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  • Writer's pictureFradreck Nyamhunga

My grandmother's  old Singer Sewing Machine




In the enchanting tapestry of life, our garments aren't just threads and fabric—they're storytellers, narrating tales of joy, sorrow, and cherished moments. In the following months, we will explore our emotional connection to our clothes, extending beyond fabric and stitching. Clothes remind us of milestones, relationships, and accomplishments.


However, I want to start this blog by reminiscing about my grandmother's old Singer sewing machine. Remember them? Almost every evening after a day toiling in the fields, my grandmother unveiled her revered Singer sewing machine. The rhythmic symphony of the hand-operated machine, the careful tension adjustments, and the soothing hum of the needle still echo in my memory.


Under the warm glow of an old kerosene lamp, Grandma would meticulously thread the needle and skillfully navigate the fabric through the machine. Her hands, guided by years of expertise, transformed torn plough clothes into seamless masterpieces. I marvelled at her precision, even in the dim light, and was captivated by the magic she created with each stitch.





Beyond mere mending, Grandma's craft breathed life into the fabric, turning it into a canvas of resilience and resourcefulness. I vividly recall the time she patched our field clothes with an array of colors, inadvertently turning us into living rainbows. In an era when patched jeans symbolized hardship, it's amusing how today they're hailed as fashion statements. Perhaps my grandmother was a fashion visionary ahead of her time!

Weekends were community service days, where Grandma sewed for neighbours, accepting a token fee or engaging in barter trade. A repaired blouse for a bucket of corn—she ensured her services reached everyone, regardless of financial means. Like a modern-day Robin Hood, she redistributed wealth through her sewing machine, embodying selflessness and generosity.

As we celebrate the transformation of patched jeans from symbols of poverty to emblems of creativity, let's tip our hats to the timeless artistry of Grandma's Singer sewing machine—a beacon of nostalgia and a testament to fashion's ever-evolving tapestry.

Hopefully, she is looking down with a warm, satisfied smile.

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