Monday, July 8, 2013

Gram's Dressmaking Shears

     Today, I was at the flea market.  A new vendor has moved in.  He sharpens scissors and knives.  We got into a conversation about my grandmother's good dressmaking shears.  He didn't understand  (I could see that blank look in his eyes) when I said I would like to know if he could hone the point of my grandmother's good dressmaking shears.  

    I explained someone (one of my sons) used them as a screwdriver and the tip broke.  I need the tip honed dull.  I know they can never be brought back to a point or a point that makes sense.  I am afraid to use them because they have a jagged tip.  No, he got all that!  He didn't know why I called them her good dressmaking shears.   Wellllll,.... that's because Gram called them that and they came with the warning, "Don't let me catch you kids cutting paper or hair with these, these shears are just for fabric."  

     Wellll....I was an impudent child and I do remember asking her "If you can't cut paper with them....Why do you cut those patterns with them...they are made of paper."  I got my mouth soaped!   And, I probably earned that!    

     I have hair scissors.  I have dress making scissors and believe me when I say I have a pair of craft scissors that the glitter can never be completely removed from since i dripped epoxy on the glitter!  Yikes!  

     I am all for using an item for more than one purpose.  I like to get all the use of an item that I can.  Exception to the rule:  The rule.  Treat your good tools as if they can not be replaced and they never will need to be replaced.  

I have two of these.
      I have purchased good tools at yard sales and flea markets that were worthy of a good home and years of good use to come.  I take them home, clean them, oil them and use them.  A good tool deserves to be used.  I like to think I am honoring the craftsmanship of the maker as well as getting the job done.  I prefer my vintage or long used tools to the stamped and pressed mass produced overseas replicas.  

     These are NOT well maintained respected tools.  I would buy these and take them home for a good oil bath and a wire brushing.  These tools will not last another seventy years.  These tools will not serve you well in an emergency.

      I mean seriously, I once saw an episode of Martha Stewart's show where she showed how to clean garden tools and prep them for winter storage.  I figure if Martha can brush and clean a tool, sharpen a shovel with a file and oil her pruners, EvErYoNe can do it, starting with me.   

     The point I would like to make is Gram was right.  The shears set aside for dressmaking and devoted to that purpose lasted more than seventy years.  They still cut fabric and they will cut like the fabric is butter when I have them sharpened.  These shears have been wiped clean, oiled and put away after use, except for that one time when they were used as a screwdriver.  

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