Memories of my formative years are sketchy to say the least … in fact memory recall across the board is not one of my strong points. It’s a trait I share with both my sister and mother – mine us for historical detail and see how we recoil. Invite us to join you in a quiz and it’s game well and truly over. But recollections bearing an emotional weight, remain embedded within like words etched in rock.
I remember my mother sat on the couch dictionary in hand, revelling at the discovery of a new word. Hands clasped around the word tin I took to school everyday – my mission, to seamlessly incorporate them into everyday discourse. Racing home to get to the piano before my sister and evenings spent devouring extra English and Maths because she’d achieved the impossible – she tricked us into thinking learning was fun.
But most of all, I remember her at the kitchen table with the sewing machine, surrounded by endless strips of fabric, sewing patchwork cushions, rag dolls and the odd item of clothing gracelessly received by my sister and I. For who wants bespoke handmade attire, when everyone is parading their high street bounty down the school corridors.
Nevertheless, my mother was undeterred and channelled her sartorial creations towards a much more appreciative audience incapable of back chat. Sindy – ‘the doll you love to dress’ – proved a most willing recipient of my mother’s talent for precision stitch in miniature. I recently gained possession of my childhood playthings and the handmade wardrobe she fashioned for them.
It’s taken years for me to come full circle and join my mother at the machine – a mere 40 of them. And in doing so, I’ve come to reflect on how all my passions … all the things I hold dear, can be traced back to her. To coin the title of the Almodovar classic, it’s ‘All About My Mother’.
So enough about me, or rather my mother, I’d love to know – from where did your inspiration to sew originate?