Last weekend I mended a pillowcase, and used my grandmother’s pinking shears to trim the patch underneath. They’re the sturdy metal type; my mom gave them to me fairly recently because she prefers using the lighter-weight part-plastic ones these days.
My maternal grandmother was quite an accomplished seamstress, apparently, although most women of her generation (at least those who weren’t wealthy) were, just out of necessity. She died when I was just four, so I don’t remember her well, and I never got a chance to learn any crafty skills from her.
I wonder if I would have liked learning to sew from her, or whether I would have been interested when I was a kid. My other grandmother, who passed away only a few years ago, was not a sewer but she really liked to knit and crochet until her arthritis got really bad. I tried a few times to learn it from her, but it never really took.
These days it seems like less and less sewers learn from their parents or grandparents; more and more of us learn on our own or from classes. It’s funny that both my mom and I have come back to sewing in recent years – me mostly clothes, and her mostly quilting. Today she texted me a photo of the giant star block she just finished for my sister-in-law’s Christmas tree skirt. It was a template-cut and pieced star, so she had quite the time enlarging it from its original size to the 4x bigger type that’s going to be the middle of the skirt. Proof that she’s the former math teacher, not me!