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Earliest Sewing Memory

Posted by Martin O'Connor on

My grandmother widowed when i was 3 months old and several years later she married Ralph whom i was encouraged to refer to as Uncle and so he was my Uncle Ralph.  Now Uncle Ralph was a master tailor and when i met him for the first time, I was 5 years old and he took me around his house which was the biggest house i had been in up to that age.  Upstairs he had a tailors fitting and show room and another room had 2 very large workbenches and in the corner  a motorised singer sewing machine sat into a heavy iron ornate trestle.  When he powered up the machine, it was so very loud, i remember covering my ears as 5 year old boys do.

That day, he sat me on the workbench where i sat legs crossed and he handed me a strip of blue velvet, which was folded in two, he handed me a needle and thread and showed me a first stitch.

After a short while, i had completed the exercise and had made a small bag,  the stitches were quite close together but they were scrappy, almost zig zag like in appearance.  But i remember how impressed he was with me and that moment was really the first time i had made a positive impression on an adult.  I recall how tickled pink he was and it was a rare moment for me.




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