What is your grandma like?
Is she sweet and indulging? Is she strict and proper?
Does she remind you of Abuela from Encanto, Grandma Tala from Moana or more like the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella?
Well, my Grandma Char is a complete angel.
We have dinner and visit with her every week. I look forward to all her stories of “the good old days” and the updates of what’s on sale at Longs or Times for that week.
A few weeks ago, I asked her what sewing was like in “the good old days”. She told me that it was super common to have your clothes sewn. Most women knew how to sew and actually went to sewing school and took classes. Sewing clothes wasn’t just a hobby, but a necessity!
When I told her that sewing is making a comeback today as a hobby and craft, she laughed and told me, “This younger generation is always focusing on what is not necessary.” Her response gave me a valuable perspective to think about.
We’re living in a time of unprecedented abundance - so much so that we can just go to a store to get clothes for ourselves and our children at a really affordable price, but we’re actually choosing to sew our own clothes! We don’t have to sew, but we can. Isn’t that amazing? (And maybe something we kind of take for granted?)
I would consider the sewing I do as a form of creativity - of self-expression. I do it because I want to; because I enjoy it. My grandma didn’t have the luxury to consider it a craft because it was a necessity.
Though the reasons may be different it is still a skill that my grandma and I are able to talk about and share with one another. Through sharing we learned a little more about our individual generations and what sewing meant to each of us.
Do you have a Grandma or Aunty who sews? Have you ever talked to her about it? I’m willing to bet that if you ask her why she sews, or what she sewed most often, you will get insight into her life. You might hear stories you’ve never heard before, or get her perspective (and wisdom). You might find out you have more in common than you realize.
Of course, these are hypothetical situations - but I’m really curious (and kind of excited) about how your conversations around sewing could go!
Maybe you could even sit side by side and learn from her. But even if that doesn’t happen, talking is a great place to start! I didn’t realize what a sweet topic of conversation sewing would be with my Grandmother, and I’m glad I asked her about it.
What do you think?
Is there value in asking the women in your family about their sewing stories? Could this topic create more connection between generations? If you are a kupuna… would you like to be asked about your life as a seamstress? I know I’d love to hear your stories!
Please share your thoughts and stories in the comments so we can encourage and be inspired by each other!