Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A Bargain and Honest Obsessions

This little worked piece was resting on a high shelf behind a large paint-by-number kit at one of the local value village stores.  It is framed in  heavy black wood and looks rather old.  Of course I had to buy it...considering the subject- a woman embroidering or perhaps doing cross stitch, and I loved the dark champagne colour of the thread, and at the price of $1.99, it was a bargain.  I know nothing about the pattern which is quaint and sweet. 
I have always loved cloth and threads and I'm one of those people who likes to run my hands over fabric bolts in the sewing store.  I also note how clothes look and any special collars, belts, buttons or bows.  This love also includes wool.  There is something about the sight of yarn, embroidery floss and bolts of fabric that make we want to start working with it.  Working with each and all of them has always played a big part in my life, not only to help pass time, but for pure enjoyment.
I used to think my love of clothes was a rather shallow trait.  That changed years ago when I read a book about the history of fibre and cloth and women's role in working with it.  Needles were invented about 40,000 years ago; up till the invention of sewing machines in the 1840's all sewing was hand done and more often than not, by the female members of any household. Women have such a long rich history of working with cloth and fibres; we come by our love of threads, whether we are looping, knitting, weaving, or sewing them, etc.,  naturally. Therefore, I know now it is not shallow of me to love nice clothes; I come by the enjoyment honestly.
One of the reasons I loved Downton Abbey was getting to see all the beautiful clothes the 'upstairs' family members wore...the women's dresses, in particular, were so lovely and often showed exquisite fabrics and intricate sewing and details.  I read an interview with the actor playing ladies' maid, Anna, who said they were in awe and so envious of the actors playing the  Lord's daughters because of the beautiful clothes they got to wear for their roles, as opposed to her in her black maid's uniform.