Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Inspiring homemaking quotes

"Every woman should understand, and know how to perform, every duty of cooking or cleaning, mending or making, proper to a house."

"As for sewing, every woman should know how to cut out and make all garments for herself and her children up to a full-grown dress."

Charlotte Mason in "Formation of Character"

I feel this is challenging me and calling me to great things. What about you?

Illustration: The Knitting Woman painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau


Mrs. Hyde said...

Definitely! Love those quotes, and makes me think about all that I still need to learn just when I thought I knew everything (not even close). :) I really like the part about sewing everyone's clothes all the way through. What a goal!

Katie V. said...

Hi Anna, Ohhh, I feel far from that!! How I would love to have that talent. By the way, I love William Bougereau's paintings! We actually used one of his religious ones at our wedding as a little prayer card which we shared with everyone. On the flipside we had a prayer for marriage.

PhDCow said...

If my son chooses to go to college, I expect that he will be able to "perform, every duty of cooking or cleaning, mending or making, proper to a house." Actually, my daughter and son are already well into training in these things.

My husband was raised by his mother and grandmother and they taught him how to keep a home. In college, he saved money, ate better, and was healthier for it. I also thank these women on days when I'm sick or very busy.

Jana said...

What fabulous goals. I would consider these "life skills". I wish they were taught in school at a lower level than college. Our high school home ecconomics class was cancelled because it "promoted gender bias".

After much work I now have the skill of making clothes. I prefer to drape them but that can be very inefficient in being frugal with your fabric. I think you can make nicer, sturdier clothing than what can be bought ready made. I'd say if you do not have the skill of making your own clothing then that is an excellent goal to strive for. Just make sure to use a toile (made from inexpensive materials like muslin) first before cutting out in a more expensive one. A toile is great for making alterations that won't cost a lot and have your clothing fit properly. Most people skip making toile pieces because they feel like they're doing twice the work, but you won't be. Making toile is economical in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Even tho' a grandma now, have not perfected homemaking...but sewing? A wonderful hobby and so fulfilling...especially sewing for little girls!! FUN!!

Elizabeth in NC

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that if Charlotte Mason had lived in modern times, she'd have recommended today's practical skills - surely cooking healthy meals in order to eat well at low cost, but probably not making one's own clothes, as, at least in the UK and US, the finances just don't work out once you figure in the cost of your time.

I can buy a (perfectly modest) and nice outfit for $50, and a less nice one at Wal-Mart for $25. A person who makes a median US income of $40,000 a year makes $20/hr, so even the cost of one hour's labor + materials makes it hardly worthwhile to sew one's own clothes.

Of course, you have chosen a very rural lifestyle and so you may choose to live in a retro way, but I'm saying that I doubt that, if she had lived now, Charlotte Mason would recommend this for all children. She might recommend that everyone be able to write and update a good resume, interview well, network, etc. Who knows? But sewing your own clothes is sort of a ... retro fetish. Enjoy it as a hobby, but don't pretend that it's a practical skill for all, or something on which to waste children's time when they could be developing much more practical and marketable skills.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, while I agree that making all ones clothes is not cost-effective for most people in the modern West, it is not always inefficient. It is true that if I cost my labour when sewing a minimum wage all the clothes I make come out very expensive, and I certainly don't have time to make anything like all my clothes. But when it comes to certain garments like summer skirts the cost of materials is far less than a purchased garment of equivalent quality, and I discount the labour because I enjoy it (and I don't get paid overtime, so I couldn't earn additional cash with those hours). At the same time, because I do cost my labour to some extent, I do not, for instance, ever accept requests from friends to do alterations.

PhDCow - absolutely agree, all adults should be able to look after themselves and possess the knowledge and skills to run a household.


Kathy said...

Alittle inspired but realizing that I have a lot of learning to do! I could maybe sew a dress...quite possibly not one I would wear though!