Tuesday, November 12, 2013

the heart in handmade

Christmas is approaching and we are thrilled that many of you are thinking about sewing gifts for your loved ones. Here's a couple of real stories from The Drapery that show how much handmade can really mean to people.
cushion: Hearts in Persimmon by Umbrella prints, natural linen backing, Innergreen 100% recycled insert

One day a gentleman called in and asked if we would like some fabrics that belonged to his wife. We started to explain that at the moment we don't deal in secondhand fabrics, but he said he simply wished to give them to us. He explained that his wife had recently passed away. He said she had loved sewing and was very clever at it, and that he just wanted her fabrics to go to a good home. His grief and love were obvious. Of course we would take the fabrics! (And we had a little sob after he had left.) He returned a few days later with a couple of boxes. (And after he left again we had another little sob!)

One of the fabrics was this sturdy blue-and-white check from which I have made a 'box dress' - Style D from Stylish Dress Book 2 by Yoshiko Tsukiori. I hope the lovely gentleman would be glad to know his dear wife's fabric is being put to use.

The second story happened a couple of weeks ago, when a lovely customer remarked on the old Husqvarna sewing machine we had on display. She said it made her feel teary because her mother, now a dementia patient in a nursing home, sewed for years with one just like it. Our customer had made the hard decision to let go of the machine when sorting through her mother's possessions some years ago. For old time's sake, we brought the machine's case and accessories out from our back room. When she saw the instruction manual, this lady gasped - it had her mother's handwriting inside it. The date we'd adopted the machine matched the time she had been sorting out her mother's belongings. It was not just like her mother's old machine, it was the very one. She offered to buy the machine and we gladly accepted. A daughter was reunited with her mother's sewing machine and all the beautiful memories of her mother that went with it.

She also recounted a recent event when she sewed her mother a shirt for her birthday. Her mother, who had barely spoken a word for some time, took one look and exclaimed "It's beautiful, I love it!".

We're inspired and touched by these demonstrations of the emotional connections made through the act of sewing. And we feel privileged to have played a small part in these stories.

Do you have any special memories or treasured possessions related to sewing?

Are you sewing gifts this Christmas?

- Jane & Fiona xx


  1. What lovely stories. You two have truly created something special in your little shop. I think that fabric has the ability to evoke memories in the same way smells do. I have inherited a lot of my mother's stash and keep finding remnants from clothes she made me as a child, which bring back good memories.

  2. What lovely stories!

    I am making gifts this Christmas. I love sewing gifts for people that appreciate homemade. My mum is getting some Liberty cushions. My godson is getting pyjamas, and my daughter is getting another homemade hat in her Christmas stocking. I bought a hat pattern from you, and my daughter insisted that she had to have a made by mum hat to wear on her recent year 4 camp. The hat pattern was a great success, with easy to follow instructions and it turned out beautifully. So I need to make some more while I remember how to make them (I hate following instuctions).

    I look forward to visiting your shop again soon.


  3. Love the pattern matching with the pockets Hon! You can hardly notice them there! Nice work!

  4. ps that story was so lovely - so happy for the lady! x

  5. Oh my goodness, are you trying to kill me here? You're getting me all teary eyed, and I'm at work! GAH. Too sweet.


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