The Sewing Backstory, Part II
Well, yes, a little. You see, while I've been blessed with a passion for sewing, I've also been blessed with people in my life who supported that passion. I think it is only fitting to mention them, too.
First, my parents. They've always encouraged and supported my crafts. I've never heard a discouraging word from them about any of my crafting or sewing adventures, but there were always there with advice. A few years ago, I did a separate post regarding memories of my mother's sewing. My dad is a very artistic person. He always seems to have a hobby that involves making something, so I think he understands the creative urge. When I was very young and we lived in Europe, he made model airplanes. One time when he was making one, he put my Ernie finger puppet in the cockpit. I thought Bert should ride, too, but he was too tall. So what did my three year old mind come with as the solution? To pull the little bit of fake fur that was Bert's hair off so that he would be shorter to fit. (He still didn't fit.) My dad has had many other artistic ventures in everything from woodworking to flint napping and fletching and the items he produces are not only well-made, but also artistically beautiful. He's been a real inspiration to me as his skills are mainly self taught, as mine are.
When my dad remarried, little did I know that sewing was a big part of my new family as well, with my new mother's mom being quite the seamstress herself. My dad and new mom supported my hobbies, with endless trips to Fabric King (Remember Fabric King in Leesburg, mom?) and putting up with hours of me off in my room sewing/crafting or hours of the dining area being taken up with sewing. My wedding dress would not have been all that I wanted without the lace. When I came home from college, I had all the satin for my gown, but not the lace. Fabric King, our store of choice, had carried the perfect lace in the past but four years later, they didn't have it. Fortunately, my mom knew of a place in Orlando, FL. Off we went, and I'm telling you it was the hardest place to find! It didn't look like a fabric shop at all, but rather like a hole in the wall. We must have passed it three or four times when she finally said, "I'm making one more pass and if we don't see it we're going home." Well, you must know I was almost ill at that point. This was before the time of internet shopping and swatching services. Yes, we found it on the last pass and I'm telling you, you wouldn't believe the fabric in there! They had the biggest wall of buttons I've ever seen (haven't been to NYC, yet) and fabrics that were unbelievable. My lace was $135 per yard, and was on a long tube just stacked with the other laces. The *really, really* expensive laces were in the glass cases behind the counter. My mother did not balk at the price, either. It was only when I got to the cutting counter that I realized I had left my pattern and pieces at home. I guessed at the yardage and obviously, it was enough! Just the other week, she emailed me with some feather sources for Bluebird of Happiness, so I know they're still interested in what I'm doing.
Second, my husband. I'm sure many of the sewing spouses can identify with his comment from yesterday about the "sewing stuff". While he was being funny, he does support what I do. His mother is a marvelous seamstress in her own right and he grew up with sewing in the home, so he does understand. I'm not sure that he ever expected my level of craziness, though. By support, I mean: listening to me go on about endless show garments, bound buttonholes or technique of the day, fabric and notion supply woes, taking care of the children while I'm away at shows, attending local shows with me and appreciating the things I make for him by actually wearing them out of the house. (Well, everything goes out except The Cat Shirt.) One of my favorite memories happened one Easter. I made my daughter a suit with Vogue pattern, which is now out of print. This pattern is quite something - the jacket is exactly like an adults, with full lining, facings, shoulder pads, etc. The jacket was a pink and tan boucle, with pink grosgrain trim and I finished it before making the skirt. It was hanging in my sewing room when my husband came in. He picked it up and asked where I got it. I said that I had made it. He said, "Really? It looks like a $100 jacket from a boutique." That was a major compliment!
Thank you, dad, mom and Ethan! I love you all.
Parting Shot: Usurper! The cat basket is Pix's most favorite place, but recently Kiwi has been claiming the basket if it empty. She rolls all around in it, likes she's so proud that she's usurped Pix's authority over the basket.