What's more rare is to find a great novel that incorporates sewing into its themes. In fact, I'm having trouble thinking of many now. The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a great one. And then there's . . . well, that's all I've got. Help me here!
I also love finding little tidbits about sewing in novels. Right now I'm reading The View from Saturday, a fantastic children's book by E.L. Konigsburg. (When I'm not a home seamstress, I'm a children's book editor.) In the first chapter, there's a lovely little gem of a home sewing reference. The narrator is Noah, a sixth grader who helps a group of senior citizens pull off last-minute wedding in Century Village, a retirement community:
Since I had promised to be best man, not having a tux was a problem. I couldn't fit in Allen's, not that I would have wanted to if I could. That's when Grandpa Nate called Bella Dubinsky.Isn't that wonderful? I just love the character of Bella Dubinsky, who once illustrated pattern envelopes--maybe ones just like those in Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing! And then there's the notion of Noah being amazed by the fact that all these retired ladies can actually sew their own clothes.
In her former life, Bella had been an artist. She painted the pictures that went into the pattern books for people who sew their own clothes. In the real world I had never met anyone who sewed her own clothes, but in Century Village, I had met three. Bella had a supply of fabric paints, and within two hours, we had painted a T-shirt that looked like a tuxedo with a red bow tie.
Now, readers, do you have any favorite novels that have themes of sewing? Or characters who sew? I know there must be more out there!