Sandra's Profile

About

Living in a "small town" having been downsized from a run of the mill office job for which I commuted to the "big city" and using this opportunity to do something that I really love.

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My love of creating with fabric began with an old 1940's portable electric Singer sewing machine my Mom owned. I remember how torn and battered the brown and tan carrying case was from it's many years of use, but in spite of it's age and tattered case condition, the shiny black machine inside still looked and ran like new.

Mom mainly used the sewing machine for mending clothes and linens to extend their terms of usefulness and when mending was no longer sufficient to keep the articles in use, she would cut them into squares and…

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  • Female
  • Born on September 5
  • Joined February 20, 2010

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About

Living in a "small town" having been downsized from a run of the mill office job for which I commuted to the "big city" and using this opportunity to do something that I really love.

*****************************************************************

My love of creating with fabric began with an old 1940's portable electric Singer sewing machine my Mom owned. I remember how torn and battered the brown and tan carrying case was from it's many years of use, but in spite of it's age and tattered case condition, the shiny black machine inside still looked and ran like new.

Mom mainly used the sewing machine for mending clothes and linens to extend their terms of usefulness and when mending was no longer sufficient to keep the articles in use, she would cut them into squares and stack them in the giant basket sitting in the corner of her sewing room . When enough squares had been accumulated, in keeping with the tradition of our family's many generations of women before her, Mom sewed them into patchwork quilts for our beds to keep us warm and snug at night.

At the beginning of one summer Mom bought two bright red bandana handkerchiefs and sewing them together on the old Singer, made me a top to wear with shorts. How I loved that top! I wore it more than any other top that summer. The following summer I had outgrown the bandana handkerchief top and it was sadly relegated to the rag box. I do, however, remember it's bright red and black print squares in next years quilt that Mom made.

When Mom hung new wallpaper in my bedroom (the print was my favorite flower, tiny sweet violets) she bought a bedspread to match but couldn't find curtains to go with it. She searched for many months and finally found material (tiny sweet violets of course) and made the curtains herself for my windows. I thought they were the most beautiful curtains in the world and they filled me with such happiness every time I looked at them.

Over the years I have lost track of the curtains, but I do still have the bedspread and the tiny sweet violet wallpaper was, though slightly faded, still quite beautiful the last time I was in my childhood bedroom just before we sold the family home.

I loved the old Singer, fascinated by what it could do and from a very early age continually begged Mom to teach me how to use it. By the time I was eleven and had been watching her sew for several years, I was able to convince her that I understood the basics of how the machine worked and she finally agreed to let me try sewing a seam that had come apart on one of my dresses.

I quickly became adept at mending all sorts of tears and the old Singer soon became my domain as Mom let me take over doing all the needed sewing repairs. I discoverd also that I could take hand-me-down clothes that didn't fit me and remake them so they did.

At an earlier year's Christmas I had received a generic Barbie doll and a set of red and black plaid wardrobe cases for holding her clothes. Living in a modest income family and desiring more changes of clothing for my doll than could be reasonably purchased, I decided to put the skills I was developing at sewing to use in resolving the delimma.

Using the old Singer sewing machine and whatever scraps of fabric and castoff clothing I could gather, I began to design and sew original outfits for my doll. I found that it came easily and naturally for me to conceive a design for a piece, make the pattern for it using newspaper, assemble the garment and it would turn out to be just as beautiful as I had envisioned it. I soon filled the wardrobe cases to overflowing with skirts, blouses, coats, jackets, slacks and dresses. I even branched out into making the accessories for all the outfits: hats, scarves, belts and jewelry.

Taking the buttons off the old discarded clothing and saving those I didn't use on minature designer outfits for my doll, I began a collection and love of buttons that continues to this day.

As a newly married young adult I gave my doll and her wardrobe filled cases to an extended family members small daughter who had expressed an interest in it. Soon after that we moved apart and the families lost touch with with each other, but I often think of that little girl and hope she enjoyed and was inspired by my creations.

The ensuing everyday business of life: marriage, children, home, job; left little time in the following years for being creative other than what directly benefited my immediate family. Now I am thrilled at being given this opportunity to rekindle my creative side and to bring forward and explore all the ideas and possibilities I dream of.

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