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Saturday, 16 April 2016

A-Z: I Remember .....Needles, Nativity & Names

I Remember When......
Recalling Memories of My Childhood


Coming up with topics for Letter N has proved challenging!

NEEDLES were an important part of my home life and "Happiness in Stitching" could be my mother's motto.

For her to go into a fabric shop was like going into a jeweller's.   If she sat down, she was rarely without a needle in her hand.  She was a creator in patchwork, crochet, collage, knitting, embroidery, smocking, dolls and dresses, with dabbles into  millinery, basketry, lampshade making and china painting.

My mother Kathleen (Kay) Weston, nee Danson was born in 1908 in the small town of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.  Her older sister Edith was equally talented and from their photographs they clearly enjoyed fashion.  

At the age of 14 Mum was apprenticed to be a tailoress and was still making her own clothes in her 80's - though on a much more sophisticated machine than the old treadle she began on.  

Mum set up her own dress-making business from home  and continued this throughout her life.  In the 1950's this meant working in the spare bedroom which was icy cold in winter and hot and stuffy in summer.  I remember one time when my little brother - a typical boy into everything - got hold of her oiling can, filled it with water and proceeded to "oil" the sewing machine!.  He was not very popular!

My pleasure came from  cutting up the old Butterwick and Simplicity pattern books and creating characters and school classes from the fashion figures. 

Many years later my daughter was the recipient of nursery collages, soft toys, a Cindy wardrobe, costume dolls, crochet waistcoats and fashion jumpers. Mum was also an active member of the Women's Institute (W.I.) and regularly took part in craft competitions, displays and demonstrations, winning a prize for the collage below.

An "Alice in Wonderland" Collage Mum  made for my daughter's bedroom 
More N's 
Did you take part in a NATIVITY play at church or at school?  
What were the popular Christian NAMES in your class?   
Did you have a NICKNAME?   

Onto O for Occupations  

In Case You Missed.....
A-Z Challenge 2016 Theme Revealed:   
I Remember......Memories of Childhood

n Case You Missed.....
A-Z Challenge 2016 Theme Revealed:   
I Remember......Memories of Childhood


  1. Talented indeed! What a sweet collage. My mother was also a talented seamstress, made a lot of my clothes, and loved making costumes! Wish I had pictures of some of the outfits she made for me.

  2. Fabulous! My mom enjoyed sewing and needlework too. They would winter down south and when she back in the summer she had all new crafts to teach us girls.
    I have ancestors from Poulton-le-Fylde!!! Singleton.

    1. Dianne, I was thrilled to read of your Poulton connections and have sent a message to your personal e-mail. I look forward to learning more, as Poulton and Singleton were small places in the 19th century. I have traced my Danson family back to 1736 and they were large families down the generations.

    2. Sue I have replied, and yes folks - "It's a small world after all".
      My Singleton married a Danson. I so look forward to chatting and comparing!!

    3. Oh.... back to sewing. Your talking about Poulton side-tracked me (or derailed me haha)
      I on the other hand made a few things for myself and my 4 girls. But I sewed so many Barbie clothes for my girls and their friends and the school fairs, when the girls grew out of their dolls, I gave away the machine!

  3. Like your mother, my mother was THE seamstress. She made most of her own clothes and ours. She did drapes and slipcovers. She smocked dresses for my girls and made a quilted wall hanging for our first nursery. I doubt the sewing machine ever cooled off.

  4. My mother could sew and did make a few dresses for my sister and me when we were small. Later she made at home dresses for herself and quilts for all her grandchildren. She crocheted and knitted and made some sweaters and a wild shocking crocheted dress for my oldest daughter when she was about 4.

    Finding Eliza

  5. My mother was a very proficient seamstress. I still have her old sewing machine which weighs an absolute ton. Nicknames - Olix, Alex de Palex, Chuck, Xani, Luvvie...I know - weird.

  6. Oh WOW! That Alice in Wonderland collage is FANTASTIC! A lot of work went into that! Your daughter would treasure it!

  7. My mum too was an excellent seamstress though I gather she was intimidated by dad's mother who was a professional dressmaker. You couldn't fault mum's work and she was very particular about everything to do with it. Interesting isn't it, how few people sew these days. I've given up and I think I turned my daughters off for life ;)


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