Thursday, April 29, 2010

An unexpected comfort

020 Throughout the last ten years my mother has given me her patterns.  I love these patterns not just because they are from the 60’s and 70’s but because they tell a story.  She sewed for herself and her young children. She was creative and often tweaked things to make them even more stylish.  I don’t really remember much of what she made as I was born well into my parents marriage that well, to be blunt, kind of was falling apart at the seams (oi, a pun).

These patterns are a reminder of a happier time for her, a time when I think she felt most like herself.  Even as a child I looked through these patterns and marveled that my mother chose them.  My older siblings had silk little slippers and crisp cotton playsuits. She was a doting young mother and wife and homemaker. Every picture from those years  shows a sparkle in her eye and a baby on her hip. 

Then a storm of stress and challenge and concern arrived and kind of swept that security she thrived on away.  Selfishly I grew up resenting that storm and what it did to our family.  It is something I still struggle with as an adult…as a wife and mother.  Family and home are the two most important things in my heart.

When I make something from my mother’s pattern box it brings me closer to her.  The tissue is cut and neatly folded in the envelopes.  I run my hands over the pieces and imagine that hers were the last hands to do the same. 

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I made this nightgown last week (view 2 on the pattern above—Simp 7096) and each time I get ready for bed and see it hanging in the bathroom it comforts me like a mother’s hug.  We live far apart and those mother’s hugs are too few.

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This pattern is for sale here in size 12.  I am a size 6-8  and made the size 12 pattern and it fits fine. 

PS Thanks for being my therapist.

11 comments:

bonnie said...

Your post really resonated with me. I had a pretty turbulent childhood too. I cherish all of my mother's handcrafted items and the tools she used to make them. Whenever I'm stressed out, snuggling under one of her afghans makes me feel instantly better.
Thanks for sharing this!

Leila said...

Thanks for this sweet post. I can relate, but I can't put into words how...except "she felt most like herself" sounds right -- maybe I too hold on to that, wanting to be with that person.
This life is a mystery, all right...
we just have to love!

Jeannine said...

That was a truly beautiful and heartwarming post. I am sure she is watching over you now, getting just as much joy watching you as mother and seamstress.

Cute pattern btw.

Honey said...

I love this story you shared with us. I think it is wonderful that you have her patterns. I bet there is something comforting in running your hands over them. Maybe I will make a homemade nightgown someday. Thanks for giving me the idea. This sewing stuff is very new to me. :)

Jacqueline said...

I love getting to know you more. This post touched my heart and made me think and reflect about hard times and glad times with my mom. Come visit me again at Once Upon a Fairyland. I'm having a happy go lucky type of fun give away in May called GROOVY GIRLS. Bring a friend, my tag is on the side bar is you want to come play along! Play is the best therapy!

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

I think that my childhood was a very fortunate one, but according to my sister it wasn't as blissful as I thought. Funny how different people see history differently.

What you said about not seeing your Mom as much as you liked, really resonated with me. I miss mine also, she lives over 5 hours away, and we only see her a few times a year.

What a pretty nightgown you have made, so crisp and ready for summer.

Jen

The Dadman Diaries said...

Dude. I found my eyes all watered up and I thought, What the...?

Made me remember a pattern she gave me for Home Ec and it was for a pair of shorts; very short shorts I need to say in hindsight.

And she also gave me a fabric, it looked like gauze, to make them out of...I did, and yet I wore them with pride....

That says something about the power of motherhood, don't you think?

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

PS, love the name of your blog, can't wait to get our farm, and have chickens!!

Jen

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

How sweet and what a wonderful idea. I love pretty cotton gowns. This will be perfect for those warm Texas summer nights...and it will be a feel good thing, too!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I'm jumping over here to tell you that I enjoyed your comment! And no...I have never been to the Mystic River but I fell in love with this painting! How interesting that you have been there! We always have so many coincidences in our lives! Love your new banner, too! Very nice! It's 90 degrees here tonight at almost 8 PM...I need to make myself a cool cotton gown! Hugs! ♥

LB's Sewing Sanity said...

It's taken me a few days to post a comment on this one. Very emotional post. Thanks for sharing. Your reflections of times passed stirred so many memories from within...from Mom's homemade moo moo's in Hawaii, to her taking us to a 'real' seamstress she said, to have matching dresses made in the Philippines....to walking through the mall, chatting about what fabric we would get at Hancocks (used to be at the malls, amazingly). I too always remember her making 'something'. I'm thankful she passed along her passion for creating to both of us. Now, if only we could help her find that passion again.