This is a sewing machine. A Singer Rocketeer, Model 502A. It is similar to the one that my mother taught my sister and I how to sew with. It is a solid metal, heavy, work horse. I could sew ANYTHING with this baby. Who knew this machine would become my connection to creativity and happiness?
My mother was a very creative and talented sewer, not a seamstress, but a creative sewer and a fabulous knitter.
Learning to be Creative When Young
She started to teach my sister when she was 11 years old. When I saw what they were doing, I wanted to join in. Not sew much for the sewing aspect, but for the camaraderie and companionship that I thought was happening. Little did I know that by encroaching upon their togetherness, that I would actually enjoy the creative process of sewing.
I had no idea that I was driven, passionately, to create with fabric, especially colorful fabric. As I advanced through the stages of “making” something, anything, I realized I thrived on the challenge of learning another new aspect of creating. Buttonholes, zipper installations, welt pockets, collars, waistbands, hemming. It didn’t matter what it was, so long as I was able to spend time with my Mom, and create.
Periodically, she would announce that she was going to the store and if any of one of us kids wanted to join her. When there fell a silence throughout the home, I peeped up and asked, “where are you going?”. When she replied that she needed to go to the grocery store and the fabric store, I chimed in, “I’ll go with you”. I was on a natural high whenever I entered the queendom of fabricland. I LOVED, absolutely LOVED and still do LOVE entering a fabric store. There was sew much to take in, the beautiful fabrics, patterns, buttons, zippers, thread and sewing supplies. I absolutely LOVED taking my hand and laying it upon the fabrics, touching, feeling, the different textures as I walked throughout the bolts of fabric.
Starting a Project Requires a Vision
After looking at all the fabric, I would eventually settle in at the table of pattern books, perusing the pages upon pages of clothing designs. Then one or two patterns would, it seem, jump out to me and want to be created. I would go to the pattern cabinets, search out the pattern and size, then walk back through the fabric to find the one fabric that beckoned my name. Getting the nod of approval, the go ahead from my Mom, we would together collect all the required notions necessary for completing my new found creative experience. As we would drive back home, my mind would race as to the next steps to make the garment.
And, as in all projects, there are steps and trials and errors. But the one thing that has NEVER waned, is my excitement to get to the next project, the next step and, even having to figure out how to handle a challenging project or redesign.
That is and was my mother’s gift to me. Not just the creative process, not being taught a skill that she enjoyed, but the opportunity to nurture a desire with her by my side.
My mothers encouragement, guidance and support was always there. She NEVER criticised my wonky seams, or imperfect zipper installation, or uneven buttonholes. To this day, I remember having her check my work and ask for what the next step was to be. She would kindly comment, “next time, keep your eye on the seam guide”, or, “what do the directions say”. But she would NEVER say that any of my sewing was wrong or bad. And, for that I am most appreciative and grateful.
Motivation and Passion
I believe, that my Mom, as tough as it was to not say those unencouraging words, knew that she herself enjoyed the times we spent together.
Her motivation of my passion led me to studying clothing at college where I received my BS degree in Home Economics with an emphasis in Clothing and Textiles. I was fortunate to excel to the point that I created my own classes and created period pieces for the town’s historical home docents, one of which was blind. The piece I designed had to be easy for her to dress and undress by herself.
Every time I sit to create, I always feel my mother’s presence. Not sew much guiding and supporting me, but enjoying the creative process, seeing what I am going to make with me.
I am sew blessed, sew grateful, for sew much. I love the creative process as it helps me to pull out what I am meant to do and that is to create.
We are all here to create something. Whether a dress, stained glass window, painting, gardening, even plumbing and accounting. EVERY THING that we get excited about, desire the challenge, the opportunity to figure something out, is our purpose. It is our purpose that drives us and we are meant to be desirous, driven and to create whatever “it” is. And, it doesn’t matter what others say, or not say, do or not do in regards to our creative purpose. As long as it matters to me, I will continue to keep creating some thing.
My wish for all is for all to pursue their creative desire, whatever it is, and never stop.
Blessings and thank you Mom,
Your passionate and creative daughter,