*1977 - sitting with my Mom & Bootsocks on the porch in Santa Cruz, CA
My mom instilled in me a love to create things from scratch, including sewing & cooking. Both of my grandmothers also were wonderful with a needle & thread. I have such fond memories sitting at the old sewing machine with my mom, trying to finish up a costume or skirt. She always had a project in the works (sounds like our house!). I liked to think of myself as an amateur seamstress, until yesterday!
In an attempt to make our home feel more Christmassy this year, I made Christmas Stockings, with my limited supplies. Asia & I hunted for some beautiful material & notions downtown, and I drew a simple "pattern" on newspaper. In one short evening I managed to finish three Chinese-y stockings for the girls, complete with colorful fur & ribbons! I miss this sort of crafty outlet - so it was relaxing to hand-sew the hems and add unique decorations for each girl. I think I will figure a way to embroider their names or add them in felt (next project!). I think I also have my mom's hands.
And because this is China, this project would not be complete without a funny educational experience as well: I gained great respect for the Chinese woman who patiently, graciously taught me to use her hand-powered sewing machine. Its called a Treadle, for those who have never seen one. Growing up in America - I was blessed to learn on an old Singer, powered by electricity! A Treadle is what modern sewing machines are modeled after, with electric motors added. But a Treadle is powered by your foot! If your foot is coordinated enough, you can keep the momentum of the wheel rotating to sew without being plugged into the wall! Its amazing. The woman was so patient, soft-spoken & precious....also incredibly skilled, precise & fast! Eventually, she had me move over (after I broke the thread 3 times) and she finished my small amount of stitching. She even let me use her Treadle for free! Total cost = 48kuai = $6.48! Here are the finished products!