Friday, May 18, 2012

Learning to Sew the Classical Way

Adventures Among the Thimble People

I purchased this lovely "living book" from my favorite quilt and heirloom shop a couple of years ago.  I have since also purchased the Mary Marie doll and also the sewing bird.  This reprint of a 1913 book tells the story of Miss Mary Frances as she learns to sew while at her grandmother’s house.  In her grandmother’s upstairs room, Mary Frances meets the Thimble People (sewing tools that come to life and talk to her) and throughout the book learns basic hand sewing and more.  By the end of the book, Mary Marie (her dolly) has an entire wardrobe of lovely Edwardian doll clothes.  The reprint has the original patterns and they are just as lovely today as they were then.  My own daughter has made a couple of them and so have I.  While this book was intended to teach a young girl to sew, some of the sewing terms and stitches may not be familiar to a modern seamstress.   However, a girl who learns all of the stitches and techniques in this book will be quite a seamstress. I realized after reading it that it teaches sewing in a classical way.  First Mary Frances learns the "grammar" of sewing.  She learns each stitch in isolation on her sampler while learning the vocabulary specific to hand sewing.  Later in the book, she uses that grammar to sew the dolly wardrobe and then after completing this book, Mary Frances is ready to sew other things.  It really is a delightful book.  To me it qualifies as a "living" book and is definitely twaddle free.

Mrs. P

No comments:

Post a Comment