Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Sewing Story

Lindsay posted a nice blog post about "What's Your Sewing Story?" I'm always up for a good story, either a "How We Met", "How I Learned to Sew" or "Tell Me About Your Wedding Day" story. So pull up your chair, grab a cup of coffee, and sit down for another "Sewing Story". I'm going to spend the next 30 minutes typing my story instead of putting away the groceries.

Sewing is genetic for me. My brain was hardwired to learn. It's the paternal grandmother gene that did it. Ironically, I hated going into fabric stores with my mother. The bolt stands were higher than my head and I couldn't see anything. Why she ever went into fabric stores when I was 5, 6, or 7, I'll never know. She rarely sewed, just had no or very little interest.

In 7th grade, I was going to take Home Ec. At the time (1978/1979), all the girls took Home Ec, and the boys took Shop. My friend wanted to take Shop, but the principal told her she would have to get another girl interested to take it--they wouldn't send just one girl to a public school with all the boys (I was in Catholic grade school at the time). It was a 2-year program, and being the eager-to-please type, I said yes to my friend. Shop was okay. I'm glad I took it that year. I made an oak shelf and a metal box.

The following year I was determined to take Home Ec and not Shop. The principal at that point was willing to let a girl go alone in the group of boys and I got the okay to take sewing. We did cooking the first semester, and sewing the second. All the other girls worked on Simplicity overalls as their 2nd-year project, but since I was a first-year sewing student I worked on a Simplicity Jiffy Wrap skirt. I LOVED that skirt! Wore it to my 8th grade "graduation".

That summer I continued to sew. I remember buying a dress pattern. Truthfully, I don't think I made anything that summer. It was the "Summer of Mistakes". But I learned from them and kept at it on my mother's piece 'o shit Montgomery Ward machine. That thing would jam like crazy but I still stuck with it. I begged for a new machine but she said, "You'll get one when you graduate from high school."

I started sewing like crazy as a high school freshman with hits and misses. Even convinced my mom to take the Adult Ed Intro to Sewing class with me at the local Vo Tech. Gosh, it was BORING. It was three weeks before we were even allowed to lay out our fabric. However, the blouse I made was impeccable. After that, I sewed a ton of blouses, then worked on pants, and eventually blazers by the end of my Sophomore year. Much of what I did was self taught by trying to figure out the patterns. My Junior and Senior year in high school, I took Sewing I and II, both were semester courses. I made a mock Members' Only jacket in Sewing II. I absolutely loved that jacket but failed the class. I can't remember what else I made, but I would wear my projects the second I finished them and never handed them in for a grade. My teacher warned me, gave me an Incomplete, but never handed them in for inspection, thus a big fat "F" on my report card. (My mother was livid!) Once I graduated, I received my present--a new White sewing machine. Unfortunately, I didn't get to pick it out. My mom bought it and presented it to me.

In college I made all my sorority date party dresses, a few wardrobe items here and there, then started working on my wedding dress. Once I started working, I made a slew of suits and dresses. When I became pregnant, I made an entire wardrobe of maternity dresses one summer before going back to work in September.

Once DD#1 was born, I would make a lot of overalls for her, pants, and dresses. Bought my Pfaff Hobbylock serger that year too. DD#2 arrived. The girls would get matching Valentine's Day dresses and special occasion dresses. DS#1 arrived and sewing slowed down. DS#2 arrived and sewing came almost to a halt. DD#2 started working on a school project soon after--a "quilt" made out of fabric and posterboard. We used my machine, and on the last block my machine seized up and died. I took it in to our local Sew and Vac, but the owner recommended trading up, said I would be, "...much happier!" I told him I'd see him in 6 months when I had the money. Six months later I took my Janome Memory Craft 3000 home with me. He was RIGHT! I was in sewing heaven with my new machine. At that point, I started sewing a lot more again. The kids were getting older, the boys wanted particulars in their clothes, and there was simply more time since they were almost all out of the toddler stage.

I discovered Pattern Review soon after and started sewing a lot more again and worked on fitting too. Bought an embroidery machine. Working on that Coverstitch machine too. And that's where I'm at.

That's my sewing story. Now be sure to post yours too! :)

1 comment:

Lindsay T said...

I loved reading this! Thanks for sharing your story here.