Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Lady Kenmore

She Has Always Been A Lady

“Sure would be nice to own a sewing machine,” Mom would often comment. With Christmas many months away Dad secretly went down to the Sears Roebuck Store and began making payments on a sewing machine. He thought this machine to be the finest model ever. She had twenty different decorative stitches, a ruffle attachment, and features that would appliqué, hemstitch, monogram, do double needle stitching, and make buttonholes. Though Dad didn’t fully understand all the gadgets, he was so excited that on many occasions he almost told his secret. When Christmas morning arrived, tears of joy filled Mom’s eyes when she saw the two-tone, copper colored Lady Kenmore, housed in a walnut- finish cabinet. We three daughters were too young to understand her immense joy, but we soon learned how “the lady” would transform our lives.

Mom began visiting the outlet mills and bringing home whole bolts of unbleached muslin. She and “the lady” would sometime toil late into the night, lulling us to sleep with the whir and hum of the motor as she sewed. As she experimented with new attachments, we would occasionally hear her explode, “dad-gum it, I did it again!” We soon learned to pay no heed to her outbursts. By morning when we awakened, we’d see a ruffled set of kitchen curtains complete with decorative stitches, drapes for the living room, or a lacy stitched tablecloth. Once we awoke to find all our dolls decked out in new duds. Soon she had adorned each of us in beautiful Easter dresses, winter coats, and all sorts of togs with appliqués, ruffles, and frills. Fabric from previous projects began to reappear in the form of blankets and comforters. No scrap was too small.

That was more than 45 years ago. In all the years since, “The Lady” has sewn sport coats and trousers for the men in the family, dresses, formals, and finally, bridal gowns for each of the three daughters.

When my husband and I married we were college students, having very little extra money for the nonessential. I often sewed on other machines but they didn’t have the same solid feel as “the lady,” so I often returned home to sew. Soon I was making placemats, tablecloths, pillows, and curtains . . . all decorated with special stitches. As the years passed, my own children wore dresses and played with doll clothes, which I fashioned on the Kenmore. When it came time for each of their weddings, Mom let me bring “the lady” to my home. Late into the night my girls often fell asleep listening to the steady whir and hum as endless yards of satin and brocade were fashioned into wedding gowns.

I still sew on the Lady Kenmore because she’s a comfortable friend. She doesn’t have all those fancy cams, computers, and gadgets that are available today, but she’s been faithful, and true. Her parts are worn, and there are no replacements available . . . they say she is just too old . . . but I don’t use her as much now that the nest is empty, so perhaps she and I can complete the journey together. Meanwhile, I believe she needs a bit of oil because that little grandbaby of mine could use some blankets, a new set of curtains, hmm, . . . and maybe I should make him a special pillow, . . . and a nap mat, and . . . a set of play overalls . . .


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