How I Learned to Sew

Was going to upload more birthday extravaganza projects, but the photo uploader is not working on Blogger tonight.  So I'm thinking of other topics - that and listening to my husband talk about how great he feels since he took cold medicine.  Looks like now is the opportunity to do that post I've been thinking of doing about how I learned to sew.  I always wonder how other people learned.  Here's my story...

My mom sewed.  Not sure how she learned, exactly, because I've only ever seen my grandmother do needlework and such.  My first memory of sewing involves sewing on paper without any thread.  Using a mechanized needle to punch swirls in sheets of paper was awfully cool, or so I thought.  Back then, my mom used a black Viking and I remember the backstitch was a button that you had to push down really hard.  At least it was hard for a five-year-old.  From swirls, I moved on to binding "books."  Basically, we stacked a few sheets of paper and I sewed a straight line down the middle, folded the paper in half at the stitch line, and voila!  A book.  This was a brilliant move by my mother because I loved illustrating my own little story books.  Maybe part of my affinity for writing comes from those good childhood memories.

Moving on.  We started homeschooling in 1989, third grade, and the year I turned 9.  I think that was the year I started 4-H sewing.  My mom's friend Bonnie, God rest her soul, taught a group of us girls.  Each year we made a garment or outfit of our choosing which was then judged at a big event.  I distinctly remember getting rave reviews on my first hem (it was on a calico skirt with an elastic waistband) because of my exceptional hand stitching.  Sadly, that hand stitching has gone the way of my penmanship.  Most of my basic sewing skills were learned through three or four years of 4-H sewing.  That and spending hours upon hours making Barbie doll clothes out of left over scraps from my older sisters' prom dresses.   Do you remember Daisy Kingdom?  I ask only because I just remembered a period of time when we made Daisy Kingdom rabbits with little dresses.  Crafty stuff was big in the early nineties.

Sewing gifts, crafts, clothes, and the occasional vacuum filter kept me busy through my early teen years.  After fifteen or so, I embraced mall shopping and saved my sewing for the fun stuff - fancy dresses, to be exact.  Now if only I had a photo uploader, I would share a pic or two!  My great love for making stuff, and a decent ability to draw and watercolor, eventually lead me to fashion design school where I learned how to do some of the technical stuff like draping and pattern manipulation.  (The best part of going to design school - since I didn't retain all of it - was getting the textbooks!  I still use them.)  Meanwhile, I picked up a job at a community college costume department and sharpened up my sewing skills on costumes for plays like The Three Musketeers and Mikado.  That's when I really fell in love with fabric.  Especially silk.  I have such a soft spot for silk.

In fashion school, other than learning I was truly not cool, I learned that I don't have 'it' when it comes to fashion.  In short order, it became clear that I couldn't dress myself much less other people.  I was really good at fashion school, though, so my profs thought I should get a masters/PhD and teach at the college level.  I guess if you can't do...teach, right?  Alas, it was not to be.  I decided that investing in a career seemed kinda foolish for a girl who wanted to invest in a family.  So, I did what any bright young girl does in a situation like that.  I invested myself in finding a husband instead.  While embarking on the all important job of seeking a mate (and half-heartedly looking for a 'real' job in a state that doesn't have a single fashion design job to it's name), I worked at a bridal shop.  There, from an amazing Persian woman named Zohreh, I learned how to alter bridal attire.  Golden information, if ever I learned any!`

And the rest is history.  (And the baby is screaming...gotta go!)


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