FRANKLIN — Seamstress Jo Marie Golob doesn’t allow fabric scraps to go to waste.
She loves everything about textiles — how they look, feel and the inspiration which comes to her when she sees fabric.
“We’re a throwaway society, and people are not seeing what can be done with half a yard or a yard,” she said.
The exhibit “Sew Happy,” on display from January 4 to March 26 at Miners Hall Museum in Franklin, seeks to remedy this.
Works by Golob and others around the area are on display to show not only what can be done with remnants, but the creativity in sewing present in regional history.
“I think it ties in well with the museum,” said Linda Roberts, the host of the exhibit. “The miners, they had no choice. The dresses were made out of flour sacks. They were doing a lot of recycling. We just didn’t think of it as recycling then.”
Talented seamstresses took recycling to a new level, creating works of art for uses ranging from daytime attire to doll clothes.
Some of Golob’s works of art are displayed at the museum this quarter along with creations and artifacts contributed by Kathy Gronau, Bess Strukel and Sabrina and Lakin Cherry, as well as three presentations, will give those attending an opportunity to learn more about the Little Balkans heritage of sewing.
A treadle sewing machine, among others, and antique sewing notion boxes give a feel for the tools and equipment used locally, as do other items on display, including Strukel’s grandmother’s darning egg, Gronau’s hand-made doll clothes and Golob’s purses.
For many, including Strukel, sewing was a creative outlet that went along with raising children.
She said one day she was combating boredom while home with her young child and decided to trace out a pattern for a dress.
She said she never stopped after that, working for the Singer Company teaching sewing skills as well as at Ramsey’s, where she made clothes for the windows.
For Gronau, sewing was a way to reuse old clothing.
“I do a lot of doll clothes,” she said. “It’s mostly recycled stuff. I go to thrift shops and I look for the quality fabric.”
That fabric can come in many forms.
Golob said she has shopped for fabric in Rome, but has used all sorts of materials in her creations. One of her prized projects is a jacket and purse ensemble made of an old Army blanket and embellished with an assortment of thrift store finds.
Golob will showcase some of her many, many creations at 2 p.m. Feb. 21 as she presents on Recycled Sewing. Additional presentations will take place at 2 p.m. on Jan. 10 featuring ‘When the Balkans’ Style Began’ and 2 p.m. March 6 showcasing ‘Popular Prom and Bridal.’
“Sew Happy” will be on exhibit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays the first thee months of the year at Miners Hall Museum in Franklin.
— Sarah Gooding is a staff writer for The Morning Sun and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.