Thursday, April 05, 2007

Vintage Sewing Supplies

My grandmother passed away a few months ago, and my mom brought me a big box of sewing supplies from her home. I have gone through the box several times, sorted thread, and admired the beautiful packaging. I just cannot bring myself to use any of it to sew ... it seems almost like if it made it this far as an object, it shouldn't be taken apart, to lose its focus and disappear into something. Even the wood of the spools is beautiful. Eventually, I suppose I will use the Clinton Dressmakers' #17 Silk Pins or the packet of 4 cent Penimaid needle point brass pins from J.C. Penney Co., Inc., or the Harper's Needles (10 cents). And I suppose that those items which came from woman's work decades ago will return to woman's work today. Is it better to think of my grandmother in the smallest stitch, the tiny pin as I sew or the individual zipper peeking out from a skirt to go unnoticed by everyone but me? Or is it best to admire it as a relic, a remnant of a time gone by, almost as a work of art? I suppose the essence of my grandmother is not in a few relics in an old sewing box, but perhaps is in the colors she chose, vibrant and rich and deep, not at all like the woman I have in my mind. In her younger days she loved purple and turquoise and salmon, deep orange and chartreuse and cool greens. My mom said well, maybe that is why those colors are left untouched - too bold and garish for her taste. I choose to think that deep in there was a bold and colorful woman, who every once in awhile peeked out in her choice of thread.

No comments: