Sunday, January 18, 2009

Time for a story; my sewing backstory

LindseyT had a great post about her sewing backstory and encouraged us all to post ours.

Here is my sewing story:

As a child, I had the most clever mother on the block because she could sew anything- clothes, draperies, slipcovers, etc. I used to amuse myself by playing with the scraps from her projects; making doll blankets, stuffed toys and doll clothes. If I messed up, I could take it to her and she would remove the disaster part & replace it with well-craftedness. I was in awe of her ability to fix my sewing catastrophes.

When I was a Girl Scout, we got badges for all sorts of things and I have vivid memories of making a pleated skirt with zipper and a waistband - all hand sewn. I finished mine quickly - my sewing mojo was on fire! We wore these skirts when we went to the roller rink to go roller skating. I loved me some roller skating! I was truly amazed that I had sewn my own pleated skirt.

In Junior High School we had Home Economics and oh, how I loved every aspect of that. I would have loved shop, too if they had taught it to girls. On the first day of class, we were supposed to write down what skills we hoped to learn and the teacher read them. My goal was to learn set-in sleeves. We did not get that far! The class was mostly a review of what I already knew, but hey, it was fun. Too bad I did not get involved in 4H, I am sure I would have loved it.

High school- I sewed peasant blouses, halter tops and my most challenging project was a C.P.O. jacket made from a Burberry sort of plaid. I still relied on my mom, though for important things like my junior prom dress.

College- I got ambitious during my college years and sewed a lot. I can remember setting a goal to sew a garment a day while on spring break. I just dug in and sewed hard. My most memorable project was a tuxedo. Thank goodness for Vogue patterns and their fantastic instructions. I was a musician and needed lots of plain black clothes for gigs. Heaven forbid I should wear the same thing as the other girls. The jacket was fully tailored, high hip length and the pants were very slim cut. I bought a mens tux shirt to wear with it- I was pretty burnt out after all that tailoring!

Post college- At age 25, I decided I wanted to live a "normal" life and work during the day and get a paycheck so I went back to college at night to earn an accounting degree. I worked as a bank teller during the day. (I really loved that job!) There was no time to sew and when I started working as a CPA, I wanted to wear tailored suits and I enjoyed having a paycheck to buy them. My sewing machine was used for alterations only. I must say, I enjoyed taking apart well-made garments to see how they were constructed. sigh. Back then, everything was too big in the waist so I had to take in the waist. Yep, those were the days all right.

Mid-life wake-up phase- In my mid thirties I became a divorced mom and I got so run-down I couldn't even remember what I used to enjoy. I went through a phase of soul-searching & self discovery and I read a book called The Artist's Way. I followed the exercises and it changed my life! I got back into music and sewing. I discovered my own creative identity and never looked back.

In the last few years I found the online sewing community and it is the best! Sewing is solitary and I love my time alone with my fabrics and ideas. Sharing my passion with others online just makes it even better.

Thanks LindseyT for a great idea!

Happy Sewing~


  1. Thanks for sharing your story. I discovered the Artist's Way too--it was also life changing for me.

  2. I'm so glad you took the time to write this. I love learning more about my sewing buddies. I'll have to look into The Artist's Way.

  3. Thanks for sharing your sewing backstory. I love when people share how they got started and how their sewing has evolved. I read the Artist Way as well and yes it is an awewome book.

  4. Thanks for sharing your story. So you are a musician as well? Very creative.

  5. Love your back story. I love all sewing stories.


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