5 June 2011

The day the laundry bag died

Hi all

Today I am joining in with Sian's storytelling Sunday.

 Over 7 years ago I was getting ready for my first real adventure that was boarding school. To an eleven year old who was an avid Harry Potter fan, the thought of boarding school was exciting and daunting to say the least, enhanced when her parents brought home a trunk with metal locks (I know- exciting!)

In typical boarding school style, a kit list arrived in the post and on that list was..One laundry bag.
My Mum knowing that the transition to boarding school would be difficult decided that we would make a bag together.

I hasten to add that my Mum could have been a seamstress I swear. She rarely needs a pattern and can make a skirt in an afternoon! So, mother and daughter sat down with the bag of fabric scraps. Scraps from old dungarees, curtains, trousers and torn skirts.

Together we chose material, material that felt nice, looked colourful and fitted together. We sat down and pinned, cut and pieced. Then her feeding the material through the machine and me on the pedal we set to making my laundry bag her shouting stop every time we came to a pin!

Once the patchwork outside was made we made a simple lining out of jolly yellow fabric and threaded a lovely purple cord through the top- voila! One laundry bag.

But... how to name it. I hasten to add that in the boarding school world every thing has to be named, from your hockey stick to your underwear. My Mum then came up with the idea of applique initials. Out of the same yellow fabric I drew large childish letters and clumsily sewed them on in... you guessed it...purple cotton! ha ha!

For seven years now that laundry bag has hung in various boarding school dorms. Filled up periodically with dirty washing to be sent to matron and as I've got older to be washed myself. Each holdiay it has come back home brimming with dirty games kit. It has been accidentally left at homes numerous times and thus has been posted on more than one occasion.

This holiday I picked it up and realised that it was little worse for wear. In fact it probably would only survive a few more weeks . I think it is a fitting end that the end of my school career coincides with the end of a bag that a little girl and her mum made to bring a personal touch to a slightly scary new world.
Bring on a new project for uni!

Loves xxxx


Jo.C said...

That is a lovely story - it is great that something you probably take for granted has a story behind it. TFS

scrappyjacky said...

What a lovely story,Abi....I think the bag probably needs keeping as an important memory....and I can see a scrapbook page coming.

Mary B said...

what a lovely story and I bet that bag was noticed wherever it went.

Miss Smith said...

Oooh, great story and love to see the pictures over time. Good luck at uni, seriously you'll have the best time.

And lots more stories to tell.

JO SOWERBY said...

gr8 story. looking forward to more stories,
jo xxx

Jimjams said...

A lovely tale - and perfect that your bag lasted until the final term.

Rachel Brett said...

Great story... How wonderful that you sat and made it together :)

Rachel B

Anonymous said...

It's easy to see that there are lots of wonderful memories surrounding that laundry bag, and they are even more special because it started as a mother/daughter project. Good job!

Sian said...

I couldn't wait to get to your story when I saw that intriguing title! It's a story with everything - love and a little bit of loss and a look to the future. All the very very best for next year Abi (when I started uni my mum made me monogram my dressing gown - there's an idea for you!)

Thank you for your lovely story today :)

Lizzie said...

You have a lovely mother!

This story is so fab Abi - and the (rather funky) laundry bag you both made together is also fab. How lovely to have that little piece of home, hanging up in your dorm, just to remind you how much you are loved at home! It is a bit sad that it's on its last legs - but, as you say, it's rather fitting that it has lasted right up to your last term and is only now on its way to the Great Laundry in the Sky (or your memory box, I hope!).
Will you make yourself a nice new one in the Summer, so you have that touch of home with you at Uni? Maybe your mum might sew on the monograms this time?
Love Sian's idea about the dressing gown - though they are a bit different these days, to when she and I were at the age to be in University Halls/digs!

Becky said...

Great story and a fun bag! Will you do a scrapbook page for it?

Lynn said...

Its a great memory - the laundry bag is like a little piece of your history.

Jennifer Grace said...

What a lovely story and memory! I hope me and my daughter will make things together that will be as special to her. Make sure you share it with us if you make something to take to uni! x

Anonymous said...

What a great story and so neat that it has lasted your entire boarding school time. It looks great, so much better than those drab plain old looking ones we used to have. Good luck in university.

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a heart-touching story! Super sweet.
I remember my first sleep away camp and my parents bought me a green duffle bag! It felt so exciting (much like your trunk, I think).
Thanks for sharing,

Miriam said...

What a lovely story (and beautiful bag!) I wonder what you will make for your UNI years?

Anonymous said...

Love the story. Wish I had been able to blog when I was your age :)