My Grandmother Madge


My maternal grandmother Madge had couture level sewing skills.  When I asked where she got them, my aunt told me she took classes in downtown Chicago.  She never rested on her laurels. I am thinking of her a lot, since my sister and I are taking a couture sewing workshop with Claire Shaeffer in Palm Springs.  I like to think of her spirit in the room with us.

During the depression, she made complete wardrobes for her three daughters, taking apart old clothes to find fabric.  One aunt told me she always had a new dress for special occasions, even if the fabric was not new.  When the youngest daughter was ready to go off to college, my grandparents had enough money to buy her a new wardrobe.  But she demanded a handmade collection just like her sisters had received.

This picture is from 1961, when she was about 62 years old.  You can see that she was able to stay right in style.  Find me that jacket, and I would wear it today.

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5 Responses to My Grandmother Madge

  1. eimear says:

    I always feel quite a lazy person when I read of industrious ladies like these, my own grandmother relaid a stair and living room carpet in our old house (my dads house,and before he married) , she took the carpet from their own home (it was a former guesthouse) and relaid it (where it lasted another 30 plus years) – she was well into her 60s when she did this!

  2. Lizzie says:

    I’d wear that dress as well, and probably the dress too. She looks amazing.

  3. Jen O says:

    ah ha! so that’s where you inherited your talent from–have a wonderful sewing time in PS, and please share when you come back. Your grandma looks wonderful too, she’s the kind of older generation I’d love to still have around right now.

  4. JetSetSewing says:

    She looks fabulous, and the fit is perfect. Not to mention that the center front edges of the jacket hang straight–no easy feat! Have a great time at Claire’s workshop.

  5. Fabrickated says:

    I really like the look of Madge. Not only is she a great seamstress she knew what suited her shape and colouring. Her cool, bright colouring; her great grey hair; her lovely charcoal dress with a lighter jacket; and a charming pink bow or corsage. Was she at a wedding?

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