Friday, December 16, 2011

The Joy of Sewing

When my oldest son got married two years ago, he not only found the perfect life partner for himself, a young woman who is a wonderful wife (and now a wonderful mother to six-month-old twin baby girls); he also found me a daughter!

I have enjoyed the novelty of having a girl in the family so much, after three decades of being surrounded by men--as much as I adore my husband and my boys. (And little did I know that before long, I would have two more girls as well!). My son's wife and I have had several enjoyable opportunities to "shond" (a term invented by my daughter-in-law and her sister that means to bond while shopping); we've had a pedicure together (my first--what fun!); and we've discovered a shared love for books and yard sale treasures and antique things. And now, we are sharing a love for sewing projects. (Hmmm...I wonder if it would be possible to come up with a term that means to bond while sewing...)

Years ago, I found this sweet vintage illustration in a magazine, and I framed it to hang above my sewing table. It is from a book published in 1913 called The Mary Frances Sewing Book, or Adventures Among the Thimble People. This book is part of a series of how-to books written by Jane Eayre Fryer in the early 1900's, in which the main character learns many skills deemed important for women of that era: sewing, knitting, crocheting, cooking, housekeeping, and first aid. In the sewing book, Mary Frances (a very resourceful young lady) wants to learn how to sew, and the fairy people--along with her grandmother's sewing bird and sewing tools--teach her how. The book gives instructions for making 33 different items to fit 16" dolls, and patterns are included so that young readers can try to replicate them.

I have always been drawn to vintage artwork such as this, and I wouldn't mind getting my hands on a copy of this charming old book! This darling picture of Mary Frances working on a dress for her doll makes me think of my daughter-in-law and myself, and the joy we get out of taking flat pieces of cloth and turning them into something altogether new. It's so much fun to have someone to sewnd bewnd with...You know what? I don't think there's any good way to combine the terms bonding and sewing; so let's just say that it's fun to have a sewing buddy!

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