I have been a lifelong seamstress. My mother is an incredible designer/seamstress who dressed her 3 daughters in clothing with so much style, that we would have to “Model” our outfits everywhere we went. My Aunt took sewing to an Exquisite Art Form creating clothing with amazing detail and perfection. My Grandmother made quilts and blankets and pillows and pajamas that were done with so much love, that I have kept them all of these years.
Needle in one hand – Thread in the other
I learned how to use a needle and thread before I knew how to tie my shoes. Two fabric pieces matched together; A needle and thread in hand; In and out- up and down – up and through. There was a peace that came with the stitches and a continuity of the generations. I was in grade school when I got my very own sewing machine. It was a White Treadle Machine. My beloved Grandfather found it for me and affixed a box on the treadle board so that my feet could reach and move the treadle back and forth.
Back and forth; Up and down.
The leather belt would move as I pushed the wheel.
With that first needle and then that Treadle machine (which I still have) I began my journey into the world of Sewing and Fabric and Thread and Design.
The Grand Discovery
Decades later, I can’t part with even a scrap of cloth! Surely it MUST be able to be sewn into something, onto something or along side something else! So, recently on a dreary humid afternoon, I attended a Storage Unit Auction that I had found listed on storageunitauctionlist.com. I had a $10 bill burning in my pocket and I was ready for a bidding frenzy! The storage facility owners let us have a quick peak inside the unit before the auction began. One unit stood out because all of the boxes were placed on wooden palettes to let air flow underneath. You are not allowed to “dig around” the unit before bidding begins, so I could only guess what was inside the boxes. It had to be something that needed to be kept fresh.
As the auction began, I decided to hang onto my $10 until we made it to that particular unit. Finally, we stood in the drizzle in front of MY unit and the bidding began. I started with a $5 bid. Someone else bid $6 .. then I said $7. Next came the inevitable $8 and I finally (in retaliation) bid my $10. Silence. Nothing. No other bids at all. “SOLD” shouted the auctioneer! I WON! I WON!
And Inside Box Number One…
I filled out the paperwork, gave the clerk the $10 and an $2 auctioneer fee and darted over to my Prize. When I opened the door and started going through the boxes that were piled on pallets for air circulation, I found them filled to the brim with every kind of fabric you can imagine: Brocade, Broadcloth, Wool, Cotton, Satin, Chenille, Chiffon and Chintz. The list went on and on! It was like a major Fabric Store had gone out of business and anything that did not sell at the end of business, went into this storage unit! The most exciting part to me, a connoisseur of junk, a collector of treasures, the World’s greatest bargain hunter, is that I bought all of this…THIS Jewel of Seamstress Heaven…for a total of $12!
How to Fabricate the Fabric into Frolicsome Fun
After I had settled down from the excitement of such an incredible purchase, I began to load up the back seat of the car, then the trunk and finally the front seat with a tonnage of Fabric. But…What was I going to do with it all?
There is upholstery wool. I will sell it on Etsy.
There is white satin by the bolt. I will sell it on Brides.com.
There is burlap. I will make them into bags and spray paint cute sayings on the front panel.
There is cheesecloth. I will bag it up in one-pound bags and sell them on craigslist.
There are miles of white sheeting. I will sell those to special event decorators.
And the rest….
Well, I am a Seamstress after all!
I have my White Treadle Machine, my Singer Sewing Machine, and my Ricoma embroidery machine. I think I will get them ready for the greatest sewing venture of all time!