19 thoughts on “The Sewing School

  1. It looks like their lessons were in a Church. Both of the center girls seem to be making a chemise. Dreary work it is to sew a fine seam and pose.

  2. Rosemary B here:
    This is lovely. Absolutely beautiful, huh?
    In Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in the late 30’s my mom went to “Home Economics School” She learned everything to manage a home.
    I have a box of all of her perfect sewing projects. All done by hand. It is incredible
    She made clothes for her family during WW2
    Oh, and she was born without a right hand. She can do anything.
    Long long stories, I have.
    She can make or sew anything. Now she is 91 along with dad. I call them my twins.
    Thanks for sharing this adorable painting. It is lovely

    • Thank you for your story. My parents were born in The Hague, Netherland. My mom sewed everything for us. From layette (with flannel belly bands to hold in the baby’s naval) to decorative stitches on diapers and all the linens for a bassinet and curtains for a cradle to everything a baby would wear. She never talked about it. I only know because she did the same thing for my sister who was born in a mining camp in Peru. My brother got my hand me downs because he was born in Holland as well. I remember the hand washing and then the boiling of the diapers on the stove! No one got diaper rash! Boy we have it easy…and still complain…although my children came before disposable diapers but I did have a washer and dryer. It makes you smile. Most of my dresses were home made and beautiful. Remember when we had “senior activities” right before high school graduation? My mom made an outfit for every occasion. She did have her trusty Singer by then…oh the memories…it makes one smile 🙂 thanks for the painting, Lori. Thanks for the memories Rosemary.

  3. Rosemary B: What a determined and clever woman your mom must be. It would be wonderful to document and preserve her story for posterity. My mom died two years ago tomorrow and would be 95. Her stories of how she and her brothers survived as children in the depression are beyond imagination today. I fear it won’t be long before these stories of such strong individuals will be gone. It sounds like the “twins” are fortunate to have you, and you, them.

      • Kate – have your mom tell you how food and other commodity stamps “worked”. Did everyone get the same amt.? Guess everyone had them as a way of limiting what one could buy, but now I can’t ask. So….you ask and then tell us 🙂

        My folks’ friend had a daughter who went through shoes like crazy and my folks traveled back & forth from Chicago to Fla. to work so they needed gas. They traded stamps – shoe stamps went to them and gas stamps went to my folks, but I didn’t really get a good grasp of how it worked other than that.

        In Fla. they couldn’t have their car headlights on as it was felt enemy ships would spot them.

        One year my aunt came down in Dec. from MN. and I videoed them talking about growing up on the farm and how they spent Christmas. They talked & laughed. Wonderful to have that now.

  4. I like the expressions on the girls’ faces — they look MISERABLE! Like there should be thought bubbles saying, “Title IX did not come soon enough for me” and “I wish I was outside playing soccer!” 🙂

  5. Years ago my mom and her family used to send round robin letters. When the big envelope of letters got back to each one, they’d take out your old letter and put in a new one. Postage, obviously, was less then and no computers.

    They were Swedes living in northern Minnesota. They loved to reminisce (remember when this or that happened?) My aunt decided she’d pick a topic about life on the farm and each of them would write what they remembered about it. It was quite a mission, but when they completed it, they published the book (with photos) and each got a copy. There’s a family tree in the back with all their personal info. I look in that book quite often and marvel at what they accomplished – no electricity – no indoor plumbing, etc. yet they all finished school and worked hard so my generation could all go to college.

    The sisters were all wonderful cooks. Imagine cooking/baking everything from scratch in a wood burning stove. I asked how they controlled the temp. of the stove and mums said “you stuck your hand in there to check periodically and you could TELL what temp. it was.” OOOOOK

    They sewed all their clothes (either by hand or on a tredle (spelling?) machine, quilt, knit and the dreaded darning of socks. The photo you posted make me think of them, all sewing from a very early age.


    Tavette – S. Fla.

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