Today I’m going to share more about my Great Great Aunt Sarah Jane. You can read the first two Flashbacks about Sarah Jane and her sewing here and here. Last week I told you about how she was widowed with two small children, and mentioned that until she got married again 7 or 8 years later, she supported her children by sewing. Here are some of her words:
“I washed for the Rex family a whole year for seventy-five cents a day and my dinner. I decided I was away from home too much so thought I’d do more sewing. Thinking I’d learn the trade, I had a friend take me to Ogden, to the best instructor, a Mrs. Tollman. She advised me to get a machine, do plain sewing for a while and work up a trade since I had done a lot of sewing while a girl at home. I did just that, and I soon had more than I could handle so I hired a girl to help in the busiest times. I began to get sewing to do in quantity. A good dress brought one dollar fifty to three dollars. Sometimes it took a long time to get my pay—often had to ask for it.
Tonight I was thinking about how lucky I am that sewing is a hobby for me, not a means to feed my family like it was for Sarah Jane. She must have really loved sewing, because even after all the years she spent sewing as a need, she continued to sew and knit by choice until she died at age 88. Here is a picture of Sarah Jane in 1949, shortly before she passed away:
Although I would hope to, I don’t know if I would do the same if I were in her shoes! I also find it amazing how she used her talent of sewing to serve others, when she herself was in need. I guess that’s something that I can learn from and hopefully improve at myself :).
Have a great weekend!