Have you ever wondered how people got sewing in the first place? I have. So to get you started, here’s my story. Please put yours out there on your blog if you want. And leave a message here. I’d love to read your story!
I started to sew shortly after I turned 12. My mother had made a wedding dress for my Chrissy doll for Christmas, and I think she decided she had had quite enough of sewing after that. She asked me if I would like to learn to sew. I said yes, so she showed me how to thread and sew on her Singer Featherweight. Then we went to Jackson Fabrics in our hometown of Needham, where I picked out a McCalls jumper pattern. We also picked out some plain cotton/poly in a blue that would work for a school uniform (I was attending a Catholic girls’ school). We picked out an unbleached cotton muslin to line it. Afterwards, we went home where my mother helped me lay out the pattern on the fabric. Pretreat fabric? Hell no – I wanted to start sewing and she wanted to get me out of her hair.
She let me use her prized Gingher pinking shears to cut the pattern out, took me up to the sewing machine and helped me get started. Then she said to me, “I’ll be downstairs having a cigarette if you have any questions.” It sounds cliché, but I really did take to it like a duck to water. I don’t think there are any pictures of it. In 20-20 hindsight, I’m sure it was a godawful mess, but I was so proud of it! I sewed constantly from that day on. I kept sewing all through college, and when I moved out of my parents’ house after graduation, my sister gave me her old Kenmore. I sewed suits, blouses, pants and work clothes for the duration of my high tech career. I really didn’t take any classes. I didn’t have time – I was traveling 3 weeks out of every month for my job. My Vogue Sewing Book (copyright 1980, it was a Christmas gift from my parents) was my constant companion at the sewing table. I still have that book and I still use it regularly. I became interested in more intricate sewing and couture techniques, and bonus – my in-laws lived right down the Rockville Pike from G Street Fabrics, so my sewing mojo really got going. I sewed my entire maternity work wardrobe, and it clothed two other women after me.
Once I took a job that didn’t have as much travel, my sewing really took off. And once I got out of high tech for good, of course, I started sewing for a living, and ultimately founded my company. I started teaching sewing 5 years ago, and I’m still teaching. One of the things I’m looking forward to is teaching a sewing class to a local girl scout troop to help the girls qualify for their badges. So the sewing continues!
Enough about me – what’s your sewing backstory?