Thursday, March 3, 2011

Goodbye Old Friend

Dear Pleater,

We first met on Mother's Day 1989, when Anna was about to turn 2 years old and Rex figured out that smocking was not going to be a passing fancy for me. You were very patient as I learned to smock those first little dresses while in return I treated you like the treasured possession that you were. Together, we made numerous dresses for Anna and as she out grew smocking we moved on to sewing for a niece and baby gifts. As I was beginning to think that you were about to be retired to the sewing closet, I began doing custom sewing, teaching classes and constructing ready-to-smock garments, and then together we started a business! I shudder when I think of the amount of fabric that you pleated during those years, but except for occasionally needing a new needle, you seemed happy with the arrangement.

I was in total denial the first time that you began to show signs of aging. After close examination, the verdict was that your finely crafted gears were just plain wearing out! And what a coincidence that it was on the first dress that I was pleating for baby Emma! I do believe that the fact that you were expected to work for the next generation of our family was a little too much for you. All is forgiven, I am also not the same that I was 22 years ago. So, I bid you goodbye with the comforting thought that you have now been replaced with the exact same model, a Martha Pullen 16 row pleater!



Smocking with Gwen said...

Michie'...your timing of this is perfect. I had to dismantle my 30 year old Read pleater last week to clean marks on fabric just won't work!! But, I couldn't imagine replacing it until now. I just can't stay attached to EVERYTHING!! But...I will give it ONE LAST CHANCE!!

Jan said...

I am sad you are parting with a dear sewing tool, but happy there is a replacement! Even after admitting the pleater I inherited from my mother needed to retire, I still kept it on the closet shelf for a long time.

Hallie said...

Dear Michie',
I know you are extremely busy because I read your blog! So I know you may not have time to answer this question and please don't feel obliged. I am planning to make your pleated bubble #102 for my son's Easter outfit, and I think I will make a detachable collar so I can make a fancy spoke-style batiste and lace collar and he can get more wear out of the bubble after that. Do you have any suggestions for how I might attach it to the back button? I asked this on the MP children's construction forum too and a sweet lady recommended a thread loop or two buttonholes on the collar to button over the top button. I don't know if on a 1-year old the collar really needs to be anchored or not. Do you have any suggestions? If my email doesn't show up--it's at Thank you so much for your wonderful blog and patterns! Hallie

Anonymous said...

I sooo understand your feelings. I recently retired a 23 year old Singer sewing of their earliest electronic models. It's been a very, very good machine and has made everything from bridal veils to quilts to denim hems with efficiency. But it just can't keep it's timing correct anymore and so I said goodbye to my trusted friend and bought a new machine.

A good sewing tool of any kind is such a treasure. Even my husband understands this because he's a carpenter.

Sally said...

How sad and yet exciting to be getting a newer version of the same assistant. What crative idea have you come up with for the old one?


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