Thursday, September 23, 2010

How and Who 2

Picking up a memory from an almost 60 year span is sometimes an adventure in time.  Trying to remember something from early childhood is often a challenge and definately not an exact science -- even when you think you remember something clearly, often you have not.

As things are, I am the eldest sibling in my family and therefore some of the things that happened to me through the years can only be verified by my parents and neither one is on this earth to correct my memory or to validate it.  So I have to rely on what is tucked away in my own brain and hope that it is clear...

When I was seven, I received what I remember as my first store bought Christmas/Birthday present.  Prior to that, my father would make things for myself and my brothers -- he made a wooden pedal car for us, he made wooden tools, a shovel and rake and even a hammer, he made a doll house and each year for at least a half dozen years after, he and my mother would fashion furniture from wood, tin cans cut and manipulated, he even used a set of christmas lights attached on the house to celebrate christmas!

As I was saying though, somewhere about 1959 or 1960 I got for Christmas a toy sewing machine!  I remember it as being turquoise in colour and that it sewed a chainstitch.  Now when I see things move, I have a need to figure out how it does that.  I studied that little hand crank machine in as much detail that a seven year old mind can.  I loved how the needle would go down through the little hole and a metal hook would catch the thread loop then hold it til the next time the needle came down bringing another loop of thread and form a loop that pulled through the first loop.  No bobbin on this little machine, but it sure was a fun thing to not only learn how the machine worked but also to see how it could hold fabric bits together to make something.  I remember my mother showing how to create a pattern to sew pants for my dolls and then soon after to show me how to add a sleeve to a rectangle with two "V's" cut into it and this became a shirt.  Later to make a collar for the shirt.  Those pattern shapes were a huge leap from cutting two holes for the arms to go through on a square piece of fabric.  All of a sudden, I could see how clothing wrapped around people!  Then I learned how to use darts -- my how my Barbie doll dresses fit snug -- Barbie soon had dresses like Marilyn Monroe!

If memory serves me correct my toy machine was somewhat like the one above, though I THINK mine was turquoise in colour.  I went hunting all over the internet for this image and discovered it at an etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/pearl25  for saleand this lady kindly let me use her image.  I have no pictures that I can find in the family photo album of my sewing machine, and even if I did the photo would be black and white and the idea of turquoise would not be provable anyway!

 I do remember I took my machine one time to a friend's house and her mother showed us how to make pot holders with a place to slip your hand in so that both the palm of your hand and the back of the hand would be protected from the heat.  I think my friend had the very same toy sewing machine and we spent alot of time using scraps of fabric to make things. 

I remember also around this time my mother was working on a hexagon quilt, I know that in the quilt some of the hexagons were sewn on my little machine.  My Mother would pin two hex's together and I would slowly stitch along the pencil line she had drawn.  I don't ever remember that quilt being finished tho... I wonder what happened to all those hex pieces?

Were you a lucky girl to have a toy sewing machine that really sewed?  Tell me what you remember!

1 comment:

Susan said...

I did not have a small sewing machine but when I was 12 my mother let me use her Singer treadle. My daughter is still using that machine today. She did add a motor but you can slip the belt on and treadle away. My treadle is being stored in NC waiting for me to move there.

The first thing I made was a yellow jumper. I shudder to think of all the errors I made but I did not know that and wore it with great pride.

Thanks for bringing those memories to mind.........