mum died, she left me the sewing machine, the base is outside holding my herbs, I gave away the "sewing" bit, cos i bought an electric one to (not) use. Guess I didn't inherit any sewing genes either, can only sew if no other option and then prefer do it by hand!
    Very enjoyable post!

  11. Lucy- I know! I tried and tried to think of something I broke but I just don't think I did. Thanks so much!

    Mimi- My aunt has one that isn't electric- it sits in a table kind of thing. A cabinet I guess. Maybe similar to the one you're talking about. I can't sew either and I prefer to NOT sew at all. LOL

  12. Good for Birdie! Sewing is a great skill to acquire (with much hard work). :-) Love the shots of that ancient Singer! Mine, which was old when I bought it many years ago, is now a decoration that sits on my cookstove when the stove is not in use. They were really amazing machines, real workhorses! They were nothing like the fancy machines of today, but there was also a lot less to go wrong with them!

  13. I definitely did not get the sewing gene, either...

  14. What a wonderful post.

    I learned how to sew on an old tredle sewing machine. First thing I did, just like Mom said, I sewed my finger. I didn't tell her,the needle went right through and back out.

    I have sewn all my life. Laid the kids down on a piece of cloth and cut around them. Didn't know there were store bought curtains for years! Made gym bags, book bags, hunting gear, recovered furniture and created art...all by machine.

    As much as I use a machine, never ever make me sew by hand. I know how but it's not for me.

  15. Yes, my mum also made her own wedding dress and the bridesmaids' dresses. That was in 1936!


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