On Monday I asked, "What was your first textile memory?"
Here are three responses I received. I really enjoyed these and if you still want to share your first memory of fabric or sewing, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
"My first distinct textile memory Is of a purple and white seersucker dress I had when I was probably 4 or 5. My memory Is that it has elephants at the waistband, maybe braid or ribbon? It was one of those fitted bodice, gathered skirt dresses like you have pictured. This would have been about 1960 . I think I might have learned then what seersucker was, or at least felt like, because my mom always referred to it as my seersucker dress.
I was 10 when we moved to our new house on a corner of my granddad's farm. I joined 4-H that summer and learned to make a gathered skirt. It was a grey calico. We all entered our projects in the Lawrence County Farm Show and it was a thrill to model it in the 4-H show. I don't think I won a ribbon, but it was the spark that set me on my love of sewing.
When I was very young my mother made dresses for my sister and me and a lot of doll clothes. The sewing machine was a Greybar in a cabinet with a knee lever. There's a Greybar factory (now small motors/electrical stuff) in Milwaukee -- when I drove past it a few years ago the sight of the exact same logo as that long-ago sewing machine brought such a visceral reaction! I recall her needlepointing seat cushions for the dining room chairs -- the finished-center needlepoint on tan petitpoint canvas bought from Marshall Field's -- with skeins and skeins and skeins of wine-colored tapestry wool. She only did continental stitch so those cushions needed forceful stretching before they could be mounted.
My own needlework began with an attempt at cross stitch. My dad sketched x's on a piece of fabric--an old sheet, I think -- and I managed to sew through it to my shorts. That took care of that project. Garment sewing began when I joined 4-H. First project: an elastic-waist skirt out of green/white pincord, the 4-H "uniform."
Has the journey since been uphill or downhill? Whatever -- it's continues to be a grand exploration.
Probably my first textile memory would be the nightgowns my grandmother used to make for her granddaughters each year. We would all get one at Christmas, along with a matching nightgown for our dolls. My grandmother was a seamstress, making garments for people in our local community. My mother made most of my clothing growing up, so I grew up with textiles. Even when I was little, I loved going to the fabric stores!
More as you share them! These emails have been so much fun to read! Keep on sharing!
Have a safe and happy day!