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Sunday, 18 October 2009

My sewing history

My mother sews and sewed a lot of our clothes when we were younger children (I have a younger brother), although as we got older we wanted shop bought clothes as home sewn did not look right (sorry Mum!).
I often remember falling asleep to the sound of the machine running as mum made our little outfits.

Mum's mother sewed and both of her sisters sewed too, so that obviously got passed down :-)
When I was the only child (I am the elder) apparently I would sit in mum's lap whilst she sewed, she'd told me to keep my hands in my lap and away from the needle and I did LOL.

I took a 2 years of Home Ec at school. This was an all girls school so only equipped for cooking and sewing (one and a half terms of each, each year). A very academic school the sewing was all about making sample pieces for a formal exam, the teacher never wore clothes she had made herself.

I found the class deeply frustrating because I could already sew a bit, but apparently it was all wrong. I never bonded with that teacher at all, and although my work was displayed as examples of things the class completed (many never finished) and I did extra things at home, I dropped the class to concentrate on my academic studies rationalising it with 'I'll still sew on my own at home'.

In 6th form (16-18 yrs) I had acquired a basic machine, I think a birthday/Christmas gift from my parents, and freed from the shackles of school uniform had started to make a few odd things. I knew nothing about fitting though so this was deeply frustrating, I made a bright yellow cotton jumpsuit (hey it was the 80s) and a knit green miniskirt with asymmetric hems. Not sensible projects at all but I had fun.

When I went away to University I took the sewing machine with me, seeing it as essential as a kettle and made a few projects as well as loaning it out to others.

Since then I took an evening class for a couple of years which did help my skills a bit but I stopped because it was an endlessly repeating beginners class and the teacher knew nothing about fitting.
At that point I found Pattern Review and Stitcher's Guild online sites and have really been able to move this interest along.

2 comments:

JenSA said...

Your history sounds just like mine. I also have a mom that sews & I used her machines until I was given one as a gift in university. It's really a gift that our moms have given us the love of sewing.

Rhoto said...

Hi Ruthie!!
When I was 12 I got a sewing machine and sewed lots of my mum's and my clothes!! There were no "Petites" then, eh!!
I sewed until I was 18 & then got sick of it!! That's also when "Petites" started on the scene.
Now I'm "starting up again" with PatternReview. The only difference is that 55-years olds have fitting ISSUES all over, eh!! Tee! Hee!!
THANKS for sharing YOUR story!!
Soft hug,
Rhonda in Montreal (PR)