Growing up in a small farming community way back in the 50’s when the internet and science fiction and there were only three networks, going to the Mower County Fair was grand entertainment. My brothers, sisters and cousins loved the Midway rides and always gave me a hard time because I wasn’t game enough to go on anything wilder than the Merry-Go-Round. Of course, they would go on everything, walking like drunken sailors when they emerged from the Tilt-A-Whirl. We all enjoyed the Tom Thumb doughnuts hot out of the grease from the travelling carnival booth. And we never missed getting malt served by the Dairy Princess at the Dairy building. Or to at least gaze at her likeness carved in butter. That does take a specific kind of talent to take a block of butter and shape it into the face of a small town beauty. But I my favorite display of creativity was the 4H exhibits – especially the Clothing & Textiles. Tissue paper, pins, needles and thread along with intuition of color choice and choosing just the right fabric for the design came together with prize winning results. Butterick, Simplicity, McCalls, even Vogue patterns were brought to life in simple garments by aspiring seamstresses to more involved and complicated ensembles expertly executed by accomplished artesian. My older cousin won a blue ribbon one year for the dress and coat she made for a special division called Make it with Wool. It was worthy of a Marlo Thomas That Girl costume.
While I had no illusions about making anything so grand (Miss Lowe gave me a D in the sewing section of Home Economics class), I knew that one day I’d make something beautiful too. And I have. I’ve made lots of beautiful somethings. I’ve sewn everything from curtains to costumes and lots of clothing in between.
Now when folks are talking about ways to economize, sewing has become popular again. I think it is inspiring and exhilarating to be able to express yourself with a needle and thread. Starting simple and small with a pillow or curtain is a great beginning. Who knows, maybe I’ll see something of yours at the fair.