Making Connections

This morning, I am indulging in reminiscing. Perhaps because it is a typical snowy morning in January, the likes that have been unusually rare this winter. Or perhaps it is because I have recently recaptured my mojo for knitting and feel a need to keep my writing in sync or perhaps I was inspired by a recent thread on Ravelry. It could also be a good time for reflection as we head into 2020 perhaps with ideas of projects for the year and goals for completion.

I am thinking about sewing. The years and years of sewing I did long before I became a knitter. I remember waking up one day during my fifth grade summer and asking to make a dress. Mom pointed to a pile of newspapers and said, “There! Use all you need.” I said, “No, I mean with fabric.” And, so it began that I was sent to a neighbors who gathered up supplies and time and helped her daughter and I sew our first dress. Well, the experience stuck and through the years, the basement of childhood home turned into a sewing room, begging for fabric was my second name, and learning about construction through trial and error was my passion.

Today, as the flakes are falling, I am thinking of my Aunt who also became an inspirational sewing teacher to me and I am quietly thanking her. She taught me zipper installation. This is taken from my mom’s scrapbook.

I would barter with my mom. An hour of piano practice for a yard of fabric. I became quite good on the piano earning me an opportunity to perform through the years. But, of course, I was much happier with the dress with the puffy sleeves than I made for my performance, here.

Now, I’m thinking about my sister and how I sewed for her. Lots of things, almost always in a sweet mini print or soft plaid. She is here with Pierre.

When Ravelry’s Vogue Knitting group began a thread about sewing asking for people to share, it brought up these memories. I went searching for my personal photos that had an item of my sewing in them and that led me to search for electronic photos of patterns. Long gone are mine. My memory served me well and how fun to find this pairing. I am in the back, the jacket elsewhere, I loved this outfit sewn in a pale blue cordless corduroy. I remember wanting the pants to keep their creases so I added a very narrow row of stitching at the center fold of the pant to help keep the look I wanted.

I also found this pattern in the search and so wished I had a photograph of this outfit. I’ve admired Betsey Johnson for years and years.

Prom anyone? I would have cropped out my date but we were so cute. Now, when I shared this on Ravelry, the conversation went towards the car and I never once noticed the make, only the fact that my date opened the door for me. I do not remember the pattern’s resource but very much remember my jumpsuit that would probably be more ‘in’ today than it was then but I sure loved it.

I very much remember that my wedding dress was designer, Albert Nipon so finding that pattern was a cinch.

Through the years, I sewed for countless people. Button down shirts, bowling style shirts, church suits, children’s clothes, and probably the most intense project was a traditional wedding dress for a relative, the fit was perfect.

Funny, but here is my attempt this past Christmas decorating the Christmas tree. From ornaments to ribbon, a sort of dress for the tree?

The connection that the thread on Ravelry was making was the recollection of how the Vogue Knitting magazines would pair up hand knits with garments that were from sewing patterns. We appreciated the opportunity to sew the clothes that we saw in the gorgeous photographs of the magazines. We appreciated the guidance in being our own fashion plate and we appreciated the inspiration of instilling creativity in the reader/knitter. Does this look familiar to any of you? Here is how the knit/sewing opportunity was provided.

I wondered what the reader might get from this post? While certainly a walk down memory lane for me taking pause to appreciate, I thought it could serve as a reminder to thank those who have helped you along your journey. Or, to realize the connection one craft has to another to appreciate from whence your skill has come. Maybe, there is humor somewhere in here or something that strikes familiar that will allow you to recollect something or someone from your past.

I wish everyone a happy new year and a most successful year in crafting and project completion no matter what the skill, activity, or passion.

12 responses to “Making Connections”

  1. Thanks for sharing Holly. I had no idea how much you sewed and how talented you were. I also sewed a lot during high school and college but not much since. I still occasionally use my sewing machine but mainly for repairs. I also made window treatments for my last home in Buffalo! Thanks for the inspiration. Happy NewYear!


  2. Holly I agree with Jane. I never knew you sewed for others! And even a wedding dress!!!! You are just like Tenny as she would be the happiest in front of the sewing machine. I have made just a few things, tablecloths, and very simple projects. Never clothing! It does make me happy when I’m sewing though! I wish I did it more!! I hope you continue to do this great love of yours!!! I always love your stories too!!!! You are extremely talented in so many ways!!!!!


    • Judy, the both of you are so kind. I do feel connected to your Mom this way. We were very enthusiastic about our projects when we were together. Now, it is mending and knitting. Maybe, one day, I’ll think more seriously about designing. Currently, I have such a want to complete projects I have here at home. Now, I think you and your sis ought to be writing a cookie website! Decorating tips, rolling out dough tips, where inspiration comes from . . . always nice chatting, Judy!


  3. I love Lynn’s shirt, and little Jill is so adorable! Still have my wedding dress, still love it to bits. Thank you so much! You’re amazing! xo


    • Lori, Good to hear from you!
      Roy’s bowling shirts had a special pencil pocket. He was in love with that.
      Lee and her church suits, many.
      Those were the days, my friend.
      Now, I am called upon to mend. hahaha
      Be well. xoxo


  4. Holly,
    Did you know I never knew you sewed as much as you did! I knew you made that pink floral dress and I always loved that on you. The pink jumpsuit is adorable and very stylish! I don’t know why you never became a designer Holly.
    Your forte is designing Holly. You have many talents and gifts for sure, more than most people, but I see you being a professional designer making custom outfits!!!! I think you inherited moms love of sewing too. It’s in the genes for sure. I don’t sew, never cared for it. You would love my good friend, Susan Burleson.
    She’s a sewer and quilter. I hope someday you two make connections. But for now, I’m so proud of the work you do and the joy it brings you!!! Much love and happiness to your endeavors!!!


    • Jane, Wasn’t confident enough back in the day when I knew I needed to make a living for myself. Now, however? You never know! Grandma Moses became famous in her 80’s for her paintings! Thank you for your kind words.


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