The details

Now that Christmas is over I can finally post details of some of the gifts I made for my friends and family this year. This was an all-handmade Christmas, except for a few gifts for First Child and Second Child, who are more into tech than textiles.

As some of you (but none, thankfully, of the intended recipients) may have guessed, the textile photos I recently posted refered to more scarves fashioned out of vintage kimono sleeves. I think I finally have the knack of putting these together properly, and the scarves were well-received.

This one, especially, tickled me:

Not only was this my favorite of the several fabric pieces I bought (I am partial to blue and white), but I was delighted to find, as I carefully measured and pressed the cloth, a few tiny and meticulous repairs to the fabric. Though I was careful to make sure that this side of the fabric didn’t show in the finished scarf, knowing that some earlier seamstress (am I wrong in assuming that this is likely a woman’s work?) took great pains to mend this sleeve in such a way that the repair was both nearly invisible and maintained the pattern of the fabric.

I confess I could not let this piece go–this one I kept, not because it was, in a small way, damaged, but because I felt close to the previous owner of this fabric, who obviously loved and cared for it.  Would we, today, take such care to mend the sleeve of a silk blouse, or would we reject it and buy a new replacement? I wore it to a number of holiday parties, and will continue to do so in the future.  And if it needs mending at some point in the future, I hope my skills will be up to the task.


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