Sewn and Quartered

‘Just thought I’d share a little mom-love today.  I’ve blogged before about the sewing machine I picked up a few months ago, but what I haven’t shared is that of all the tools I’ve bought through the years this machine is quickly becoming my favorite.  Part of it is the unexpectedness of it – I’ve never thought of myself as a seamstress (or is it “seamster”?), and still don’t.  But I do enjoy sewing projects.  I’m used to working with metal and wood, or dirt and stone, and even some glass, but cloth and thread…? It’s a new domain for me.

But as it turns out, it’s not entirely new.  As I work through the in’s and out of working with this machine for projects like, oh, turning my son’s “onesie” pajamas that he’s outgrown into little shorty outfits that are more appropriate for the summer weather (see photo), I’m reminded of times spent with my mom when she tried to teach me how to use her sewing machine.  Oddly enough, she sent me some letters recently, from when she’d written to my grandmother about the “new” (to her) sewing machine that I remember her having when I was a kid:

We made a mervelous new purchase a week ago – a 1923  Singer sewing machine, cabinet and all.  It’s a grand old machine and, although it goes a little slowly now and then, it sews beautifully.  We only paid $20 for it…

That from a letter dated Aug 4, 1967, a mere 6 weeks after I was born.  It’s pretty fun seeing my mom’s excitement back then, and I chuckle to think I only paid $15 for the much more modern machine I have.  As you can imagine that machine was quite the antique, but sewing machines haven’t changed all that much.  The path required to thread that machine and the one I have now are not all that different.  The main difference, for me, is how challenging it all is.  Back then, with my mom trying to teach me, I remember being incredibly frustrated at how complex it was.  It was alchemy, going through the motions with no real appreciation for why, and I just never really took to it like I expect my mom would have liked.  Until now… 30-some years later.  Now, it all makes sense, and really is pretty darn fun.

So, a big, and very belated thanks to my mom for laying the groundwork for me.  I really do appreciate it (finally!)

Oh, and about this post’s title…  You’ll notice that I have Bernard Cornwell’s “Agincourt” on the table next to Dashiell’s chopped-and-cropped onesie.  It’s one of a series of novels I’ve been reading about the Dark Ages, it’s good, but rather bloody.  So when I noticed the similarity between Dash’s post-op onesie and the old practice of drawing-and-quartering… well, there ya go.