terça-feira, 10 de maio de 2016


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
Little Cumquat
Tuesday May 10
Wednesday May 11
Thursday May 12

16 comentários:

  1. Loved reading this post and seeing the outfits made by your grandmother! Precious!

  2. What a wonderful post, and such a lovely story about your grandmother! I really enjoyed reading about your sewing history and beautiful relationship with your grandmother.

  3. Oh, such a beautiful post. Lovely to hear about your grandmother!

  4. I loved your post, you have such great memories of your grandmother.. I'm so sad my memory sucks so much I don't remember much from my infancy. My grandmother was also a seamstress and one of my aunts too. I know my grandmother made me and my sisters handmade clothes, but she got very ill when I was still too young and I only remember her being ill. Yet I do remember asking my aunt for help to make a rag doll and clothes for my Barbie doll.

  5. Such a beautiful story! The costumes are amazing. I keep my first flamenco dress my mother made me. My niece wore it this year!
    I love the pink dress of Teresa.

  6. My grandmother taught me to sew too!! Such fun memories.

  7. A lovely post. Thank you for sharing Marta!!

  8. Lovely post - and those costumes are adorable!

  9. Oh, this is such a great post. Your grandmother definitely sounds like an amazing woman and all those photos are fabulous!! SO fun that your daughters are still wearing some of the clothes that she made. wow.

  10. Que bonita historia! Sei mãe já é tudo na vida , avós então é tudo e muito máis! Inveja boa de quem teve herança de costura na familia! A costura começou comigo, espero passar para meus netos tb ( o gosto quem sabe, seguro que telas sobraram para eles :-)))))

  11. What an amazing woman! You're lucky to have her! She had a full life and it must be wonderful for her to see all the pieces she made being passed on to their great granddaughters.

  12. My mother taught me how to cook and my sister is teaching me how to sew. But the most talented woman in the family was my great grandmother, as she embroidered beautifully and did wonderful crochet.

  13. What a sweet story. So special you have learned so much from your grandmother! And those costumes, wow!

  14. Beautiful story in this post, Marta!
    You're so rich and lucky to have these heirloooms!

  15. My grandmother also was a talented seamstress while my mum is an amazing knitter :) Your daughters look so much like you as a girl! beautiful story, thank you for sharing :)