mardi 7 septembre 2010

Where Petite Josette came from...and other sewing-related childhood memories...

The dress is pretty much finished ! I got a lot done over the long week-end and now I only have the hem and a couple handstitched finishes to make. Hopefully I will get around to taking some pics later this week, but in the meantime I thought I'd write a different kind of post. Here it comes.

Until I started blogging, and was looking for a name for my blog, I didn't really think of where my interest for sewing came from. My mom and stepmom both have a sewing machine, that I occasionally played around with when I was younger, but I never really "made" anything until a few years ago when I more "seriously" picked up sewing (I was actually told that if you've watched someone sew with a machine before, it comes very naturally to you the first time you do it). In any case, I realize now that I have hung on to a few items from my childhood that may or may not have unconsciously triggered that interest, because they are home made and ultimately related to crafting and creating something unique - which is I think one of the most appealing part of home-sewing.

The first one is actually where my blog name came from.
" La Petite Josette" is a song by Anne Sylvestre. She's a french singer/songwriter for children and I used to listen to this record of hers all the time. It was a 45 RPM vinyl record back then and I had one of those portable turntable with a handle, one for kids that you could just slide the record into (sorta like you would now a CD) and carry around while listening to it.
Included in the cover of the record was a pattern for a stuffed doll - Petite Josette herself - that my mom made for me. I am not sure what happened to the doll as I don't have it with me anymore, but I remember her body was made of a satiny flowery fabric, very soft if my memory serves me right, and her hair out of yarn. When I was looking for a blog name, this one came kind of naturally and I thought it would be quite appropriate.

The second item is a stuffed mouse that my aunt Nicole made for me when I must have been around 3 years old. I named her Celestine, after a character in a book (or rather a book series) that I read over and over as a kid. These books are actually quite beautiful. They told the story of Ernest the Bear and Celestine, a young mouse he adopted.

The books are very carefully stored at my parents' house but I've always kept Celestine with me, everywhere I've lived, all the way to Vancouver. And I actually stumbled upon the original pattern for it one day as I was going through my stepmom's stash of "100 idées" (a french craft magazine now out of print).

The third item is a quilt that was made by Betty, who was my dad's "host mom" when he was an exchange student in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the 70's.
I loved it - still do. I wouldn't consider it a security blanket - I don't remember dragging it around everywhere with me, but I would wrap myself in it to watch TV or use it to build forts on the couch. It's got some major wear and tear marks, and I actually considered fixing it at some point, but realized I loved it the way it was and I didn't want to hide its age.

So there you have it. I don't know if these had any influence on my interest for sewing on some unconscious level, but they definitely stand as good examples of the importance of hand-crafted objects, and how much more sentimental value they have over any store-bought items.

I'd love to hear about your sewing-related childhood memories. Any hand-made object you've kept with you your whole life and wouldn't get rid of for the world ?

4 commentaires:

  1. I found this post very interesting, I am hopeless at sewing but when I was a kid I loved drawing clothes and I am impressed by what you can do after just three years sewing.
    I thought that you'd be interested to know that your mentioning "100 idées" rung a bell, (I used to love that magazine), and a collection of 100 idées plays a determining role in a story I just wrote this afternoon for les chevaliers des touches !!!Don't ask me how our brains work!!

  2. Your sewing memories are charming! And your current dress is absolutely beautiful, inside and out. I traced that pattern but have never gotten to it. Some day.

  3. Hi, Anne Sylvestre is also a singer for adults and she's a feminist too. She wrote a lot of very good songs. I also listen her songs when I was a child myself. Marla

  4. Those book illustrations are so lovely, perhaps I will try and pick up the book for myself :)