Lost Art of Sewing Series, head over there for all the technical stuff behind this project.
I really wanted to make Boston and Easter dress since I have not made a formal dress in almost a year, I felt up to the challenge but all my patterns were 3 hours away in our storage unit. I asked my mom if she could send me some of hers. A few days later I received by media mail, 3 vintage patterns that she had borrowed from our home town neighbor, Wanda.
Wanda is a sweet lady that lives a couple miles
down the dirt road from my parents. She is one of the warmest, most
talented women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Her handwriting
is like beautiful calligraphy, her food is awesome and her sewing is
legendary. Her warmness penetrates the room and instantly makes the room comfortable.
She is in the same quilting group (a group of women who get
together and tie quilts for newly married couples) as my Grandma Twila was. As a
kid when we would go trick or treating she'd always have a grocery bag
prepped for my family, filled with her delicious homemade popcorn balls
(My Mom says she still sets some out for my parents, even though we are way
beyond that stage).
Knowing and learning from women like her is one of
the greatest rewards of growing up in a small town. When my grandfather
passed away she and another golden woman brought us
cinnamon rolls and a casserole, both were so appreciated and the tastes
were certainly welcome.
Wanda and I share the love for
fabrication, and she taught me my first invisible zipper.
Momma Shaffer is talented at sewing but is scared stiff by zippers, so
often times when she was putting in a zipper for a special occasion and
didn't have the time and/or patience it would go to Wanda. She would
always return it with machine-like precision. For many of my 4-H projects, I went down to her house to get help with the
zippers. She was always so kind, patient, and comforting as I stressed
about messing them up. As I was stressing about the zipper for this project I remember sitting in her dining room and how her reassurance gave me calm.
Knowing that Wanda went through these three patterns having full faith that I could sew them gave me a real vote of confidence. I carefully looked them over and I decided on McCall 927, a dress pattern from the 1940's. There were times where I felt like I wanted to call this dress quits then I would remember that she told my mom that she knew I could handle the dress pattern.
The most amazing thing about one of my sewing foremothers is her talent is uplifting and encouraging. Is there some out there that you feel is a sewing foremother? If so tell me about her in the comments.