Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A (True) Sewing Machine Story

I am certain that a Sewing Machine would relieve as much human suffering as 
a hundred Lunatic Asylums, and possibly a good deal more.
~ Margaret Atwood

Sewing was part of the family even before I came along.  The lady's father was a tailor, and during the Ukraine famine of 1932-33, when she was just a girl, she and her sister walked for many miles carrying some clothes that he made, hoping to trade them for some flour for her family.

But that was before my time.  I came along when she was a young woman in Lutsk, Ukraine.  She was so happy when she got me!  We made all of the clothes for her family together.  

Of course, this was before the days when pre-printed patterns were common and she struggled a bit with drafting patterns from scratch.  She still laughs sometimes about the fashionable shirt that she tried to make for her husband, which all of his co-workers said looked more like a nightie!  ;)

But it wasn't all fun times back then.  One of my scariest memories is from the early 1950's, when she believed that the government would be sending agents to take all of the family's valuable possessions.  I hope you don't think I'm bragging when I say that she was most worried about me - she agonized over the decision of which neighbor to ask to hide me.  Some might have turned her in to the government - others might have tried to keep me for themselves...  

In the end, she picked the right person and we were reunited.  

When the time came, I went to live with her daughter.  She mostly used me for mending - it was only during Perestroika (in the late 1980s and early 1990s), when times were rough, that I got to make clothes for the family again.  

Around that same time, the granddaughter was also learning to sew and the family was introduced to Burda Moden pattern magazines - oh, how the granddaughter liked those pre-printed patterns!  

I took care of the lady and her family for about 50 years - I helped them through hard times and introduced two new generations to sewing.  It was a good life.  No sewing machine could ask for more.  


  1. That is a precious story. Love it. Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Hi Gwen - I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I thought it was wonderful too, when my friend (the granddaughter) told it to me. :)

  2. Always a fantastic day when you learn the history to your machines!

    1. Hi Elaina! :)
      Unfortunately, this is not my machine - but it is a true story told to me by a friend about the sewing machine she learned to sew on... (She is the granddaughter in the story.)
      So nice to see you back on your blog again - as soon as I can remember my WordPress account info, I'll leave a comment! ;)