Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Inspiration - Sew Lovely

This is my latest collection of necklaces, "Sew Lovely". They were inspired by these little "Singer" sewing machine like charms that I saw a couple of months ago. As soon as I saw them my emotions strated running high and I just knew I had to make things with them.

Like most of our Granny's, Nan's and Grandmother's, mine has been sewing for years. My Mum and aunties all remember her sitting running the machine into the wee small hours. She would make them all sorts of outfits, dresses, coats and trousers. I can just imagine the flares and snocks in funky 60's cloth! There were seven of them so Granny was kept busy! But right at the last minute she would find time to rustle herself up a glamourous outfit. There are so many photos of her looking elegant and stylish and then she'll tell you how the waist band wasn't finished in time so she made up a belt with a diamonte button to cover it up.

The best part of all is that she still has an old original Singer machine on a wooden topped iron table with a peddle. It sits by the window in one of the back rooms and at some point during a visit to her house I always pay it a visit. I used to spend hours sitting at that table pretending I was a seamstress from "House of Eliott", making designer fashion in the 1920's. My Mum talks about the almost soothing sound the peddle and wheel made, they could hear it running through the night.

Isn't it strange that I would love one, not to sew with though, just to look at, like a sculpture.

Recently when I bought myself "Sew What Skirts" I spoke to Granny about my venture into machine sewing. I listened for hours as she told me how her friend took her to buy her first pattern and the dress she made. How Margaret  told here that this was a 'Vogue' patter not a Carey one. (She was apt to make things up as she went along, which as far as I'm aware is dangerous stuff when it comes to following a pattern!) She told me about the time she 'aquired' mens suit fabric and making it into 3 winter coats with added velevet trim. My Grandpa was a little upset that he didn't get a new suit, but the coats lasted well. 

I also remember playing in my Mum's sewing box when I was young, I would lay out the patterns and pretend I was running my own Remnant Kings fabric shop. I can see this was a running theme, me setting up various shops in my bedroom. Maybe all that 'let's pretend' play has stuck with me. It is amazing how many memories that this little charm has brought to life for me, and how much I have learned about Granny and her sewing antics. I can see so much of myself in her from these stories. Her leaving things to the last minute, adapting things, working into the night and her love of fabric.

Silver Sew Lovely Charm Necklace
For this necklace I have combined the silver charm with a piece of cotton with a hand stitched line of electric pink thread. This necklace shows the length of my novice sewing skills.

Gold Sew Lovely Necklace

This gold necklace has a small Jade heart hanging with it. This signifies the love that so many people have for their sewing machines, and the love my Granny speaks of that she put into each garment she made.

Sewing Kit Charm Necklace

This last necklace has a silver sewing machine and cloth scissor charms, with a small purple ribbon on the side. The ribbon represents the sweetness of the outfits Granny made and the scissors make me smile because of my inherited obsession for different scissors for different tasks. (You can hear me holler from the other end of the house if I spy MrLB lifting my cloth scissors to cut paper!)

What are your memories of sewing machines? Did your Mum or Granny sew?


Liz said...

Laura, I LOVE these new pieces... they remind me of my gran and mum too (they both sew)... beautiful pieces!

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for the lovely comment and recipe! and i agree, singers are there to be looked at - not just for using!

I always see old battered ones at car boot sales for £10 or under and want to take them home to put on show...but I have no room haha!

Looby xx