I sewed a sweater coat for Grammie.
One of my earliest sewing memories was collecting scraps of fabric from her sewing room floor and keeping them stuffed in a shoe box and telling her I was going to make a "beautiful dress" for her out of all the scraps. And it would have been something too, thinking back on what she was sewing with—lots of polyester gingham, patchwork, flannels and calico. It was the 1970s and she was sewing for us kids. I kept the scraps for a long time. Then I really learned to sew, mostly dolls and toys, but I never forgot how strong my desire was to sew something for her. I had this desire with cooking, too. She was such a good sport about eating my disgusting homemade pasta that I made when I was 10. Wow.
Later, much later, I did sew a bedroom pillow set for her birthday. A bolster, a back rest chair-type pillow with arms, a flouncy pillow and a matching sachet. It was the 80s and everything was Laura Ashely, so this was a perfect project. I was quite proud. I made the ruffles and the piping myself. She still has this set, which warms my heart, although I don't think I have ever told her that. But I always notice it. The girls use it in their little playroom at her house. I don't think they know I sewed it all when was I was about 13.
So, I'm not sure why I hadn't sewn clothes for Grammie before now. But it just hadn't really occurred to me. She can sew herself, as you know, but she sews like the artist she is— a quilter. So, garment sewing isn't high on her list, unless it's for my girls. Recently, I cajoled her into taking advantage of a .99 cent Simplicity pattern sale (this is Simplicity 2539) and she picked up some patterns and then I snatched them from her. I purchased this wool boucle at Mill Ends during their wool sale this October.
This was a breeze to sew. I love trying new patterns and this shape is not something I typically sew, making it more fun for me to try. The dolman sleeve is an interesting shape to lay out and cut. (I will confess, much to the horror of my sewing friends, the cutting and pattern fussing is my favorite part of sewing.) I kept this unlined (the serger was helpful here) to maintain the drape. The boucle was not fun to sew with or cut, (it drags like crazy) but the final garment is really lovely, warm, and not itchy— and was a fraction of the price of the wonderful Eileen Fisher type coats I was emulating. This one cost around $35. I plan to make her another one soon. She fussed when I told her I wanted to make this for her and fussed again when I wanted to sew another. I explained to her how much fun it is sewing for others (like, um how many quilts has she made me over the years? Quilts for my girls and husband? More than 20 and counting). And she conceded.
Thank you for teaching me to sew, Mom. I love you.