From My Mother To Me



This picture was taken in 1957 at my grandfather's sewing machine store. He was a sewing machine dealer of Singer machines through several years. How fun is that? My mom was 3 years-old and she was wearing an handmade dress. 

She has had an almost 100% handmade wardrobe as a child and even as a teenager. I love going through her photos and looking closer to all her outfits. These were the days where people would go to dressmakers in order to get their clothes made. My mom has always had an amazing wardrobe, full of lovely girl clothes and of stylish teenage dresses - the 60's style in all its glory! 

She kept having some of her clothes handmade by dressmakers when she became an adult. Overall I think her wardrobe was 50-50 handmade / RTW when I was a child. But one thing was common: she had an impeccable sense of style! 

When Victoria (As It Seams) asked me to join her lovely series "From My Mother To Me" I was thrilled! I was a faithful follower of all the previous blog posts on this blog series. It was always so moving to read all the stories full of love. Mom and love are two words that go hand by hand. <3 



And this is us. My sweet mom and I, in 1979. I am wearing a handmade dress here. I have always had lots of handmade clothes as well. There weren't many clothing stores around when I was a child in our small town. I remember going to the closest big city to buy a good quality outfit twice a year - for Easter and Christmas (as would all the Portuguese kids do, it was sort of a tradition). 

All my other clothes were handmade by dressmakers. I have lots of good memories about going fabric shopping with my mom and grandmother and going to the dressmaker's several times until the garment was ready. First we would go there to take my measurements and pick a pattern. Then we would have to go there two, three times for fit checking. I loved all that process!! And I loved looking around trough all the fabrics and fashion magazines. There has always been something in sewing rooms that made me feel at home, now that I think about it.

Sadly though, I didn't get to keep many of my handmade clothes. My grandmother is a fully believer of sharing and caring for others. She is the most generous person in the world. (You would think so too if you knew her.) And that included giving away all the clothes to people who needed them, once we grew them out. She passed that to my mom and my mom passed that to us (me and my sister). So I only have one or two dresses from that time. 

Although my grandmother knew how to sew (she still has a threadle sewing machine) my mom never learned it from her. But she learned embroidery, crochet and knitting and her work is amazing! 

My mom went to a women education school. These were schools for girls only and they would learn all about embroidery, crochet, knitting, drawing, painting, etc. 

I was taught how to knit by my mom, when I was in Primary school. I didn't had much patience for it tough so I never got through the two most basic stitches...  ha! My passion has always been sewing. :) But I think I really need to learn those from her. I feel I might regret it one day later on if I don't... 

Here are some of my mom's first embroidery and drawing pieces from those times: 











Aren't these amazing? 

Her passion though became knitting and crochet. I grew up watching her using her hands to create beautiful things, every single evening. There was a sweet feeling of comfort and coziness when I would seat next to her in our living room while she was knitting or crocheting. 

I also remember going to craft fairs with both my mom and grandmother when I was a child, and watching them cuddle all the handmade goodies and really appreciating all the work beautifully made by hand. I think I learned how to appreciate handmade items because of that and it made me knowledgeable of all kinds of embroidery and crafts. 

A love for all things handmade was passed "From my mother to me". My grandmother passed  it to my mom, and my mom passed it to me. I couldn't be more grateful! 

And I hope to become a mom that will also pass this to my daughters. 



Click through these links to read everyone's stories and see many lovely photos! 


Monday May 9  |  A Jennuine Life  |  Little Cumquat

Tuesday May 10  | Gaafmachine  |  Do Guincho  |  Made by Sara

Wednesday May 11  |  La Folie Sewing Booth  |  Just add Fabric

Thursday May 12  |  As it Seams
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Miss Matatabi was really generous to offer a $50 gift voucher to her amazing fabric shop! It is one of favorite fabric shops in the whole world. Her selection is so, so good! Try your chance by entering the giveaway below! 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


Happy sewing! 

