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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fond Mother and Grandmother Memories

made for my doll by my mother in 1954--17" long

Despite the opening here, this is a happy post. There are many items in my house that bring back fond memories of my mother. Although she has been dead for 19 years, I grieve a bit now and then, mostly when I am so ill and want her. Her picture and the things she made or gave me give me great pleasure because of fond memories of her love and attentiveness.

My mother made the little doll nightgown on her grandmother's treadle sewing machine, just for me when I was eight. As a child and until now I never looked at it with a critical eye. It was made just for my doll, was new, warm, and cuddly. It fulfilled a request I made. Now, I think it was made of flannel for men's pajama fabric, new but still not too girly. Maybe I am wrong. I remember asking her where she got the fabric.she said scraps, so maybe Memaw gave it to her. Look at the fabric pattern. The hem in the front and half of the back is just the selvage of the fabric. One half of the back has a shirt tail hem. She cut this from fabric using no pattern. The two tiny snaps in the back delighted me.

These details show me how she was making do in order to give me the nightgown that I asked her to make for my latest Christmas doll. She had a scrap and figured out how to get the little nightgown from what she had.

Flour sack apron made by my grandmother for infant me.
12" long

Can you see the pocket, at least the left side?

This little apron has only existed in my memory since I was about six even though it was made for me when I was less than a year old. My maternal grandmother made it for me. The apron has a narrow hem, sewn with a double row of stitching and has a self-fabric, homemade bias tape for the neck and back ties that also finishes the underarm part of the apron. The little pocket is adorable. Memaw must have been running short of this piece of fabric. There is a seam down the middle of the pocket. Memaw made lots of clothing for us, as did my mother.  Memaw made this from a flour sack in 1947. I got it against an older, varnished item when I was an adult; so it remains. I am afraid to try to remove the stain from ancient fabric.

Until I was seven, I had never slept on or under sheets that were one piece of fabric. All our sheets were made by Memaw from flour sacks. Do you know how annoying it is to have to adjust your foot because and ankle bone is on a seam? I do. And, I remember the first time I had a sheet on my bed that was not made from flour sacks and I could move and lie just any way I pleased.  I did a lot of stretching and smoothing of my sheets that night. As I recall, those white flour sacks were not the finer and smoother sacks that were used for the apron.

By the way, neither have been washed lately, so I did not want to iron them. Both are slightly soiled. Of course, the apron's stains may stay forever. But, I am going to get some dry-cleaning fluid and dab on the apron stains before I wash it..

I have meant to record these items to save so my children will know what these two items mean to me. So, here is my digital record since my fond memories are not their fond memories.

In the South on Mother's Day we wear a white carnation or rose if our mother is dead and a red one if she is alive. Do you follow the same tradition or another? In church this was a tribute. I suppose it also was a way of helping others be sensitive and not ask how your mother was doing when she was really dead. Oh, I say "dead" and not "passed" or some other euphemism.

Your turn
Do you have items sewn/crocheted/knitted for you by your mother or grandmother that you still have and cherish? Can you share memories of anything made for you by mother or grandmother or a mother figure? Do you get all sentimental when you see these things? Don't mistake what I am saying--it is a happy sentimentalism, not sadness.


  1. happy mothers day


  2. Wimmera,
    Thank you and Happy Mother's Day to you--even if you are only mother to animals.

  3. Happy Mother's Day, Linda! My mom has been gone for almost 13 years and I miss her like crazy all the time. She made me (and my dolls) so many clothes when I was little but I don't have any of them any more--lost somewhere along the way in a move. I do have lots of things that belonged to her and to both of my grandmothers and I treasure them especially. I hope you have a lovely day tomorrow.

  4. Happy Mothers Day to you. I have alot of things made for me by my granny and also for my children. She made sure to make them their traditional wedding gifts before she died. They were only 13 when she passed. My mother is only recently starting to make things- embroidery mostly.

  5. Rochelle,
    Happy Mother's Day! I thought I posted this once! My girls have so many doll clothes to this day that I made for them. It's too bad you lots your treasures in a move.

    Happy Mother's Day!
    I think my son treasures things I make for his children more than my daughter does. Your children will really treasure their gifts.


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