Saturday, 4 July 2009

A 1910 French Practical Sewing Sampler

I was sorting through some boxes in my ever over-flowing stockroom and came across this pretty little French sampler from 1910. I have just published a post on my other blog about the 1940s wartime Make do and Mend ethos, and its relevance today, and thought that this pretty little piece linked very nicely to that topic. It is a wonderfully practical sampler, unpretentious, not unduly decorative, but ideally suited to its purpose, ie. to practise one's skill at practical as opposed to purely decorative sewing. A sewer of the day needed to learn about darning, buttonholes, attaching hooks & eyes etc as well as more decorative skills used to brighten up everyday linens, such as drawn thread-work, and cross stitch in the days when most people still made and mended a lot of their own clothes and linens. I imagine it to have been sewn by a young girl in the time-honoured tradition, the work isn't especially neat or accomplished, but surely that was the point of such a piece, it was for practise, in order to improve skills and aid fluency with the needle. I think I will have a go at making one of my own based on this one, at 47 years old, it is about time I began to learn how to sew!

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