Station: [8] Hope Chest, Seamstress

Meow, Meow, so soft and comfy, I’m having a hard time, deciding where to curl up first, Meow. Bed linen, towels, shifts, underwear, and all hand-woven from, pure linen. Such a handsome trousseau, and here I am, right in the middle of it, meow. 

Goodness me, what's going on here? You, get lost! All our lovely linens. You'll be pulling threads in the embroidery with your claws, if you’re not careful. 

The cheek of it! Meow! Disturbing me like that, and me in my favourite place. Who are you, anyway? 

What? You’re saying you don't know me? I'm always in here, sewing trousseau articles. But if you insist: I'm Anna, one of Steinhude’s seamstresses and embroiderers. 

Seamstress – mhm, Meow, and that’s supposed to mean something to me?

Well, tell me. Who do you think sews the trousseaus made of fine Steinhude linen? Without me and my fellow seamstresses, the young society ladies would have to do it all themselves and ply their own needles. And for us women and our families, it's an extra income from work done in the home. After all, we still have to provide for our own families on the side. And our clients even include the Princely House of Schaumburg-Lippe.   

Meow, I’m so impressed!

Actually, my grandmother taught me sewing and embroidery when I was a child. These days, the young girls learn how to do it in needlework classes at the local primary school. But we're still dreaming of a real embroidery school here in Steinhude, so that women can have an occupation of their own. Believe me, big boy, that will come to pass one day.

Meow, what is this woman going on about? Such rubbish.

Well, Mog, why are you giving me such a doubtful look? Believe me, we all want young girls to have a better life than their mothers and grandmothers had. These days, it is important for women to be able to earn their own money and not just be dependent on their husbands. 

Anyway, I need to carry on here, and you’d better get back to catching mice. Now – where did I put my glasses this time? Without my green glasses I can barely see the white thread against the fabric. 

Meow, I think I must be having a bad dream! Women with an occupation of their own?! It's all pie in the sky. Anyway, I suppose I’ll have to give up on my nap. I’d better head out into the yard and stretch my paws. And if you don't find your glasses, here’s a little hint, try looking next door, on the white wall shelf.

Photo: © Fischer- und Webermuseum