Leave My Patterns Out Of It

Some of my earliest memories are of my mom sitting at this old Singer treadle sewing machine, making nearly all her clothes, my clothes and tiny dresses for my dolls.

Later, when I tried my hand at sewing, I found that clothes weren’t really my strong point and focused instead on making fabric “rag” dolls (Raggedy Ann, etc.)

When Marshall’s dad and I owned the local Ben Franklin store, sewing patterns were a popular item. Since I was in charge of the sewing department, it was my job to update the pattern cabinets…..quite a chore when the company would send us a new pattern whose number fell in sequence in the middle of one of the drawers. Several years ago, the building was sold, as well as most of the fixtures.  The pattern cabinets, however, had no takers. I took this picture just before the building was demolished.

So, when I saw this book while shopping recently, I thought what a clever, CLEVER idea: give captions to those vintage sewing pattern images.

I thumbed through a few pages, and the captions I read were quite humorous. So I purchased it and, later, when I had a few moments, sat down to read it.

I began to think that this book would be a nice gift for a dear friend who does quite a bit of sewing.

But, then the sub-title of the book, “the seamy side of fashion”, came into play with this obviously racial caption.

And this, with its sexual innuendo.

There were several other racial and sexual references. And a caption for a pattern for little boys clothes, referring to “dank weed”.

Upon reading the info provided on the book’s author, I find that she’s a comedian. Well, I’m sure some might appreciate the humor, but it didn’t “cut” it with me.

The book will be in my next bag of give-aways heading to the thrift shop.

Yes, I’m a fuddy-duddy old lady, but I find it sad that what could have been a truly fun book instead includes racial and sexual content.  The author dedicates the book to her “mom and gram and grammie and grums”.

They must be so proud.

~These Days Of Mine~













12 responses to “Leave My Patterns Out Of It

  1. I totally agree that she ruined the entire book with those racial and off color comments. Why on earth would that be considered funny at all??? I never would have thought that would have been included and would have been horrified if I had given it as a gift and not read through the entire thing. Ugh. And I love that you were in charge of the fabric department! I so remember those types of cabinets in Ben Franklins!

  2. Great post. The pattern book was a clever idea, and it’s fun to see the illustrations but not funny at all. I worked at a neighborhood Woolworths during college

  3. Clever idea, just taken too far. You made me want to go to a book store, but then I always do! Wonderful display of your mom’s Singer. Good weekend!

  4. YIKES!!! Not at all funny. I LOVE looking at the old patterns. I’ve even saved a couple and always smile when I come across them in antique stores. It’s wonderful that you have your Mom’s Singer. What memories. …And I remember purchasing fabric at the Ben Franklin. I could always count on fabric for outfits for my girls or a quilting project.

  5. I have memories of that sewing machine that go back a few years, too !
    & .. what a book.. looks like something that might not fly nowadays !

  6. Oh my word… I guess I’m a fuddy duddy, too. That’s terrible! I forgot that you’d owned a Ben Franklin store. I have great memories of buying penny candy every Saturday, when I was a little girl.

  7. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    How sad that they messed up the book with those remarks. I am a member of your fuddy duddy group for sure.

  8. What a shame, such a great idea to use the illustrations from pattern books in a book but some of those comments were quite shocking. I’m afraid I don’t find those comments funny or even clever. It seems kind of sneaky to have included them in such an innocuous looking book. What a good thing you looked before giving it to your friend.

  9. This is really sad. I wish the captions had been left out of the book. The pattern illustrations are beautiful and tell their own stories and really didn’t need the captions of negativity. Such a shame.

  10. Just wanted to add, I love your Mom’s sewing machine. What a special treasure it is, I can just imagine the hours she spent sewing love in every stitch. My Mom was a sewer too and went through several machines. She loved designing and making us outfits. I’m glad you were able to keep your Mom’s machine it’s amazing.

  11. Plus one for the fuddy duddy club. I was excited when I saw the first images, thought I might be interested in the book, but too bad about the off-putting off-color stuff!
    I love that old sewing machine table. I went to a trade show recently and could not believe they’re making sewing machines now that do quilting, embroidery, all by themselves, no one even sitting at the machines. wow.

  12. Some people just don’t get that humor does not have to be racist, sexist or contain 4 letter words. It would be interesting to see a book that does NOT contain that kind of smut (my grandmother’s word and I agree with it).
    I remember those patterns and that sewing machine is priceless!

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