Monday, 18 February 2013

The giveaway winner and why I'm grateful...

At last the winner of my giveaway. I've had problems with my laptop and I think it knows I'm frustrated as it continues to cause problems... Time for a new one methinks!

So the winner is...

Congratulations! Sewpapillion is new to the blogging world and hasn't written a post yet, so welcome to the blogging world! What a great way to start! I shall be in touch soon!

So why am I sew grateful?
Both my grandmothers knitted and sewed, one being mad on patchwork and quilting. My mother also sewed a lot of her own clothes.

Mum made her own wedding dress as well as the two bridesmaids dresses. She was apparently hemming the bridesmaid dresses the night before they got married! She's amazing. I decided it would be far too stressful to make my own wedding dress.
How's this? It's 1961 for those interested. Doesn't my Dad look handsome! :-)

I was lucky because as soon as I was able, I'd watch Mum sewing, learning from her, probably from about the age of 8 or 9.  When I was big enough, I got to play on the hand Singer machine. As far as I know, this was her mothers and I've now got it. It's in need of some TLC, but I still love using it. It has a satisfying sound sewing with it!

The first thing I made was a drop waisted dress when I was about 10. Then I made clothes for my dolls which I self-drafted. Yep, I still played with dolls aged about 10 or 11... I was a real girly-girl. Mum encouraged me with this sewing and I'm glad she did. OK, the dolls clothes may not have been perfect, but... My dolls were the best dressed in the neighbourhood! And still are :-)

 I copied this pattern from a dolls pattern book for New Dolly (she never had a proper name!)

 Carol (she was a Christmas doll!) is standing on the dolls bed which was my mothers dolls bed. That means it's about 70 years old! How could I ever get rid of that?
 Believe it or not, I did that embroidery too!

[You're probably wondering why someone of my age still has her dolls... well they were meant to be sold on in the UK, but I didn't have the heart and they kind of followed me all the way to NZ. Funnily enough, I still haven't the heart to get rid of them, unless I know where they will be going. How selfish and silly is that?]

I continued to sew until I went to uni, then I didn't really sew much for about ten years. The Singer machine was given to me in my late 20s and that's when I started to sew again, mainly curtains and soft-furnishings for my various homes.

My sexy Singer. In need of some TLC and an overhaul, but isn't she a beauty? A traditional hand crank machine. No electrics with this one!

I made dresses for weddings, etc, then about seven years ago, I finally bought my own electric machine. I began to sew lots more and I think it was once I discovered the blogging world that I began to sew quite a lot. This is about three years ago. I've never looked back.

I been lucky to meet-up with bloggers, such as Sew incidentally, Stevie and Dibs in both the UK (about 18 months ago) and now have a great group of bloggers here in my adopted home of Wellington. We've met three times in about four months and regularly keep in touch and will help with even the smallest of problems we may have (such as why interfacing won't stick!)

I have so much to be grateful for... my grandmothers, Mum in particular for keeping me going, but not forcing me and the sewing world, particularly bloggers I've had the privilege to meet.

She now exits stage left very quickly before showing gushing tears to the masses :-)

Thanks all and particularly to Debi for another great Sew Grateful week.


  1. I practised my mum-taught sewing on my dolls too! :)

    Great post Nikki, it's good to reflect. I'm so glad you are part of our group, I have so much fun at our meets!

    I love the wedding photo and also did you notice the 2nd girl in from the left is doing that foot thing Joy taught us, haha! :)

    1. He he, that's my Dad's sister, she was the grand old age of about 15 methinks!
      I have to say, being part of the WBSN makes me reflect more, but also get more enthused by stuff.

  2. Wow, that doll clothing is awesome! I wish someone had taught me to sew when I was a kid!

    1. Thanks Jo, but you still do make lovely things, even though you say you've not had as much practice!

  3. Awww, what a lovely post!

    I don't think it's selfish or silly at all to keep your old dolls. They've got so much sentimental history to them!

    1. That's good! They've certainly got a lot of sentimental value. I can't believe I even remembered their names! :-)

  4. What a lovely story about your history! Your mum sounds lovely and talented. I don't think it's strange at all to keep your dolls, so much history and meaning in them, and you made those beautiful clothes! I still have a box of treasured childhood items and it's wonderful to have a look at them every now and then.

    And it's lovely, and a prvilege, to be part of such a great group of women with you :)

    1. Mum is definitely lovely and talented and I don't tell her enough! She hardly sews now and says I make clothes better than her!

      As for the WBSN, methinks the feeling is mutual between us all!

  5. That is so completely awesome that you still have your dolls and handmade dolls' clothes!! I wish I still had mine, which are long gone :(
    These are super cute, and your embroidery and sewing skills are truly excellent! :)

    1. Thanks Carolyn. At the moment the dolls live in a box, but hopefully I'll get a room where they can live properly in fresh air! :-)

      I can't quite believe how much effort I put into their clothes either!