A Sewing Tradition

After Thanksgiving Morgan wrote a lovely post over at Crab & Bee about her heirloom button collection and it inspired me to dig through my mother’s button collection while I was home for Christmas this year. Both she and my granny sewed as hobbies but the real seamstress in the family was my great grandmother. Apparently her home was full of stacks of Vogue magazines and she could pretty much sew up anything she found in there!

Button jarAs we sorted through the buttons we found some that my mom remembered from various projects or clothes and some family heirlooms (of course she claimed all the ugly ones were inherited from her mother’s button collection, lol).

Vintage buttons

Nautical buttons from a dress my mom had made herself, a button off her brownie uniform (or maybe mine?), a button from a maternity shirt, and a button off her father’s RCAF uniform

One of the cute fabric covered buttons I found she remembered from a maternity top she wore when pregnant with me and we were even able to find a photo of her wearing it!

maternity button

The print just didn’t show up in a picture of an old picture, but the button is from the shirt she’s wearing in this picture.

It was fun to dig through the jar and find little bits of history like this button off her Brownie uniform when she was a little girl. (Are the Brownies a thing in the US? It’s part of the Girl Guide system.) Apparently when learning to darn her Brownie leader told her that she’d never find a husband if she kept darning so poorly. She didn’t stay in Brownies for long.

vintage brownie button

She was pretty sure that somewhere in the big jar o’ buttons was a little gold button off her dad’s Royal Canadian Air Force uniform in the 50’s. So I dug and dug and eventually found it! How cool to be able to go through the buttons with my mom. I probably wouldn’t have given any of them a second look if she hadn’t been there to tell me about their history.

RCAF vintage buttonThe button trip down memory lane inspired us to go digging through her cedar chest for some other gems. In addition to the scarf that went with the button above on her Brownie uniform, we also found a plaid scarf that my grandmother had sewn.

homemade scarf

Inspecting the seams I realized that my impatience with finishing sewing projects isn’t my fault….it’s genetic! See? My granny ran out of the navy thread halfway through the scarf and switched to a light blue instead of waiting until she got more navy thread! God forbid anyone inspect the seams of anything I’ve sewn, lol!

homemade scarf

We found this adorable little jacket that her mother had sewn her as a baby. I remember using it as dress-up doll clothes when I was a little girl!

handmade baby jacketInspecting the details on this project revealed all the care and love put into the jacket with a hand-stitched collar, button placket and hem.

handmade baby jacketWhat a great way to spend a morning digging through my family’s sewing tradition! Thanks to Morgan of Crab & Bee for inspiring me!





1 thought on “A Sewing Tradition


    This just might be my most favorite thing you have written. I just love that you got to have such a fun time with your Mom. I bet it meant a lot to her that you were interested in all this stuff and took the time with her to “walk down memory lane”…..very special. I was a Brownie for a couple of years until I became a Girl Scout. The buttons were the same in the US at that time anyway.


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