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Homeowner's Journal

February 28 , 2009

Ode to the Great Seamstresses of World

My mother was a fantastic seamstress. She was sort of famous for it in the rural area where I grew up.  Unfortunately, I did not absorb any of her skills. I think I gave up on sewing after my first or second unsuccessful attempt at threading a bobbin. My mom knew that if I got within peddle distance of her sewing machine a broken needle was moments away.  So I have a tremendous amount of respect for seamstresses—the attention to detail, the accuracy, and even the mechanical aptitude. 

Rosette Jefferson is the official Greenspiration seamstress and has done a phenomenal job. Not only has she basically worked with pictures to come up with custom window treatments, bed skirts, and even day bedding material, she has become an important part of the home décor planning for this unique home. Even as I write, Rosette is strategizing on a unique tray ceiling fabric treatment utilizing our Sunbrella® fabrics. For all we know at this point it may not require a single stitch, but fabric is Rosette’s medium, and so she is right there, helping us figure out how it’s going to happen. 

Family Room Wall
Seamstress Rosette Jefferson (right) directs Julie Hartsell (left) on the installation of the family room window treatments.

I think what surprises and impresses me most about Rosette, who is truly as stylish as the fabric treatments she creates, is her enthusiasm. She’s just into it.  She is as excited about seeing the end product as I am which has made her an absolute joy to work with.  And because she is amazingly fast, gratification is never far away. That’s a good thing because once we get our new Stanley Furniture poster bed delivered, she’s going to have all of about 20 minutes to measure it and make the custom bed skirt before our Nature Nurture Day open houses commence. I know I should be biting my nails but I’m not. I just know she’ll make it work. 

You don’t encounter many people that inspire that level of confidence, but throughout this project, Rosette (along with Beth and Julie of Bella Designs) has been the perfect anecdote to my short attention span, enormous workload, and indecisiveness.  I may be fretting about 1001 details at this point but thank heavens my fabric treatments are not one of them. 

Remembering an Artform
It has been said that those who can, do; and those who can’t, teach. I think it should be, “those who can, do; and those who can’t, write.” 

I never acquired my mom’s talent for sewing but I like to think I can do a pretty good job capturing it in words. After all, I can still conjure up the sound of her sewing machine which was not so much a hum as it was soft, rhythmic mastication. My own days fell into the rhythm that sound, the continuous starts and stops, and finally the abrupt clack of the presser foot being lifted, and a quick snip of the thread. I knew at that point I might have my mom’s undivided attention. 

Aren’t we glad these trades still exist?  Now clearly, Rosette is closer to my own age than my mom’s, and I’ve not once seen her in a house dress, but I have to say her work has been a refreshing reminder of an art form that is as much a part of my childhood as…say….Andy Griffith. 




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