Monday, May 23, 2011

Jillsy Girl's May Challenge

Just when I start to get a little blog-lazy, Jillsy throws out a challenge.
This time it's CHILDHOOD. Oh my, the memories I have!

I wasn't sure whether I should delve into my own childhood, or celebrate something from my children's childhood 
(of which I am responsible).
It took a while to decide, but here it is...and it's all about ME.

My childhood was full of wonderful memories. 
I grew up under the watchful eyes of a very protective Italian mother. 
I have memories of so many things, but one thing that stands out is my clothing.
I also have memories of our plastic covered couch...especially during summer.


Mom was a talented seamstress. She could whip up a wedding dress or ball gown in record time. 


After 14 years of being the mother of one child...a boy...she was graced with me...a girl
I'm told she spent hours at her sewing machine, creating my wardrobe.
My father used to tell me that he was in competition with a singer...sewing machine that is.

My Mother felt that I should be dressed to the nines at all times.
This includes pool parties with my cousins...


My mother loved ruffles, crinoline, and lace.
She must have been ecstatic when my First Communion day arrived.


All of my mother's creations weren't just for me. She was quite a fashionista in the sixties...

As the years flew by I rebelled. I'm sure this was an awful time for my mother in so many ways. 
But I was through with pastels and ruffles. My mother turned her attention to herself and her sisters...

(That's Mom on the right)

As the years went on my Mother's sewing skills diminished. I remember her sitting at her sewing machine frustrated that a straight hem no longer looked perfect in her eyes. She spent most of her sixties doing alterations and making sure my store bought prom dresses covered every inch of my skin. 
I was grateful she no longer insisted on making my dresses. But as I look back I'm sure she was disappointed there wasn't anyone to sew for anymore.

I had spent years battling with her about my mini skirts and short shorts.
I remember most of our disagreements involved hemlines and necklines instead of broken curfews.
I admit, I was the girl who left the house in a modest outfit and changed clothes in my best friend's car.

8th grade graduation dress...1972

She no longer sews, but still keeps an eye on my wardrobe. My mother remains a fashion critic. 
I can tell by the slight lift of her brow whether she approves of my current style.
Most of the time she compliments me, but there are those times when she asks me if I have a good mirror at home.
Her humor remains.

When I look at the old pictures of me, I'm in awe of her skills. Her creations rarely involved a store bought pattern. 
She loved to embellish, and think outside the box. I knew she was done with sewing when she insisted I take her sewing chair. It resides on my sun porch as a constant reminder of her creativity.

My childhood was full of great things, and I thank my parents for that.
I have wonderful memories. 
But if I have to blame something on my mother, it would be my aversion to crinoline.
I don't think that would hurt her feelings.

If you have a childhood memory you'd like to share, link up with



  1. You were a darling little girl!!! I think our Mama's were a lot alike. Every picture from my childhood, I'm wearing a beautiful dress or jumper or playsuit that she sewed for me. Or sweater that she knit. The difference is that I had sisters, and we (almost) always matched.

  2. It's too bad that many times we don't appreciate as a youngster what we appreciate as an adult. But, crinoline!! WOW...I didn't even know anyone in our generation wore that! You were absolutely adorable as a child! (not that you aren't now!)

    Thanks for the great post!

  3. Nice memories. My mom sewed more than most but growing up I just assumed all moms sew. I can still remember outfits she sewed for my daughters. It's a great talent which is not always welcomed.

  4. What a beautiful post! I love all the photos - my mother and grandmother sewed for me all the time and I'm still amazed at their abilities!

  5. Loved reading this - what a beautiful tribute to your Mom - I feel like I know her! ♥

  6. We are so similar! My mother was also Italian (1/2) and sewed our clothes beautifully. As a child I didn't mind the hand made clothes, but when I got to the rebellious teen years I wanted nothing to do with her creations. Why did I have to be such a brat? I wish I could take it back now.

    Love your photos. The plastic covered couch, the communions lace, your mom's wedding day. So many special memories you've assembled for this post.

    Hope you have a wonderful week!

  7. I have enjoyed your post tremendously! My mother also dressed us up, and I have a wonderful photo of her by her "singer" to remind me.
    I see why Jillsy chose it. It has charm, humor, love and great photos to go along with the story!!
    Nice meeting you!

  8. just came back to say, congrats on being in the top five of Jillsy's challenge.

  9. Congratulations on being in the finals at Jillsy Girl! Your mother sounds just like my grandmother who was a professional seamstress and created so many beautiful things. Good luck!

  10. Congratulations on being in the top five of Jillsy's challenge. (that's how I got here lol)

    A great post, full of great memories; especially the 'chair'.