ago when my Grandma died (1993), I saved most of her clothes to use for crafts.
She had a
heap of overcoats and loads of ‘Pure Nylon’ tops and pant suits, many of which
were paisley and bright. Quite lairy was my old Grandma. Born in 1909, she
found her heels (but not her temperament) in the 60’s. Well, with the fabrics
and ‘kitsch’ of the era. I have lots of her old bric-a-brac and have added much
of my own now too. What was once my Grandma’s style is now my style too. I have
a collection of little porcelain fawns and Bambi’s, for example, which is a
definite a Grandma influence. I madeWagga’s out of Grandma’s coats, and still use remnants in all sorts of things:
blankets, pot-holders and rugs.
When I first
collected the nylons, I imagined using them in hooked rugs, what else after
all? They don’t feel so nice to wear and can get a bit smelly, ew. I had
bought, or rather borrowed Joan Mortimer’s fabulous book on Rug Hooking, so
here was reason enough to save these quite lovely fabrics and save the memories
that went with them.
by. I made my ‘Grandma Curtains’ with some, embroidering notes and letters and
recipes from my childhood and my life with Grandma and Mum. We three sewers.
These adorn my sewing room, appropriately.
But this week,
after having a bundle of colours made up for the last year, I started my
Grandma’s Bambi rug (name in progress). It’s been sitting in the back of my
mind for so long! As ideas do. All I want to do now is work on the rug, even
though I really have no place for it in my tiny little house. Let alone
anywhere for a pink deer rug! (I can
hear your comments about that from here, and I am going ahead so you see, I
main reason I wanted to write about this is that I feel the intimacy of my Grandma
so very much, doing this. Grandma was a quick sewer. Always eager to try
something new and get on with it. She used pinking shears rather than zig-zag
on the seams (pre overlocker days). I’m not like that. I’m fastidious, but have
otherwise almost completely morphed her into myself.
As I pull
apart these nylon clothes, I see her quick and ‘strong-but-not- blind’ hemming
and remember when I got her to make my end-of-year dress for dressmaker’s
college (myself a lazy 16 year old) and lost marks for the pragmatic but not
saleable, invisible hem. And last night as I unpicked another outfit, I
discovered Grandma’s pencil marks for her darts. It brought a tear to my eye
and a pang of loneliness for her and for my Mum. We three sewers who shared so
remaining, know these things about my Grandma. When I look inside these old
clothes, I know instantly if she made it and that makes me smile. I still miss
her terribly even after this time, but she is hooked into posterity with this
very bright, pink, maybe a little bit kitsch, Bambi rug.
Not sure about the background... scenery? Grass and sky? We'll see.
Foxy Winter Jumper: I followed the pattern for the boy’s jumper (sweater) for my next Fox Doll, but added my own cables. And made it a little longer (which doesn’t necessarily look better and I wouldn’t again). The yarn is a mixture of Morris & Son’s Empire 2ply in eggshell, and a funny little grey I found somewhere. I think it’s a funny animal hair?? It’s super soft, but has very thin, black hairs that made me think my own hair was getting caught (as it does), but finer, and soft. Someone suggested Samoyed, and I have a vague memory of something like that??? Poodle? The buttons are really old and quite special! Shell.