Thursday, 14 July 2016

Silent stitching



Last month, on Father's Day, we lost my father-in-law. While the funeral arrangements were being made I decided to make a dress. Not that I needed the dress, I just needed the stitching.

It felt like the right thing to do. My father-in-law was a fan of handmade garments and he always encouraged me to sew. There was so much on my mind and I had trouble thinking straight. Whatever I was going to make needed to be simple and without fitting issues. There was no time for fabric shopping either so I was looking for a trusted pattern and fabric from the stash. I settled for a black double knit and V8379, a dress I could make on automatic pilot.

When I was sitting in my sewing room the only sound was coming from the birds in the tree next to the window. I hardly remember cutting, stitching or finishing the seams. Sewing helped, like it always does. By the time I was silently hand stitching the hem good memories started to replace the images of his difficult last weeks. My dress was finished in time for the funeral which took place one week before his 97th birthday. He will be missed dearly by all of us.

Today I bought a large bunch of Dad's favourite flowers. He used to grow them on his allotment. Thinking about the gardening lessons he taught me over the years and looking at the sunflowers is cheering me up. And although we are still busy emptying the house I will try to start sewing again soon. Cause it helps.







23 comments:

  1. Oh Marianne, I'm so very sorry for your loss. Hoping the happy memories bring you solace at this difficult time.

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    1. Thanks, Evie. We are grateful he was with us for such a long time!

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing your personal life with us. My thoughts are with you during this time. Isn't it nice to have sewing as a sort of therapy to help us through both the good and bad times?

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    1. Thank you so much. Life often influences the things we sew or don't sew, so I can't see my personal life apart from the sewing journey I'm documenting here. Like you say, sewing is great therapy!

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  3. I'm so sorry for your loss, Marianne. Thinking of you.

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  4. Condolences, all the best to you and yours...

    Christina

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    1. Thanks for thinking about us, Christina. We are so grateful to have lots of happy memories to help us through difficult moments.

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  5. Condolences, all the best to you and yours...

    Christina

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  6. Losing someone you love so dearly and who has played a large role in your life is never easy and my sympathy is with you and your family. Sewing is a wonderful way to make sense of the life we have shared with loved ones as it gives us positive feelings and therefore creates happy memories as we do our stitching. Sewing has been my life saver under similar circumstances. Love to you and your family at this sad time.

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    1. Thank you, Marjorie. We are so grateful to have had him with us for such a long time. Your loss must have been so much harder to deal with, I admire your strength and positivity. Love to you from all of us.

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  7. I wondered what was going on. I'm sorry to hear about your loss and glad you found a way through.

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    1. Thank you. There are so many difficult tasks to deal with and one day can be better than the next one, but we're okay.

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  8. Very sorry to hear about your loss, I'm glad you had a way of getting through, sewing is an amazing hobby as it has so many benefits.

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    1. Thank you. i couldn't agree more about the amazing benefits of sewing!

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  9. How sad for your family. He sounds like he was a wonderful man (sewing, sunflowers - he was obviously a gem!). Deepest sympathy xx

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    1. Thanks, Sarah. In his younger days he was a very passionate gardener with a large kitchen garden and the most amazing flowers. My late mother-in-law taught me how to sew. It's the end of an era, but I'm grateful to have learned so much from them and to be able to pass on the love for gardening and sewing to the next generation.

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  10. What a lovely tribute to an obviously wonderful gentleman. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on him and on sewing. How blessed your family was to have his presence in your lives for so long. I send sincerest sympathy to you and yours...

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    1. Thank you, Karen. We will miss him, and all the wonderful stories he had to tell. It was amazing to hear about life in the countryside almost a century ago. He clearly remembered the first time he saw a car in his village, he watched his older brothers leave by ship to emigrate to the US during the Great Depression, lived through WWII and was a police officer for many years. Right until the end he was well informed about world economics and politics and showed a lot of interest in the education and careers of our daughters. We do indeed feel blessed he was with us for such a long time.

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  11. I'm sorry to hear of your sad loss. A lovely tribute and I'm glad you were able to find some solace from sewing which he encouraged and from flowers that you both love.

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  12. I'm sorry for your loss Marianne. My grandfather recently passed away and although he was old too, it's still sad. It's just the way life works but it's always so sad to have to say goodbye to someone you love. I'm glad to read that you have many happy memories of him and veel sterkte voor de komende tijd.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather, Inge. It's never easy and I hope you too will find comfort in happy memories.

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