I was just 6 years old when I discovered the most amazing thing. My mother could take a flat piece of fabric, a scissors, and some thread and run it all through something called a sewing machine and out came the most beautiful three dimensional dress - in just my size! In my eyes, this wasn't magic, it was better - it was sewing! And it has affected my whole life. Mama patiently and lovingly taught me all she knew about sewing. And as I learned, my doll wardrobe grew to be the largest and the best in all the neighborhood.
Soon I had become a teenager, but I seemed to have forgotten the growing part because I could still fit the clothes in the children's department. Of course no 16 year old wants to wear children's clothing so once again sewing came to my rescue. With my mother's help, I was a small but fashionable teenager. I can still hear my mother say, "Take it off!" as we continually altered seams!
Blessed, Blessed Motherhood
Then one day, I was a mother myself. I had four children who were unaware for a very long time that you could actually go to the store and buy clothes. When summer time was ending and the school year was beginning, you'd find me sitting in front of my sewing machine with several pairs of pants or dresses cut out and folded in my lap, feeding them through the machine, assembly style.
The "Son" Never Sets
Then one year in the early 70's, I made another monumental sewing discovery. I could make toys! That year for Christmas there were hand sewn bears, horses, rag dolls and a wonderful 24" dog puppet that sat in your lap while you worked the mouth. Many of these toys were from my own designs. My youngest son was about 2 years old that Christmas and his treasure was a 5 inch honey colored "bag" bear appropriately named Honey Bear. He became so attached to the teddy bear that he couldn't go to bed without it. One night, Honey Bear went into hibernation and was nowhere to be found. We had one hysterical, impossible 2 year old on our hands. While the older kids did their best to entertain him, I slipped off and quickly sewed another Honey Bear. Two hours or so later, we put one tired but happy toddler and a new Honey Bear to bed. To this day, my kids still talk about that Christmas.
One year, as my kids approached their teens, all their friends went to the state fair and came away with critters; plush monkey-like puppets that encircled your neck and waist with their arms and legs. Of course, all my kids wanted one, but they were far too expensive to buy four of them. After a closer inspection of a critter their friend had, I discovered it was very similar to the puppet dog I had made on that infamous Christmas. So I dusted off my pattern, made a few alterations and soon everybody had my version of the critter puppet.
.....and We Marched Down the Aisle
As the kids grew, so did the sewing demands. Soon I was making not only the wedding dresses for my daughters' weddings, but also all the bridesmaid and maid of honor dresses as well. For a couple of weeks before each of the weddings, the house was filled with yards and yards of silk, organza, lace, pearls and trims. I loved every moment of it!
Multiplicity (math is not my favorite subject but...)
Over the next several years, as the grandkids were born I had the opportunity to hone my doll, bear and critter making skills. There are 10 grandkids (no that is not a typo)................10 grandkids + birthdays + holidays = lots of experience!
Joy Amongst the Drudgery
Somewhere along the way, I went to work and ended up in customer service and middle management. I made all my own suits and dresses, but I discovered that sewing could fulfill another need. It could calm and relax me, relieve my work stress and lull me to sleep at night if I simply contemplated about how to construct a project! Soon I was mentally making dolls and teddy bears at night that turned into the real thing on the weekends. Some of these dolls and teddy bears were made for co-workers, both mine and my husband's, and I entered into the realm of adult collectables. This was the forerunner of TC Folk.
Down (Sized) and Out or A World of Little Folk
It has always pleased me to see small scraps of material joined together to form a doll or a bear (a wee Folk) that takes on a personality and develops character of it's own. But I was pleasantly surprised to see the effect these fabric teddy bear and doll folk have on others; that they can bring so much joy and happiness along the way. And that, my friends, is my goal: To make the world a better place one little Folk at a time! So to that end, when I was downsized from the corporate world, I entered into the TC Folk world. I created my patterns and started making my little bits of joy, the TC Folk teddy bears and dolls.
Everybody Needs a Fix of Some Kind or Other
I seldom sew clothes any more, but my little teddy bear Folk all need a small amount of dressing. And if I need a major clothes fix, as sometimes happens, there's always dolls!
Although my mother is no longer with me, she is always in my thoughts, and I would like to thank her for this wonderful gift she gave me so long ago.
"...and now that I've bored you with my life history, please go look at the interesting stuff, please go