Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Sewing Backstory

Several iconic sewing bloggers have recently posted their sewing backstories, so I decided to add a short one here too. My mom was my sewing teacher. I started out doing embroidery from kits with prestamped designs--I think I was 6 or 7 when I did these. I always made doll clothes by hand--I don't remember a time when I was not sewing or cutting fabric. I have always been a reader as well, so lots of my sewing knowledge I got from books, patterns, Mom's magazines, etc.

My mother was the best. She made most of my clothes when I was growing up, to include my wedding dress and many prom dresses, formals, etc. She taught me to sew, but I never really felt I could achieve her standards, so I didn't sew much until after I married (and was in need of clothing at low cost!) My parents gave me money for college graduation and I purchased a brand new Kenmore sewing machine and cabinet. That was 1970 and I have been sewing to some degree ever since. Our sons were born in 71 and 73 and I sewed many of their overalls and dress up clothing. I also had a career in education, so I sewed as time permitted and my interest varied in strength over the years. I made lots of "request" items for the boys--a neon orange and purple snowboarding jacket for DS #2. capri-like pants for same son when boys were not allowed to wear shorts to school, etc. My interest rekindled in 1996 with the arrival of DGD #1 and the chance to sew for a little girl!

I sew for me and for the kids--not too much for other adults or DH. I recently made some camera gear for him and would sew just about anything he asked for. He is VERY accommodating in terms of supporting my hobby. As a surprise, he bought me my first quality machine, a Bernina 1130, in about 1985 or 86. I still sew primarily on that machine, although I have newer, more expensive ones. I have an embroidery combo machine that gets used in spurts. I either do lots of embroidery-driven projects, or I do none! Now that I am retired, I pick and choose what I wish to sew. I made quilts for each of the 5 grands when they were born.

Sewing is my one ongoing connection to my mom. We lost her in October of 2006 and my sister and I split up her sewing machines and supplies. DS took the newer machines and I took Mom's Singer Featherweight machine. I remember Mom making my clothes on the little Singer and it holds so many tender memories for me. I have become more patient and more demanding of my skills as I "mature." I hope to reach the same level of sewing as Mom one day.

I have attended a few seminars and sewing expos over the years, but as far as real training goes, Mom was the real teacher.


Summerset said...

Interesting story - your mother was quite the teacher and inspirer. I love reading these!

Shannon said...

What a wonderful tribute to your mother! You were lucky to have had such a great teacher.

Sigrid said...

Indeed a great tribute. It's nice to read those stories.

Mel said...

I enjoyed your story, maybe I'll have to think about my own... short as it may be. =)
I have a yellow gingham dress that I just received, it was made by my grandma or my great grandma, and the lines on the fabric, everything seems so perfect. What standards... I'm just getting started, I couldn't even imagine attempting to get it all so perfect. I'll keep at it as long as I enjoy it though.
--A fellow sewist from the JOS groups.

a little sewing on the side said...

What a nice story!