Jane M.

First cloth

I had a pink blanket on my bed when I was a little girl. This was in the days of sheets and blankets. The blanket was a dusky pink and it was bought not homemade. I am not sure but I think it was made of wool. It's not because of the blanket itself that I remember it , it's because of the silky ribbon edging . The edge was just along the top edge and I can imagine , but not remember it folded neatly down over a white sheet. I just loved the feel of this silky edge and stroked it to get to sleep every night. The edging was about three inches wide on both sides and fastened to the blanket with a double line of stitching which gave a slightly embossed effect on the edge. I like the feel of this part of the edge too.  

I am not sure how old I was but I had only the one bed when I was a child , so I guess I started this love when I was two to three. I know my sister who I shared I room with had a matching blanket but she did not love the silky edge in the same way. This blanket was single bed size and so stayed on the bed. I think remember this blanket , it colour and the feel of edge because it was a big comfort to me , night after night for years and years. It was my go to sleep aid. I loved and rubbed this blanket silk so much that I eventually wore out the edge. This must have been a problem to me as my mother replaced the ribbon for me . After that it was never the same , somehow it's feeling had changed or maybe I was just growing up. 

First garment

My mother was a talented seamstress . She made all my clothes when I was a child. One garment stands out in my mind. This was my best camel coat. I loathed it. It was stiff and uncomfortable and I did not like the camel colour. I remember wearing it in church , which was a regular Sunday outing. The church was large , echoey and had soaring pillars and stained glass windows. There were statues and candles burning . Attending was of great importance to my parents. My coat had one grace. The buttons. You could undo them and then fit them back together. They where those brown leather type buttons , always used on camel coats.

I am sure my coat was beautifully made. My mother would have been proud of the quality of the fabric and the stitching, and probably the button holes. If later examples are anything to go by she would have sourced the best quality , minimum cost , minimum quantity of fabric from a big market and probably made the coat pattern herself. I would have liked a a swingy red coat. I had auburn hair and my mother thought I suited creme and brown colours and red was banned. Possibly true, in terms of my pale freckly skin, but I longed for what I thought of as real colours. Shame we could not match our desires.