Dumpling Sister's Thoughts
10.22.2006 Grandmother's Jacket (Chinese Version)
This morning when I woke up, it was kind of chilling, I took a shower, still felt that I needed to get something warm to wear. So I started looking through the clothes, flipping one after another until I saw the one that is the oldest of all, which was a maroon-brownish color jacket given to me by my grandma. I just took it and wore it.
Several years ago, maybe it was because my other relatives were digging through their closets and trying to find me clothes that fit me, that maybe of some use. There were the clothes there were fashionable at the time, with good fabrics. As a result, my grandma also were looking through her stuff to see if there were something I could wear. She found a piece that to this day I still remember she used to wear a lot when I was younger. She asked if I wanted it? Without much thinking I agreed to take it. Grandma said, not bad, good eyes, know what is a good piece. Then she continuing the search. She said, not to worry, she wouldn't give me something that I couldn't wear in the public. She wouldn't let me be embarrassed. She was also judging the public impression in addition to the value of the clothes at the time, she said.
The mind set
of the elder people, at a very delicate thinking level, it
is genuine, with an indirectly connected traveler's mind, at
Actually this jacket has been in my hands for several years now, but I have never worn it once. I almost forgot about its existence since I kept it in the box most of times. Not until the beginning of this year, when I was cleaning out my closet, did I find this piece and decided to hang it. I thought at the time that I would one day wear it, so for that I should have it hanging out. Who knows?
My grandma's habit is to go look for the sewer to have the clothes made. She found that to be proper fitting for her, and that was how she got her formal clothes most of times. Maybe this would mean she only get a few new pieces in several years, but that didn't bother her. Most of times, we would see her fixing clothes, sometimes the holes, sometimes the loose threads, she would always be fixing. However, she was not good with the sewing skills and that she couldn't see the needle holes too well, however, year after year, she would always be fixing the clothes. Only those that could survive the fix would get recycled and become the wash cloth. So often times when we did cleaning, we would be holding pieces of cloth that once belonged to someone's shirts or pants.
That was the era where people generally didn't have enough, that was also the time where appreciating the material was very natural. So for people now days they go to supermarket to buy wash cloth, this trend was something that my grandma didn't understand.
I looked over this jacket I am wearing, from the outside it looks fine. But when I look at the inside, I can see that it has loose threads in several places, its right pocket is hanging, possibly due to overuse on my grandma's part. However, it is also to be noted that the sewing lines are very straight, the left and right portions are well taken, and the front and back of the fabric stay together after decades of use. The skills are amazing. I can't say of how may pieces of clothes I have that can measure to the level of expertise of this piece
I started to think of the sewing masters of the past, and the little people who would be holding the money in their hands, wet with their own sweats.
How many people saved and saved to have a piece of clothes made? How many sewing masters took measurement after measurement to make sure the look and feel were proper to their standards?
After all, it is all these clothes that prove the generation of time and people of when and how they were made.