About Blog Title...

As a child, it was one of my greatest delights to visit my grandparents in the spring when the whip-poor-wills began to call. Grandma and Grandpa lived in a remote valley of the Ozark Mountains where there were trees a plenty, and, seemingly, a whip-poor-will, or two, in each one.
My grandmother insisted that a whip-poor-will's call was not "whip-poor-will," but instead, "chip-butter-white-oak." I would listen really hard trying to hear it exactly as she said it was, but all I could hear was "whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will,..." But, I never let on to her.
I remember my grandpa watching and listening, with an amused look on his face, to one of these listening sessions. Shortly after that he began to call me, just for fun, "Chip Butter." It is a name I am proud to wear for I still love to hear that long, lonesome call on a warm summer's eve. And, sometimes, when I listen really, really hard, it seems I can hear quite clearly, "chip-butter-white-oak, chip-butter-white-oak..."


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Ruffler...



Attachment Box which belonged to my grandmother...



The Ruffler and Foot Hemmer

Little Brother and Me  (notice the ruffles and smocking)
They were such fun little things to play with.  Mom didn't seem to mind that my little brother and I sat in the floor arranging the little sewing machine attachments  in all kinds of imaginary games, until... one day the ruffler went missing!

It was an amazing little gadget with its bewitching little up and down movement as Mom gathered ruffles, skirts, and sleeves.  She used this attachment often, and was extremely skilled in its use.  She seemed to know just the right adjustments for achieving the desired fullness, for her gathers always turned out beautifully.

And,  it seemed that my little brother also thought the ruffler was an amazing little gadget, for, as it turned out, he had taken Mom's special little attachment outside to his special dirt place where all kinds of construction projects were going on.  I don't remember who finally found the missing little ruffler, lost in the dirt, but I do remember that our home was in a crisis mode until it was found.

I do not have my mother's old treadle sewing machine and the attachments that went with it.  Wouldn't you know, my little brother does!  However, I do have my grandmother's old treadle and box of attachments, which would have been similar to my mother's.

A few days ago, when I decided that I would use a foot hemmer to narrowly hem a ruffle for the doll's brown dress, I discovered that my ten-year old Bernina didn't have one...nor a ruffler.  They are available for separate purchase, of course.  Thus, I pulled out my old Singer, which has both attachments, cleaned and oiled her up, and with a bit of practice, should have a narrowly trimmed ruffle ready to go...soon!


Ruffled and narrowly hemmed...

Practice on my old Singer...




22 comments:

  1. I think it is wonderful that both your brother and yourself have the sewing machines from your Mother and Grandmother. They made things to last back then. Today it seems that everything gets outdated and people always want whats new. Your mother was quite the seamstress with all the wonderful detail shown in the picture. The photo is a treasure! The hem is looking well on your practice piece. Happy Sewing!

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    1. Sandra, it does seem that people today are always wanting what's new. As a result, the landfills are full. Now, most sewing machines are made of plastic. Wonder if they will still be around 150 years from now...

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  2. Love the story! It's funny what we find fascinating as children to play with. Sooo glad your mother found it. What fun it is to go back and do the same things our mothers and grandmothers did. Good luck on practicing, I know you'll get it. It's looking great so far.

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    1. Kids do play with the darndest things; sometimes even their mother's smart phones. :~)

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  3. I also use a Singer which was my husband's Grandmothers. It has a box of attachments which I have no idea what they are used for. Perhaps one is a ruffler? I will have to investigate the maual now that I have read your post, thank you.

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    1. Your precious little granddaughter might like helping you investigate what's in that box! :~)

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  4. Okay, you've convinced me I need to learn how to use all the gee-gaws on my machine. Oh, and how to make buttonholes. I love the story!

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    1. I can almost see you playing with all of those gee-gaws that go with your machine. :~) Good luck with the buttonholes. I am still trying to make perfect handmade ones!

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  5. sweet picture of you and your brother. It is funny that your brother now has your mothers machine, but life twist and turns and things usually are different than we imagined they would be. I am sure he appreciate the machine a lot more now. the fabric is pretty and very nice, I am still learning to sew on the machine, your sewing is beautiful. Mama had a old sewing machine like the one in your pictures, a singer. My niece has it now, and tghere was a box of attachments to it. I guess back then most of the sewing machines came with a box of attachments. Things sure are different now.

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    1. This old picture is one of my treasures. You can probably tell that my little brother had been crying...having a studio picture was a scary thing, for sure! My mother told me that my grandfather scraped together enough money to buy this fine machine for my grandmother from a traveling salesman. My mother learned to sew on this machine. She was so happy that I ended up with it.

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  6. All those gadgets in the box....looks complicated! Sweet photo of you and your brother. I spotted those ruffles and smocking right away.

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    1. They do look complicated. Mom taught me how to use the ruffler, but it has been a long time. I always had trouble gauging the fullness so the gathered piece fit the band or whatever. There's also embroidery on the skirt and collar of the little dress I am wearing in the photo.

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  7. This was an interesting little story. I wish you had your mother's machine; I had it for a while and made some clothes for my first baby girl. I remember it had a long bobbin and I found it inside her mouth one time. But, I have never mastered the art of making pretty ruffles nor have I ever tried using the ruffle attachments which came with my machines. Perhaps I could practice on something for Isabelle? Hope you'll show us your ruffle success!

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    1. I have so regretted not getting Mom's old sewing machine. I had first pick, you know! I thought I didn't have room for both the old treadles. Do you still have anything you made using her machine? I remember well the long bobbin.

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    2. Yes, I made two little quilts and little flannel gowns for the first baby girl; I know I have some of them. I also made maternity skirts and tops; don't want those!

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  8. I have my mother's Singer treadle sewing machine. She taught me to sew on it. It has been used for display in a bedroom and hasn't been used in years. Your post has made me think about getting it oiled and a new belt so I can see if it will still sew. I wished you had your mothers machine!

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    1. I am sure you would enjoy sewing once again on your mother's old Singer. It will, of course, send you back down Memory Lane, but that's okay, too. It would be fun to see a post about your old machine over at Shuttle, Hook and Needle.

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  9. You have brought back memories of hours spent sifting through my mothers Singer box and organizing the threads and the attachments in tidy arrangements. And the button box, THAT was the best! Your WHite is a gorgeous Machine; the antique machines were adorned so beautifully, unlike the plain machines we have these days.

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  10. Such an interesting story of the missing ruffler attachment and how your little brother ended up with the machine, ha! Well, at least you have your grandmothers machine. I've never used a ruffler attachment. Your doll looks wonderful as does the clothing. I love old photos and this was I assume is you and your brother....very nice.

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