I mentioned my Aunty Dot the other day as one of the three aunts who taught me to sew. Aunty Dot had been a home economics teacher but was retired when I knew her. In me she found a willing student. It was in her kitchen that I learned how to make scones, always rubbing in the butter, never melting it. It was in her living room that I learned to sew, beginning with the dolls clothes and accessories I wanted to make . We still have some of the clothes I made, under her supervision, for Barbie and Wendy. In amongst the clothes, also are those that she made, many of them works of art. There are reversible dresses, skirts and cloaks for Wendy. Beautifully sewn evening gowns, complete with strings of pearls, lined coats and suits, and frilly nightclothes were created for Barbie. At left are some of the clothes in just as good shape now as they were when I played with them 35 years ago.
She also made some lovely clothes for my mother and me. Yes, I still have some of them too. I don’t hoard everything, but an original item of clothing made out of a beautiful piece of fabric is hard to give away. And you never know, I just might find the right occasion to wear it one day.
Last May my own girls and some of their friends wanted to learn how to sew. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching them on Friday afternoons. There were looks of satisfaction on their faces as they completed each step and looks of disappointment when I told them that something needed to be redone. Perhaps I had similar looks on my face when my great aunt showed me how to unpick and try again. Never the less I’m glad she did.