Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dashees Garden Tuesday 3/Treasure Box

     When I was about nine years old my Aunt Harriet and great-grandmother taught me how to make simple doll clothes.  Barbie dolls were the latest rage, and I wanted to make a dress for mine.
     Aunt Harriet did lots of sewing, and she had a wooden dresser full of fabric.  When I visited she took me to the dresser and carefully searched through it for pieces I could use to make doll clothing.  I observed and commented on whether or not I thought I could use whatever she suggested.
     I loved this.  There was something exciting and intriguing about those drawers of fabric.  I could have watched her dig through them all day.  When I was older my aunts took me to fabric stores during  summer visits and let me pick out fabric as an early birthday present.  I always looked forward to this and would ruminate about what I wanted to make. 
     When I was 10-11 (I think) I graduated to pattern sewing and started by making Barbie doll clothes, often by hand.  Somewhere I received or bought supplies such as tiny zippers, hooks & eyes, and snaps.
     The fabric I used came from an unexpected source.  My parents took a trip to Spain and Portugal and met some interesting people during the trip.  One woman found out about my interest in sewing and sent a huge box of fabric remnants to me.   Oh, that was so exciting!  We filled an old wooden toy box with all of it, and it kept me supplied for years.  It became my own treasure trove.  I would sort through creamy satins, elegant brocade, soft wool, and pretty cotton chintz and calicos, all the time  fantasizing about what I might make.  So much fun (everything else-like homework and practicing-was procrastinated...)!!
     I have saved some of the clothing I made.  A few months ago I found the small case I keep it in and went through it for fun.  Inside were a few I especially liked, such as three ball gowns I made out of a cotton covered with purple flowers, a pale peach satin (blog photo) and a chintz covered with red roses.  Memories came back.
     After sewing class in seventh grade I tried my hand at a wool skirt for myself with the help of another aunt.  This was really cool!  That was the opening of a door to making my own clothes, which I occasionally did.
     Now I have my own purchased stash of fabric which has a way of getting bigger and bigger.  I still love going through fabric stores and it is difficult to resist buying!   Maybe someday I will have a grand-daughter who will feel the same way and I can share sewing with her, or at least make pretty dresses!  Maybe in the future I will try my hand at creating some doll clothes for my Etsy shop.  


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In addition to being a violist, I am a wife and mother (three sons). I dabble in writing, handwork, sewing and photography.