Saturday, September 4, 2010

How To Sew With '54 Chevy!!

It is National Sewing Month!! I love to sew and learned how when I was 5 years old from my Great Aunt Myra (she was the artist in a previous post). She taught me how to make a perfect straight running stitch with the tiniest needle and red embroidery thread. I did not know at the time I was learning "Redwork" and how to sew a seam together at the same time! I still hand sew many of my projects to this day.
My mother was not much of a crafting type person and did not like to sew too much either. But she was a crocheting fool and she would sew and made us three girls these adorable little pinafores. My favorite one she made us was red with white polka dots. I love that material to this day! My grandmother posed us in the garden among the lilies and took wonderful photos of us with her old Brownie camera, of course that was a hot camera back then.
My father worked part time at a cemetery and all year round there was the most beautiful ribbons thrown away in this huge dump on the grounds. He brought home tons of ribbons, such beautiful colors too! Purples and passionate pinks, pure whites and lemony yellows, rose reds and brilliant blues!! He hated to see such beauty just tossed aside. So he brought them home!
Mommy and Daddy would sit and take the ribbons off the dead flowers and put the like colors together and make huge rolls of ribbons. My mother them took those ribbons and sewed them into sheets of ribbon fabric and then make us girls dresses with them! I think I would give a million bucks to have one of those dresses today, but how I despised them then knowing they came from "death flowers"! Humm now that I think back Mommy was pretty crafty after all!
I made my first full skirt for myself at 5 years old in 1955. Material was so inexpensive back then too that my father was glad to buy the fabric for me so I could learn to make my own clothes. Just a simple gathered skirt with a small placket and handmade button holes all in red gingham. I loved to wear it to church with my simple "Peter Pan" collar crisply starched white blouse. I thought I was Giselle Mackenzie from "Your Hit Parade" twirling around in my little fancy (Well I thought so!)skirt!
But the thing was I wanted to use a sewing machine!! My mother had an old Singer that had been a treadle machine, but Daddy converted it to an electric machine. The problem with me using it was I was a speed demon at everything I did and Daddy was afraid I would sew my finger or hand right into a skirt!! But actually I was in awe of the machine and would start out going quite slowly. So to solve the dilemma Aunt Myra taught me to use her old treadle machine and I did very I was allowed to use the electric machine.
My father felt my mother needed a new machine to make clothes for us girls, so he bought her a very expensive Necchi sewing machine. That thing was a master piece of design. It had a gazillion cams that turned all different ways to make stitches of all kinds, some looked like embroidery! It was a modern marvel! But I was not allowed to use it!! Bah!
Well, Daddy had bought me a 1954 Powerglide (orange in color (yuck)) Chevy! I was 8!! But he figured he would drive it until I was old enough to see over the steering wheel and learn how myself. People tend to drive at a young age back on the farm. It was an okay car, but it was not a sewing machine!! I wanted a sewing machine darn it!!
As luck would have it he had a friend who had a teenage boy who wanted a car, my car was what he wanted..well I had no idea it was considered a hot car back then!
And what with more luck this friends wife had a Anchor sewing machine she never used! So without me knowing Daddy came home one day with my very own Anchor sewing machine!! I was in heaven, twirling around and making up a song about how my '54 Chevy was now a sewing machine and I was going to name it my '54 Chevy and sew on it forever and ever!! Of course it was not forever, but for many years I did use my '54 Chevy and made clothes and curtains and whatever my mind could come up with all with no patterns! I never used any patterns until Home Ec in Junior high school.
So that my dear folks is how you sew on a '54 Chevy!! Happy National Sewing Month!!

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