23 comments

  1. So awesome that your grandfather had a sewing machine store! My mum used to make us clothes when the 3 of us were little. She also made us (me and my younger sister) our prom dresses when we finished highschool, but I only decided to learn to sew when I finished my Master's degree. If I knew how much I would appreciate it, I would've probably started sooner :)

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    1. Que delícia teres tido roupa feita pela tua mãe! <3
      Quando soube que o meu avô tinha tido uma loja de máquinas de costura achei giríssimo!
      E exactamente o que sinto Sara! Eu só recomecei a costurar há uns anos, depois de ser mãe pela terceira vez... Se soubesse o que sei hoje teria começado muito mais cedo para aproveitar melhor o conhecimento das minhas avós, sobretudo da minha avó paterna que era mesmo costureira.

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  2. So wonderful learning about your loving relationship with your mother, Sara! There is something just so special about a handmade wardrobe, and it sounds as though your mother had impeccable taste in clothing and fabric, which she obviously passed down to you!

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    1. She did! Both my mom and her mom have always had an impeccable taste. As a child I loved to go peeking at their wardrobes and cuddle her clothes. And secretly wear the sometimes and watch it on the mirror. :)

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  3. Este post trouxe-me tanta coisa à memória: a máquina singer da minha mãe, onde a vi costurar tantas vezes; as amostras de renda e bordados que há lá por casa; a colcha de tantos quadrados, feita a duas agulhas, que demorou toda a minha infância a ser feita (adorava quando tirávamos todos os quadrados do saco, os colocávamos na cama, e contávamos quantos quadrados ainda faltavam!); o ponto cruz e os bordados de Castelo Branco...
    Obrigada Sara!

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    1. Sim!! As amostras de renda por todo o lado! <3 E contar os quadrados da colcha! Também me lembro disso! Que memórias doces... Obrigada por me trazeres isso à memória!
      O ponto cruz também fez parte da minha infância/adolescência. Gostava tanto!

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  4. Such a beautiful history!

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  5. Que lindo Sara! Que riqueza de detalhes, a cor ainda tão bonita passados tantos anos. Fantástico, leitura maravilhosa! <3

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  6. It's so lovely how a love of handmade things links the generations in your family. Your mum's embroidery is stunning!

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  7. Wow, another amazing family history. The embroideries are amazing!

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  8. My mother also sewed most of my clothes as well as my three sisters. I remember how she would stay up late at night making first communion dresses, halloween costumes, Easter dresses, etc. She also was a beautiful knitter and made sweaters galore as well as afghans. What a lost skill - I sew but do not have the talent that she had.

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  9. My mother would sew me and my sister a few dresses when we were little. But she does not sew anymore.
    She had a sewing machine but bought a new one and kept it in a box thinking one day I might want to learn how to use it. She never asked me to learn how to sew or anything but one day out of the blue I asked her if she still had the sewing machine in a box and can I learn how to use it.
    Now I sew for my mum ...

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  10. Wow, your mom was quite the artist. I'd never have the patience to do embroidery like this, but I think it's simply stunning

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  11. Esses bordados são preciosos!!!

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  12. My Gran sewed for her 4 girls & my Mom sewed for her 4 kiddos. Mom also sewed for the church, dresses for the missionaries to take to Mexico. They said Mom could "pinch fabric til it screamed", as she could get more dresses from fabric than any other church member. I learned my sewing skills from both Mom & Gran & am SEW stingy w/ fabric when I lay out a pattern!! NOW I know why! Thanks for this giveaway & Good Luck to ALL!!

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  13. AnonymousMay 11, 2016

    Que maravilhosa história!!

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  14. Such a beautiful story! I would hope to pass my love of quilting on to my daughter. Thanks!

    Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

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  15. What a beautiful story! The embroidery is amazing and the colours so lively still! By the way, your kids look so much like you.

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  16. I loved reading your story Sara. And those embroideries are amazing!!!

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  17. Such a wonderful story! That must have been such an inspiring surrounding!

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    1. I mostly remember my mum having arguments with her sewing machine....

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  18. The embroidery is gorgeous! It's too bad that there isn't as much appreciation these days for the time and skill put into handmade craft.

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