Sewing

In Fun
Cloth-wrapped frame, later laminated.
Cloth-wrapped frame, later laminated.

When we first came to America, my mother used to sew our ripped clothing or make small modifications to the clothes we owned. She would sometimes even sew patterns into our clothes. She did this all by hand, until we got a sewing machine. My mother quickly mastered the use of this technology, altering and fixing clothes with ease, until the machine broke. She once again sewed by hand. 

I never questioned how or where she learned to sew, but what I did question was her obsession with decorating. Her favorite thing to decorate is our house. Every possible corner is littered with potted plants, and on the walls hang paintings of fruits and such, among other things.  

Very recently, while cleaning out the house, I chanced upon these wooden frames wrapped in cloth, that held flowers and other designs. I moved to throw them out, but my mother frantically intercepted me before I trashed them. Perhaps she noticed my befuddled expression, because she took the time to explain a few things. The frames were sewing pieces she had done as a young teenager. She had learned how to sew from her mother, and she enjoyed making art in that form. Sewing was one of the few things she had brought with her from Bangladesh. Tucked under a table in our living room is her old sewing kit, full of needles and old threads unused from when we first came here. 

Place(s): Bangladesh
Year: 2002

– Ashir Raffe

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child