Louise Taylor, 72, seamstress known for clothing artistry

September 24, 1996|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

It was a rare night when the old Singer sewing machine in the dining room of Louise Taylor's West Baltimore home wasn't humming.

Sewing relaxed Mrs. Taylor, who made most of the clothes for her six children.

"Almost everything we wore, she made it," said a daughter, Linda Henryhand of Big Spring, Ky. "We just never had to worry about going out and having to buy clothes."

Mrs. Taylor died Saturday at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital of cancer. She was 72.

Friends recalled her artistry at the sewing machine, the prom dresses she made for her daughters, the elaborate wedding dress she sewed for a friend.

"There wasn't anything that she couldn't make with a sewing machine," said Ella Wooden, a longtime friend who lived several houses from Mrs. Taylor on Warwick Avenue near Coppin State College. "She knew exactly what she was doing and could make it quickly."

Mrs. Taylor made dresses in one day for family members and jTC had a two-day maximum for most others.

"And it [the dress] always came out the way they wanted it," said Janice West of Baltimore, a longtime friend. "You could give her a rough drawing or describe it sometimes and she'd know what to do, how to make a dress out of it. Usually, what she made was better than what you had envisioned."

Born in Atlanta and raised in Monroe, N.C., Mrs. Taylor moved to Baltimore in the 1940s and worked as a seamstress for several area clothing companies. She also did tailoring at home.

In 1975, she joined the housekeeping department at the Quality Inn downtown and was employed there at her death.

The former Louise Moore married Joseph E. Taylor Sr. in 1957; he died in 1984.

In the early 1970s, the couple moved to a house in West Baltimore's Easterwood section, where neighbors marveled at the Taylors' spotless front porch that was filled with plants.

Neighbors also remembered her diligence in catching the bus at 6 a.m. daily to go to work.

"It didn't matter what kind of weather it was, she was on the bus stop," said Glenn Randall, a neighbor. "I'd joke with her and say, 'You don't need to do this. You can sew and make money at your leisure.' "

Not everything Mrs. Taylor sewed was perfect.

She once made a suit for herself in which the sleeves were sewn wrong.

"She went to put it on and it was backwards," Ms. Henryhand said. "She put it on and said, 'This thing doesn't feel right.' Well, I guess it didn't."

Services will be held at noon tomorrow at March Funeral Home Inc., 1101 E. North Ave.

Survivors include two sons, Raymond Simpson and Joseph E. Taylor Jr., both of Baltimore; three other daughters, Helen Morgan, Quanita Taylor and Shirley Taylor, all of Baltimore; and six grandchildren.

Pub Date: 9/24/96

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