Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lessons from the Women of the Past

I am very grateful to my Mum and to my Grandmother for the wonderful crafting skills I learned from them. They both influenced me greatly: My Mum with her sewing skills and my Grandmother with her crafting prowess. Home making skills were a necessary part of our lives and we sewed everything that we wore and crafted many of the decor items around our home.

So in honour of those days, here's a set of cards which celebrates the things that our Mothers and Grandmothers held dear. These very feminine cards are inspired by the crafts of days gone by when handmade meant quality! All the papers and embellishments featured are from Collections Elements.

Hand embroidery was a wonderful past time for ladies of all ages and they were very skilled with a needle and embroidery floss, creating beautiful table cloths and duchess sets for their dressing tables. I still have some treasured items in my linen cupboard which have been handed down through the family. And whilst the bobbins on my card aren't wound with embroidery floss, they are wrapped with familiar braids such as gimp, ric rac and bias binding. Other details include a pair of embroidery scissors attached to a chatelaine, an aged tape measure and some paper covered "buttons".

A popular item at the school fetes was always the frilly coat hangers knitted by the Grandmothers - perfect for hanging more delicate items that would be damaged by wire coat hangers. This one mimics the look with little puffs of inked tissue paper topped off with a piece of velour tubing to cover the hook. And for just a touch of "vintage bling", there's a length of crystal and smoke-coloured rhinestones. The smokey crystals really tone down the bling and are much more reminiscent of days gone by.

I was fortunate to learn my sewing skills growing up at a time when you made your own clothes. My Mum taught me how to sew a straight seam and then how to turn it into a French seam so that it lay flat with the seam fully enclosed. That was my first sewing lesson - 10 minutes behind the needle and I had been inducted into the women's circle. I would have been no more than 10 years of age. After that, my Mum left me to my own devices with her pile of fabric scraps and free access to her sewing machine. Once I learned how to read a pattern, there was no stopping me - pleated underskirts, tulle or lace overlays, and ruffled bodices - yes, I did create dresses like this!

If you are old enough to recognise any of these crafts or styles, then this post is dedicated to you. They say that everything old is new again so even if you're a much younger Mum and these crafts all seem so old fashioned, this post is also dedicated to you.

Whichever group of Mums you fall into, I hope you have a very Happy Mother's Day and may you pass your own crafting traditions down to your children!

'Til next time.....

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