Today I am absolutely delighted to be part of Victoria’s series, From my Mother to Me. But I will be writing about my grandmother instead... I’ve actually been willing to write about my grandmother on my blog for quite some time and this was the perfect excuse.
My grandmother and I back in the early 1970's
My grandmother was an amazing seamstress! Not only was a perfectionist, but she also had a great sense of style. I wish I had started sewing earlier as I am sure I would have learnt a lot from her. Right now she is 96 years old and, unfortunately, she doesn’t sew anymore.
I used to spend a lot of time with my grandmother, especially during summer holidays, and I remember her sewing all the time. She used to sew us dresses and nightgowns – my mother save some of them and my daughters still wear them - and then I got to play with the little left over fabric. But unfortunately I was too young to learn to sew…
Teresa wearing a "three generations dress". This dress was made for my aunt long, long time ago...
When my grandfather passed away, after a long disease, my grandmother had not much to do and decided to launch a small home based business making brides and new born clothes. She had a very old seamstress helping her, Olivia, and she sold mainly to her daughter’s friends. All her clothes were impeccably made, most of them with wonderful hand sewn details. The business was a success!
She also used sew a lot for charity. I remember seeing many baby clothes (some sewn, some knitted) aligned in her sewing closet ready to be donated to newborns from needy families. I even saw once a priest vestment being cut on her dinner table. I thought that was so awkward! Why was my grandmother making priest’s clothes?!
My sister and I, with my grandmother between us, in our family home garden wearing the traditional costumes my grandmother she made us
But, from everything we were able to keep of her makings, my all-time favorite are these costumes. They are typical from Minho, the northwest part of Portugal were my grandmother was born. We used to wear them at the local fair every single year and it was so exciting. The process of getting dressed was quite amazing. Almost a ritual! First we had to see what changes needed to be made to accommodate our ever growing bodices. Then my grandmother would make the needed adjustments and we would get properly dressed. Finally we would take a couple of pictures. But we were not allowed to play or run while wearing the costumes!
Teresa and Ines (above) and my sister and I (below) wearing the exact same costumes in our family home in the north of Portugal
My first sewing machine was actually my grandmother’s old Singer but right now I am sewing with and even older (from the 1950’s) Pfaff that used to belong to my other grandmother. Both my grandmothers knew how to sew but only one was really passionate about it. Actually, my mother also learned to sew but she hates it! She is an avid knitter instead. Maybe one day I will need to start knitting too…
My sister and I, with my mother between us, wearing hooded sweaters she knitted for us
I hope you liked my blogpost. It was a special port for me to write...
Now are you ready for a little surprise Victoria and Frances have put together for our readers? Well, here it is: use the rafflecopter below for a chance to win some really nice fabric from one of my favorite online shops, Miss Matatabi. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And don't forget to check the other participants blogs for some wonderful histories about their sewing roots:
Monday May 9
Tuesday May 10
Wednesday May 11
Thursday May 12.