My sewing story

Life is returning to a pattern since Dad’s passing.   I have thought about blogging a couple of times over the last month, but I just didn’t have it in me.    I started back on the dress yesterday.  I made some progress on refining the muslin.

I decided to take a side trip on this blog and tell you about my sewing history.

I don’t really remember learning to sew.   When I was young, my mother sewed all the time.  She would tell the story of how, when I was 2 or 3, she was sewing and I needed to entertain myself.   Apparently, I quietly sat and put straight pins in all of the oiling holes on her singer sewing maching.   She was able to get it serviced, but I think she learned that I needed a little more guidance then she had given me.

My first memory of making something was when I was about 8 when I made an elastic waist skirt.  I don’t remember making anything before it, but I do remember that it was not the first thing I made.  It was the first piece of clothing.  At that age, I knew how to lay out a pattern, cut it and basic construction.   My mother held a sewing class for women in our home when I was 9-ish and I remember helping her teach the ladies how to do the layout.  I remember because one of the ladies was not too happy that I knew more than she did and she was rather snippy about it.

When I was about 15, I remember spending a hot spring sewing cushion covers for the White Van with my mother.   And again a few years later for the Open Road!

I started sewing regularly in my early 20’s.  I was fed up with trying to find clothing in fashion stores.  At that time, I sore a size 14 or 16.  The plus size stores only carried things my grandmother would wear.  And the regular stores had very little merchandise over a size 10.   I decided it was just as easy to make a skirt or blouse as it was to spend most of a day combing through stores to find one that fit and was a decent color.

I started with skirts, simple blouses, a few knit tops and pajamas.  Pajamas were good because I could try new types of things without having to go out in public.    And it grew from there to a point where I made much of my own clothing.   I also found that the things I made for myself, I wore often and for years.   Whereas the things I bought, I would throw out after a year to two.

Then, I got really fed up with trying to buy a bathing suit.  How hard could it be, really; the fabric is so stretchy.  I made my first Tankini in 1985 – long before they were a new fashion design.   I did it because I didn’t want to get entirely undress to go to the bathroom.  We lived in Arizona and had a pool.  Some days I put on a suit when I got up and didn’t take it off until I went to bed.   All that dressing & undressing was exhausting.   I cut a pattern for a mallot at the waist line.  Added an inch or so to the top of the brief and the bottom of the tank – and I had a suit.   23 years later and I still use that pattern to make myself bathing suits!

Over the years, sometimes I make a lot of my clothing and sometimes I do not.  Right now I have 4 or 5 blouses in my closet that I made at least 7 years ago.  I have 2 fleece jackets.  One was made 10 years ago and one about 6.  I wear them often.   Pants don’t seem to last as long as tops.  I tend to wear out certain areas in a couple of years.

I learned new techniques to make things by watching Sewing with Nancy on PBS.  I subscribed to Threads and have kept every issue.  I attended sewing shows in Arizona and Massachusetts.   Every one of these taught me something new in either a technique or a design.

How did you learn to sew?  What are your earliest memories of sewing?

Sew…..enough about me.  Next post will be about the dress.


One thought on “My sewing story

  1. I agree with no being up to much since Dad passed. Bobbi, this website is great. I don’t know where or when we started to sew but I do remember doing it. I remember making our dresses for different banquets and stuff. I even remember Mom leaving the pins in. It has helped me since Courtney is so petite to alter her clothes or dresses. I too have made a couple things but don’t know how you can make such nice stuff since I am always on the phone asking you questions just to make it look decent. Keep up the great work. JODY

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s