Monday, 20 June 2011

Artistic heritage

My whole family seems to be quite artistic, although more in the music side - my maternal grandfather sang and used to train a choir, my dad was a singer, although he never had a record, he sang at dance hall concerts, an uncle also sang, his eldest son Jorge Cortez, (he now plays in a hotel in Algarve, Portugal) was at one stage a guitar player with Demis Roussos and Jorge´s two sons are also singers and play musical instruments.
The younger generation now sings rap, while the two elder generations sing more serene love songs, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan style of music.
The singing gene was not transmitted to me as I can´t sing to save my life!

But I´m artistic in other areas. I remember at the age of 12 I decided to use a sewing machine we had at home. My Mom was not the sewing kind, so it just sat there inside its wooden case. I threaded it and when at a certain point the thread got tangled in the bobbin while sewing, no one at home knew how to fix it! So the machine had to go back to the shop where it had been bought so they could see what the problem was, and from them I learned how to solve such mishaps.
At that age I started to show some interest in sketching clothes, colouring them in, but I never knew or tried to cut my own patterns. I could now be some famous clothes designer!!

My son wearing blue track pants and daughter wearing track pants and top in 2 colours made by me

Many years later when I lived in Germany with my husband, he gave me a sewing machine for some special occasion. So I bought some "Burda" magazines (don´t even know if they are still published), and I bought some cheap fabric and started to cut some patterns and sew my own clothing.
Nothing fancy of course, simple patterns was all I attempted.
By the time I fell pregnant with my daughter I decided to get some maternity patterns and proudly wore some of the outfits I managed to turn out.
I remember one Sunday at home, doing a photo shoot with my husband modelling all my "home made" maternity wear!
When the children were small I sewed them their fleece pyjamas and track suits using stretch fabric.
Knee holes were quickly repaired with some colourful patches.
I even used up bits and pieces in various colours and used them in sleeves, etc, as you can see in the second picture of my daughter! How clever was I?

Son wearing top made by me and daughter wearing top in various colours also made by me.
Of course, as soon as they were old enough to decide what they wanted to wear, my home made clothes were no longer very popular....

So I lost interest in sewing for many, many years and took up some other artistic activities instead.

Then Knitwit became popular, I lived in South Africa then, and my sister and I joined their sewing classes with their easy patterns and cotton stretch fabrics. Every week for a couple of months we attended the lessons, then we would go home and dutifully cut out and sew our outfit to be used and presented at the next lesson. That was fun, and we got a whole new wardrobe to boot.
Looking through my photo albums I can´t find a photo with any of those clothes, but I certainly wore them and they were actually quite nice.

In 1991, for my younger sister´s wedding in Portugal, someone was brave enough to trust me to make the dresses for the 3 mini brides maids (they were my daughter and two nieces). I made a little bow and sash for my son´s trouser suit as well, so they would all match. As you will be able to see from the photos, they don´t look that bad. Don´t know if I would have the guts to attempt something like that now!!

My daughter on left     -   My younger sister and her bridal party- my daughter and nieces, with my son in front. The white dress of the ring girl was not made by me.

Sadly my daughter did not get the craft gene from me, but has a wonderful singing voice, and my son is also very artistic, but not a singer.
More about my new craft interests will follow in another post.

Does anyone remember the Knitwit sewing classes? Do you enjoy sewing for yourself?


  1. I think my mum took Knitwit sewing classes - I will send her this post and ask! It certainly rings a bell. And until I was 11 or 12 everything I wore was made by her (right down to the underwear!)

    You've got me thinking about my artistic heritage but sadly it's not as rich as yours ... my husband's is though, so perhaps my son has a good chance of inheriting some good artistic talents!

  2. Wow even underwear, that´s funny, don´t think I ever attempted that. I was thinking last night that I still have the Knitwit patterns in a box in the garage, maybe I should get some stretch fabric and get myself a new wardrobe...


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