Friday, January 12, 2024

Five Minutes Of Pattern

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today, and here's how that looks- 

Tell your inner critic to hush, then write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. Then hop over to the Five Minute Friday link up hosted by Kate Motaung and add your blog to the list. Don't forget to leave a comment for the writer linking before you, because that's the neighborly thing to do.

Today's prompt-pattern

I remember being a little girl of about nine or ten, accompanying my mom to the fabric store. Back in the day there were lots of fabric stores and there was always an area set up with big conference style tables where you would start your hunt for just the right thing. 

There were enormous catalogs to peruse...McCalls...Simplicity...Butterick...these were my favorite, and we'd spend a lot of time trying to find something I loved that my mom would be able to sew. Choosing the fabric was my favorite part of the experience and sometimes I'd want a particular material, but my mom would explain it wouldn't work well with the pattern we'd chosen

We'd settle on something then go home to lay out the pattern and cut the pieces of material to fit. She'd pin and sew and I'd try on, and it was fun to watch it all come together. My mom loved buying fabric and had a couple of trunkfuls she never made into anything, but couldn't part with either. Sometimes when I think of my mom I picture her at her sewing machine. She didn't have a dedicated room but she made it work, sometimes in the dining room, sometimes in my brother's room after he went off to college. 

I learned to sew somewhere along the way, mostly by watching and my mom teaching, but also in Home Ec in junior high and high school. Is that still a thing? I learned to follow a pattern, but I didn't stick with it and don't own a machine anymore. 

I have a lot of friends who quilt so I know there are still fabric stores out there, but they seem few and far between now. Do you still choose a paper pattern or is everything somehow digital in the 21st century? Do you sit in a store in a too big chair and turn pages in a too big book until you find the dress that calls your name? 

Do you lean over your mama's shoulder and beg to press the pedal and guide the fabric through the machine? Does she lean over yours as she helps you hold it straight? 

Do you grow up and write a blog where a word sparks a memory? 


  1. Beautiful post, Joyce. Yes, I did the very thing you write about and shared my memories here:, but even more, I did the very same thing with my own daughters. I despaired of ever learning to sew, but eventually did and so I made many things for the girls.

    I am not sure about the tables and pattern books at fabric stores but I think they are still there. I do know that lots of people still sew. I sell many vintage sewing patterns in my Etsy shop.

  2. Oh, how I loved reading this, Joyce! My mom made most of our clothes and I took home ec as well. I do have a sewing machine, but haven't made an outfit in years. I do mending. Two of my neighbors are quilters. We have a few fabric stores and Hobby Lobby actually has a large fabric section. There are still big books to look through and there are still paper patterns to cut out. It is something one has to love, though, and I have a problem with patience. Perhaps I will try again one day. Thanks for the memories and happy weekend!

  3. This is a great post!! You are a great writer.

  4. I remember those days. Mom made a lot of our clothes. Memories!

  5. Love this. Great memories and I like how you went with the theme of pattern. Our mom sewed most all of our clothes. I remember so well McCalls...Simplicity...Butterick. The fabric stores and all the variety of fabric. New dresses every Easter and Christmas and for the first day of school. I have to admit the older I got the more excited I was for something store bought. I do not have sewing skills. That skill skipped me. My sisters are good at it. I was sent to detention in my sewing class in 7th grade. OYE! Thanks for your prompt in writing about this. It brought back many memories. Cheers!

  6. That is a lovely memory you have. My mom wasn't into any of that. I did however make some things in Home Economics. Those were wonderful classes.

  7. I can remember my mum making some clothes for us when I was little but not a lot she did however, knit and she would knit jumpers and cardigans and vests for all her children and grandchildren