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A tale of love, creativity, discipline, and perseverance

"Singer sewing machines. They were a fixture in many homes in those early days, a prized possession. My mom's machine was a big part of our childhood story. A skilled self-taught seamstress, she prided herself in the fact that the inside of her pieces rivaled their outside. She sewed most of our clothes, my sisters and me, often following an elementary description we had dreamt up. I remember how excited we would get when the new seasonal issue of the fashion magazine Burda came out. We competed to get our hands on it and eagerly flipped through the pages in search of the cool trendy outfit that called our name. My mom would then take us to the neighborhood fabric store and we would dig in in search of the perfect stretch of fabric. I remember the coupe cigarette skirts, the broderie anglaise tops, the long flowy skirts during my "gypsy phase." Some of these beloved creations are forever etched in my memory. I wore them over and over again and could never get myself to give them away. One may say these were times when a little went a long way. Indeed, we did not need much to be content then. But there was nothing "little" about those outfits or the effort it took to bring them to life. Often my mom would stay up to the wee hours of the night, sometimes--during the war--under the mere dim light of a candle, to finish something for us girls. The dream piece would be ready in the morning, as if by the strike of a magic wand. The image of her sitting by her beloved lifetime companion, measuring, marking, cutting, stitching, pedaling, is forever etched in my mind--a tale of love, creativity, discipline, and perseverance. My mom's machine was powered by electricity with a backup pedal. But the real powers that moved the needle up and down through an interminable repetitive melody were those of unabiding love and inexhaustable patience.

Mama, for this and everything else, I can never thank you enough." Dima Suki

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