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Sewing Grandmas

SewFit | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

I just had to share…I know that there must be lot’s of us “sewing grandmas” out there…..I was at Hancock’s today and they have the Janome Sew Mini at a great price…….and I thought what a great gift for my granddaughter……..then, common sense took over because my “first” granddaughter isn’t due until November.  I bought some darling Butterick baby patterns instead.  (L0L)

I do hope to be able to teach my granddaughter my love of sewing.   I learned to sew on my paternal grandmother’s Montgomery Ward treadle machine when she updated to her first electric machine.  I have fond memories of the things she made me….she was the typical grandma of that era….slightly plump and very short, she wore her long gray hair braided on time of her head and was always dressed in a cotton “housedress” covered by a printed apron trimmed in rick rack and bias tape.   She made beautiful “half aprons” with organdy insets for gifts and to sell for extra income.  They were always in great demand. I realize now that she 10 years younger then than I am now.   Today, we hip grannys wear tees and capris, exercise three times a week, crop and color our hair and not only drive but pump our own gas!   

While I remember her with much love, To all of us, I say,,,,,YOU GO, GIRL.

God Bless you all.


Edited 7/11/2008 5:56 pm ET by SewFit

Edited 7/11/2008 5:57 pm ET by SewFit

Edited 7/11/2008 10:47 pm ET by SewFit


  1. Crazy K | | #1

    You and I are of the same era...I think.......I just turned 61.......and I think I remember your grandma.......well, not really YOUR grandma but all grandmas were like your description!!  I only had my paternal grandma as mom's mother died the year before I was born.  But my grandma was short, plump, wore her hair pulled back and wore the cotton dresses with the apron and those awful, horrible black tie shoes with the chunky heel.  She didn't teach me to sew though.  I got any ability that I have from my maternal grandma.........I think I inherited it since she wasn't there to teach.  Mom did very little sewing because time on the farm didn't allow.  She did a little hand embroidery when she had time.....and that took what precious little time she had.  I just have always had a 'knack' and the ability to feel the 'hand' of fabric..........my grandma was a dressmaker to make extra income for the family and I think she passed her love and ability on to me............that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!! And, no, I'm not a professional in any sense of the word......I guess I consider myself an intermediate level sewer.

    When I think of it, yes, it is different.  I wear jeans, t-shirts, capris, have short hair which is beginning to get quite gray (darn!) and  yup, I drive but rarely have to pump gas.......DH usually sees that my car is gassed up.  He's a keeper! 

    Happy weekend!  Oh........nearly forgot........I did buy a sewing machine and a serger for the one granddaughter (she just graduated from H.S.) because she has taken an interest.  No lessons at my knee tho'.........they're an army family and she's lived all over but never close to us!


    Edited 7/11/2008 10:45 pm ET by Crazy K

    1. SewFit | | #2

      Hi, Kay...Yep, we're the same era.  I'll be 62 in October and proud of it.  Grandma didn't teach me to sew either, just blessed me with the machine. (I realized I said maternal in my first post and have since edited it) I do think the talent is inherited.  It seems I always wanted to sew and had an eye for matching color and style and was never afraid to tackle any project.  My mom never sewed and once my daughter got a blue ribbon for her appliqued skirt at the country fair, it was "been there, done that!"  and on to other things.   So my granddaughter is the next generation to have the "sewing gene" LOL.  I'm in NC and my son and daughter in law are in MD, 6 hours away so I won't have her sewing at my knee.

      You have a great weekend as well, Kay.....I've been on this computer all evening working on a newsletter project.....tomorrow I SEW!



    2. Betakin | | #6

      Such nice stories of the gramma's. Can a  66 yo great grandma join in? My Dad's mom did sew I think but when she came to live with us had no machine and my Mom didn't sew and we had no machine in the house and Grandma actually made me a pair of shorts by hand. My Mom didn't sew maybe because her Mom was bedridden for years and she never learned.

      I had a few weeks of sewing in Jr. High school and liked it except I hated the look of the old black treadle sewing machine being it reminded me of a spider. I made a gathered skirt and a reversable skating skirt and I think the class was about 3 weeks.

