I grew up learning how to knit, bake, and sew. Not necessarily in that order. My grandma taught me how to knit, my mom (and 4-H) taught me how to bake and sew. I also often baked with my grandma. I have so many memories of screwing something up while knitting and getting frustrated. Baking was much easier. It might not have come out perfectly but it was usually at least edible. Sewing on the other hand often drove me crazy. My mom had this old singer sewing machine. (Image from Google). My sister would have to confirm if this was the same model, if it is not, then it is at least close. Making a bobbin and then threading that thing was horribly frustrating. I remember many times throwing the bobbin across the room.
When I started my handbag business in my twenties, my mom was not around to get me through using her old Singer. So I got rid of it, and instead purchased a Bernina, and rarely do I have a problem using it. It got me through 5 years of my business, with many very late nights and early mornings, just me and the Bernina.
So when I found this hilarious advice from a 1949 Singer Sewing manual I could not stop laughing. “Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on.” Never, ever in my life have I put on lipstick before sewing. I am not even sure if I put any lipstick on for my wedding day. The only mental preparation I needed before using that old Singer was to not throw it across the room. Maybe that is why they made them so heavy.
“If you are constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband will come home and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing as you should.”
I am at a loss for words. Actually no I am not. Chris often sees me in my pajamas all day on a Saturday. He might softly mention that it might be good to take a shower, but he often sees me at my worst, and he has only seen me with lipstick a handful of times in our 12+ years together. My how the world has changed in the last 65 years. I will have to get my hands on a 2015 Singer Sewing manual so I can be inspired by their advice and all the things I should do before I start to sew.
If you celebrate Christmas, do you have a tradition of hanging a stocking? Chris and I have not done it at all during our marriage, but growing up it was part of our tradition. We did not have a fireplace, or mantle to hang our stockings, but instead my dad hammered nails into this makeshift bookcase. It was about my height at the time, so maybe four feet high, and we each had our own stocking. Even our dog, who always received dog bones of different varieties — from rawhide to Milkbone, and if our dog was lucky maybe a new toy. Probably to distract them from all the sounds, lights, and interesting happenings in the house.
Everyone’s stocking was different. My grandma knit my sister’s, brother’s, and mine. I have no idea how she did it, but she knit our names into the stocking so we always knew if it was ours. She was an impressive knitter, and I still have my childhood stocking today. While we never received much at Christmas, for some reason my stocking always intrigued me. What did my stocking usually contain? At the bottom (and I think to weigh it down) there was usually an apple or orange. Followed by a pair of socks, a handful of candy, and maybe a tiny toy. Every once in a while there was a coloring book or some sort of object that did not fit into the stocking itself. Any items that did not fit were laid on the floor just below the stocking.
The tradition was that we were not allowed to leave our rooms on Christmas morning until we were given the approval from our parents. We would scurry out to the living room to scope out the Christmas tree and whether Santa had made it to our house that year. Were the milk and cookies gone? Then we were allowed to go to our stockings and dump out the contents. We could do whatever we wanted, play with anything included, and even have our own candy. We were not allowed to touch any gifts. Then we had breakfast together (my mom’s coffee cake). Once everyone finished their breakfast (my parents made us stay at the table for what felt like forever) we would make it back to the living room and our Christmas tree to open the presents that were under the tree.
I have not had a traditional Christmas since I was twelve, and so that was probably the last time I had a stocking too. These days I am such a minimalist. I do not want “stuff” just to give/get. Thus, we have not continued the tradition. Maybe someday I will knit a new stocking for a little one and start our version of stocking traditions on Christmas morning.