My mother was a brilliant seamstress. I remember the whirring sound of her sewing room. She would sit behind her industrial sewing machine, her soft hands moving in rhythm like she was part of the machine itself. Anything my mother created was perfectly made – seams, pockets, buttons – not a thread out of place. Her hand sewing was also impeccable.
My mother taught me so many crafts, sewing, cross-stitch, embroidery for starters. The skills she handed down to me, set me on a trajectory to the avid maker I am today. Even the way I make baskets is inspired by Mum in a way.
It’s so often women who craft, and women who pass down their skills to others; women who took the time to teach, listen and impart their craft skills - skills that many of us carry till this day.
In the spirit of Mother’s Day, we asked women what skills their Mothers passed down to them:
“My Mum taught me how to make my own clothes – a skill I am forever grateful for. I love finding fabrics and being able to see them in my head as a pattern. It’s great that I can adjust my own clothes too. I never have to pay for alterations! Although now that I have my own kids (who have no interest in sewing whatsoever) I spend so much time taking up school uniforms and mending rips!”
“Embroidery. My Mum taught me when I was around 5 years old. She bought me a little kit, one of those ones that have the picture printed on them that you embroid over. It was of two little brown dogs. I still have it on my wall today as a little memento.”
My Mum gave me sewing lessons. I still sew here and there. I remember once we were sewing together, and the news broke that Harold Holt had gone missing while swimming near Portsea. I always remember that lesson!
My grandma taught me all sorts of crafts. I spent a lot of time with her as I had younger twin siblings that kept my Mum very busy. Grandma would pick up her knitting needles from the coffee table and we’d just do a couple of stitches together, never too much - and this way I didn’t get bored and uninterested but just kept chipping away at it. Now I can knit well!
Mum was not crafty at all. But she was a great silversmith. She was quite renowned back in the day. We reconnected a few years and she taught me how to make and polish my own jewelry. I’m actually really good at it! In a way, these skills are what brought us together – we’re now a lot closer than we used to be.
I grew up in Hungary. We didn't have much. Mum showed me how to press flowers using paper and some heavy books. I'd write letters to friends and they'd always come with violets or some other flower I'd probably stolen from a neighbor's garden. Thanks, Mum!
Not sure what to get Mum or yourself this Mother’s Day? Try a Craft's School Oz online workshop! Learn to make beautiful baskets from spare fabrics, plants, and raffia. Or grow your skills in slow stitching to make your own book cover, embellishment, or a little bag. VISIT WORKSHOPS.