When I emailed pictures of last weekend’s sewing to my Nannan, she told me that her mother used to sew, and that her grandma was a milliner. I didn’t realise, hence the beginning of my starting to look back and to consider how all of the pieces fit together. Earlier today I asked my Nan to tell me more of what she remembered about her mother’s sewing. Here’s her response, written and sent using her iPad. She’s 91.

One of the first things I remember my Grandma making was a pinafore. I thought it was lovely. It was white cotton with frills round the armholes. My mum would not let me wear it as she said it was old fashioned.
Come whitsuntide she (my mother) was always very busy as she made dresses for me and my cousins and also other people who she charged a small fee. My dress was always silk and very pretty. As I grew older she made me suits and coats. She got the material sometimes from the market and also shops in Rotherham. Friends and other people used to remark how smart I looked.
When I was getting married she made me lovely undies from parachute silk and she also embroidered them on the slip and on the legs of the French knickers but she made me wear cotton ones underneath.
She often did smocking on my dresses and the ones she did for other people also and they began to expect it, even though she did not charge extra.

My Nannan’s mother, my great-grandmother, Mary Lilian Cadwell. Lil to her friends, Lily to her mother. We never met.