|Lately I've been working on cleaning an old singer that was gifted to me about ten years ago.|
"Recent surveys of Church members have shown a serious erosion in the number of families who have a year’s supply of life’s necessities. Most members plan to do it. Too few have begun. . . . It is our sacred duty to care for our families, including our extended families" (Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, Sept. 1986, 4; emphasis in original).
As I have been refashioning some dresses of mine to save some money and to use what I have, I am reminded of just how important it is to have some basic sewing skills to draw from. Most were easy simple things to do to redo the dresses but this one particularly made my last hair turn gray.
I was thinking of my learning to sew in junior high and now it is no longer offered. And how grateful I am to a neighbor of mine all those years ago in Pammel Court student housing, who really helped me learn more about sewing - thank you Diane Evans! She gets the super sewing award.
Our girls were two and six months. Laura, our then two year-old, would lean over me, her little feet straddling me as I sat working at the sewing machine. I learned how to make little t-shirts and I learned to make little jeans for them by using adult jeans. I would pull out of free boxes at yard sales that had broken zippers but the fabric was good. I learned how to cut them open and how to pin my little pattern on so I could use the outside fancy seam as their outside seam and to use the original hem as the hem. I could do the same with other pants too but I really liked how the jeans looked store bought.
As they grew I learned how to applique their favorite Care Bear characters on the front of those t-shirts. I still have that sewing machine, it is a very old Kenmore. It was ten years-old when I got it used and it is still my go-to work horse.
I have been cleaning my old singer that was gifted to me about ten years ago by this friend whose mom wanted to upgrade. I now wonder if her mom would think it funny that I am trying to learn what I can do with it.
Over years of yardsaling I would come across old feet for free or for very little. They really did things to last back then.
Look at those feet and attachments, the box above on the right is a buttonhole attachment. They all look like Borg parts off of Star Trek. I will be learning how these all work.
Back in those days with my little girls I was driving home and this little Asian couple as cute as could be were dragging a treadle sewing machine to the dumpster. I stopped and he helped me put it in my trunk. I only had two blocks to go... he kept saying it doesn’t work but happily I took it home always wondering why he said it did not work. It was a treadle, how could it not? I thought maybe they thought it was to be electric but I still am glad I have it. I only wish I had found long bobbins for it through my yardsaling, I only have a couple.
I brought this up to you to tell you a story about my grandma. She had six children and as it was very hard for all during the depression it was for them as well. She would help my grandpa work in the saw mill then go home bake bread, she would glean the fields of sweet corn and can food for her family. By kerosene lamp she would make clothes for the kids after they went to sleep. There she would toil away at her treadle by kerosene lamp into the night.
Some people in town would bring bags of their used clothing. There was a school concert for my mom who was in first grade or so and my grandma searched through the bag of worn out clothes. She found something to make a little jumper out of but try as she might she could not find enough fabric that she could make a blouse out of. The jumper had a little pinafore front to it so she carefully placed the pieces of that tiny blouse around on the good parts of a lady’s blouse and the worn part she made sure would be hidden behind that front part of the dress. Is this not a mother's love and sacrifice? She truly was my mentor.
So as I learn my skills in homemaking she is always so close to me… I shall not slack, I will continue to learn these skills and use them all my life.
As she has taught me... I too have made a little blessing outfit for Riley, our first grandson, when he was blessed. With no money I looked around at goodwill for a white shirt that I could make his outfit. So I can say I truly am no seamstress in any sense of the word but I was able to make a cute little outfit the top I picked had pin tucks on the front. I made a vest front of front of top and added it to a onesie, this was pre-pinterest days. The back of top was plain and I made little trousers, this was eleven years ago next month.
Laura bought some fabric and seven years ago last month I made her blessing dress, bonnet and booties the request for a baptism dress is in… I share these with you so you can see I am not a seamstress I am still building this skill but being able to make do and being willing goes a long ways.
I find it is more fun to learn together.
So if you have a sewing machine dust it off and start building your skills if you do not have one look at thrift stores and on freecycle or Craigs List try them on the spot before you buy or take some with you who knows sewing machines. You could ask on the church list if anyone has one they don't use anymore.
This skill will help you with mending, and from time to time I have been paid for mending for others, this skill can help you in making you home accessories make or remake your clothing, you can add length, sleeves, and remake clothes to be modest or for the scariest event to take in a wedding dress or make blessing clothes and a baptism dress for a sweet grand daughter.
This is second on my skills list first is to make bread as though you were in a bakery.
Third skill teach the skills to your girls and boys alike.
Here is a site to inspire you…
I admit not everyone wants this skill but simple mending such as sewing on buttons or hemming pants will be way worth it.
There are so many things to learn for basic skills in homemaking.
If we choose not to learn as a group but at home alone the internet has made that easy to learn on your own at your own speed
I may jump from topic to topic but all are to help you.
This is the pan of rolls that I made for Easter out of the Liza bread that was shared a couple weeks back - http://frugalmeasures.blogspot.com/2015/02/lizas-machine-bread.html
I just wanted to show yet another variation of this terrific bread. I also made cinnamon rolls the day before that, they were a hit.
Keep working on your storage.
We have honored grandmothers who worked hard for your generation, so remember if you think it is too hard... look back to them then forward to the next generation it will bouy you up.
While you are out thrifting look for oil lamps that you may have light in bad storms when the power goes out go ahead and fill them and have a wick in. We've had people slowly go by our house and the town is out of lights but our house had light plus they are a great decoration.
Keep up the good work and thanks to those who love the blog and letting me know. It is for you I do it!