Fab Feb Photo Collage Festival: Day 19 Ode to a Friend

4 x 7UP collageToday I want to introduce you to one of my oldest friends, one whose permission I don’t need before we “go public”. Ms Bernina first came into my life when I was seven months pregnant with my first child. We’ve been mates ever since, but like all friends there are days when we have a falling out because things aren’t working well between us. However over the years we’ve shared so many experiences. She’s been such a robust friend, notching up many air miles travelling between Papua New Guinea and Australia, and then coming on a road trip with us to Darwin.

Poor Ms Bernina, she's looking a bit tired and needed some flowers to cheer her up.
Poor Ms Bernina, she’s looking a bit tired and needed some flowers to cheer her up.

Together we’ve shared memorable moments like christenings, balls, First Communion, school formals, Christmas gifts and ice skating as well as those day-to-day moments like school uniforms, travel outfits, work clothes or new curtains each time we’ve made a new home. So many fabrics have passed under Ms Bernina’s dainty feet: chiffon, velvet, lycra, brocades, knits and cottons in geometric patterns, stripes, flowers, prints, polka dots and paisley. Together we favoured patterns made by Vogue –they may have looked complicated but in a different version of “read the *** manual” were just fine so long as you followed the steps. Butterick and Simplicity also got an occasional workout but Burda wasn’t a favourite.

Ms Bernina is getting older now and after a lifetime spent in humid climates, her joints don’t always work as well as they could, especially if they’re not given a regular spa bath of oil. Many months go past when she’s superseded by that Johnny-come-lately laptop, but there’s life in her yet.Pauleen Cass Lees wedding Mt Hagen

The connection to today’s collage photo is fairly obvious I think. Ms Bernina made this outfit for me when I was matron-of-honour to my sister-in-law. Around my neck I have a simple lilac velvet ribbon on which was a pretty cameo in lilac and green with a  marcasite surround, a gift from my Aunty Emily whom you’ve already met.

In the best traditions of family dressmaking, the bride’s lovely frock was made by her mother and she looked gorgeous. It was quite the event in Mt Hagen, one of PNG’s tea-growing areas, as it was held on the tea plantation where the groom worked. The reception was at the Club and the guests were all “ex-India” don’cha know, “not a single Singalese” (property) among them! I smiled and helped serve the canapés…there were benefits to all those school lessons in charm and deportment.

Thanks for always being a reliable friend my dear Bernina…I hope we have a few years friendship left in us yet.

Fab Feb imageFamily Hx writing challengeThis post is part of the February Photo Collage Festival and the Family History Writing Challenge.

12 thoughts on “Fab Feb Photo Collage Festival: Day 19 Ode to a Friend

  1. Looks a little like my Mum’s trusted old sewing machine, though I think hers may be a different brand. Sewing is definitely something I would like to do in the future. I did some in school and enjoyed it.


    1. I did a lot of it Aillin, but I can’t claim that it was ever something I loved, except perhaps when I was very happy with the outcome. I hope you get to do some one day if that’s what you’d like.


  2. Thank you! I’d never thought of my sewing machine as an old friend before, but it’s so true. Think my overlocker might have to be regarded more as a family member though; cranky and unreliable but ultimately indispensible (like a granny).


    1. I like the analogy Su!! I don’t have an overlocker though it’s occurred to me that perhaps I should be thinking of one…if I ever got back to sewing. Will see.


    1. I suspect we’re all too busy with family history to use our machines Kristin:-) Perhaps my friends will one day inveigle me into their quilting circle…or maybe not.


  3. HA HA HA!!! … did laugh over Ms Bernina needing some flowers to cheer her up and beautiful they are, too 😀
    Well I happen to have your dear friend’s sister… or maybe cousin comfortably tucked away within confines of Housewife Horn’s happy handy home and keep correcting my Grandchildren when they insist on calling it Mamo’s Sewing Cabinet!!! … horror upon horrors 😉 She’s been retired and resting happily for near on 20years now after completing a magnificent, made to order fashion masterpiece, for my daughter’s 21st Birthday Party. I scoff at those who say she should now go into a retirement home!!!


    1. What a coincidence Catherine….birds of a feather! Mine never did get her own resting place in private. Sounds like your friend already has her own quiet retirement home, whereas my poor friend is still made to work occasionally.


  4. I love the flowers, always happy with the whimsical touches. My first electric machine was one hubby found dumped on the side of the road… an old Universal, with just forward and reverse. It had all the attachments for blind hemming etc., so I was thrilled to get it.
    Prior to that, I used my Irish grandmother’s Singer treadle which I still have and love, though haven’t used for quite some time now, as it serves as hubby’s computer desk. Then came the first Janome… still have that as well, now I have a middle of the range Janome with all the bells and whistles… I love sewing, even though I don’t do near enough at the moment. I’m gradually working my way back to it, having been doing a few things for Dad.
    My granddaughter would love to learn more, but just doesn’t have the time… she has made a few things and had her first machine, a toy, but electric one, at age 4.
    She has been given a nan Bernina, but says she would rather have Ms Janome, so it looks like I will pay for the gear to be fixed and hand it on to her.


    1. Wouldn’t that be special for you to have your grandmother’s and then for you to do the same with your granddaughter -that would make for a great tradition. I’m trying to remember what happened with my toy sewing machine. There are days Ms Bernina only does forward and back.


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