      When I married and had 6 kids, 3 girls and 3 boys, the last were twin boys, my DH said I needed to sew for the kids..times were tough. He bought me a machine ..and I learned to sew by watching every tv show on sewing and reading every book I could and trying to remember all that I was taught in school for those few weeks. I did well, and sewed everything my kids wore and DD# 3 was voted best dressed in High School. I was a night nurse and could sew during the day and later actually worked in Sewing machines..but enough about me.

      I now am expecting my 27th grand in Oct. and I have 6 grt. grands and nobody really sews much but me in the family. I've given machines and sergers to all the DD's and DDIL's and a few of the grands. One DDIL made curtains for a dgd's room but recently asked me to cut off and hem about 6 pairs of jeans..the machine I gave her has been on lone to somebody for over a year.  My oldest DD does her own sewing and makes her scrubs for work. She learned to sew by watching me and I gave her a machine of her own when in High School.

      I am still asked to sew different projects for my large family and I really love doing it. I am not asked often by the same person to do projects but with so many asking, I am always busy. Most are small projects but some are large..like making and covering patio furniture and pillows.  I still love it. I took up doll making for so many babies and even sold a few. I like to have the doll look like the child. My hands are quite bad and I cannot make dolls anymore.

      I bought myself a nice machine for a retirement gift to myself (I'm single) and now have several machines and sergers..they all get used constantly. I do go over to babysit 2 DGS's every weekday and if I didn't my machines would be used even more. The one DGD that I think likes sewing lives out of state. I did send her a machine for a birthday a few years ago. She will be graduating high school soon.

      I really enjoy reading your stories. I think it must be very nice to have come from a family that sewed where there was a machine in the house. I love sewing machines and all that they can do. I hope some of my DGK's will feel the same. I would love to quilt and do some thread painting with them.

      Edited 7/13/2008 12:40 am ET by Betakin

      1. GailAnn | | #7

        I am reminded of my 7th grade home-ec teacher.  Our class room had sewing machines and she taught sewing, using the machines.  But for herself and her own clothes "everything was made, just on the fingers" translation, by hand.  Gail

      2. Crazy K | | #8

        Of course, you can join in!!  I'm mom to 9 (blended family) a grandma to 20 and have just two little girls left to sew for.  There are 3 little boys as well.  They like the flannel pants and an occasional t-shirt now and then.  The rest are all too big although I did do lots for a few of them when they were younger.

        It was fun to recall all the grandmas of my childhood.  I had several friends whose grandmas lived close-by and most of them fit the picture.........housedresses and aprons were a 'biggie'.  My mom was one of the first to wear pants.........we farmed and it was just dad, mom and me so mom had to go out and help.........and dresses didn't work in the field....or the barn!  It was jeans........but a dress was always donned before going into town for the weekly shopping trip!

        My mom got a sewing machine from dad for Christmas the year I was 9 and the rest is history!  Mom didn't have time to do much but I sure did!  I did my first 'sewing for money' when I was 11 or 12...........made a pair of culottes for a neighbor/girlfriend!  I made most of my skirts and a few dresses while in school.......those were the days before slacks.....and then we finally were allowed slacks on Friday.......no jeans though!  Those were the days...............  I also did lots of sewing for my mother.  It just seemed to come easy for me.


  2. Mo_in_MO | | #3

    Hi, I am a sewing grandma but with sons, no girls yet.  My oldest son is retired Navy and single.  He has met a nice girl with 3 daughters.   Well maybe some girls in the family yet.   My grandsons are in high school so I no longer sew for them.  I make quilts for all now. 

    I made my wedding dress on a treadle Singer in the dorm basement when I was in nursing school.  My husband and I have been together 50 years now and I am still sewing.  Now I have fancy sewing machines that embroider and I just play.  To all the new and soon to be grandmas and those who have grand kids and ggones hello and happy sewing.

  3. GailAnn | | #4

    That's the kind of Grandma I aspire to be.

    At 57, no grandchildren.

    30 year old daughter "seeing", 40 year old, divorced father of 3, one girl 13, twin boys 12.

    At this point, I'll take "used" grandchildren. 

    Yes, indeed.


    1. User avater
      JunkQueen | | #5

      You make me laugh, GailAnn. "Used" grands are ..... well.... grand. I have one, and I have sewn for her extensively. More so than for the "new" models, really. Good luck. Hope this one comes to fruition for you.

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