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Thursday, March 17, 2011

On my mind...the memories evoked by sewing machines...

Today, being Friday, I'll depart from my usual 'travelogue' of our holiday in the US and join in the 'Down-to-Earth' Friday feature, 'On my mind..


Nearly 2 weeks ago I posted on Facebook some photos which I took in a shopping mall on 3rd in Santa Monica. A shop which sold clothing, including bespoke clothing items, had a most amazing window display...old, vintage, antique sewing machines on shelves in the window. The shelves went to the top of the shop window, the shop had a frontage that stretched around a corner and the shop front was several metres/yards long. I was just awestruck at how many sewing machines were on display! I even saw examples of my mother's old Singer which she bought in 1946! In the mid 60s I learned to sew on it and sewed shift dresses and even ball gowns on it. I saw machines that hand turned wheels, not electric...it was as I said, amazing!
What was  also amazing was people's reactions to the photo posted on Facebook. I got so many comments about the photos! People recognised their mother's or grandmother's machines...all my friends indicated in their comments that the memories which surfaced after seeing the photos, were all good ones...nurturing, comforting ones of, in some cases, a loved one who is no longer with us...For me, mum's sewing machine was a thing of wonder as I watched her make my clothes and curtains for the house or I watched a beloved elderly neighbour mending sheets on her old treadle machine...such lovely memories. My own machine is actually quite elderly by today's standards...a 1974 Elna TSP. I wonder if my girls, (29 & 26) have fond memories of it!
I have my mother's sewing machine. It has a curved wooden cover on it. The cover is locked and I don't seem to have the key...It has been like this for over 10 years since my mother died. I'm hoping that when I get home to Australia,I can find a locksmith who can open it, because after seeing all those machines in the shop window in Santa Monica, suddenly I want to touch the machine, maybe oil it, thread it and just maybe, sew a seam or two?

4 comments:

Linn said...

I have good memories of my Mum sewing on her treadle machine. I remember her making shifts for us girls and a ballgown or two. I also remember learning to sew on it. It was a bit tricky at first but once you got the hang of the rythym of the treadle it was quite a fun thing to do. My sister has the machine now and it is used as a hall table. I wonder if it will ever be used for the intention it was made for?

Claud said...

Sounds like a great idea! My uncle is a tailor and when we were growing up he used make dresses for my sisters and I. I learned to sew on his pedal machine. It was so beautiful - Singer - black with gold decorations. I still remember the smell after he would oil it with of the 3 in 1 oil. You have certainly brought a beautiful memory of my childhood back. Thanks :-)

Becky said...

One word..... WOW!~

bettsylyn said...

I would imagine that it wouldn't be too hard to open the sewing machine. I would ask at a sewing machine shop - maybe the one at Everton Park or the Bernina one at Chermside ( he often has older machines there) and they may be able to help you.