It feels like forever, but I must admit my sewing history is a bit unusual. When I was a child and in dance recitals, my mom used to finish my costumes using safety pins. She never sewed a button in her life. By age 10 I decided I needed to learn the skill. This is exactly how my mom “taught” me: She sat me down in front of a sewing machine with the instruction book, a pattern, some material and said, “It’s just like following a recipe.” I remember doing the project. It was a pair of shorts. And it was hard. But I did it and I really enjoyed making something myself.
Later, when I was pregnant and expecting my first child, I was excited to sew my new baby’s crib ensemble in pastels. I used an old Singer given to me by my great-grandmother-in-law and it only had a straight stitch. But it worked like a dream and I made every blanket with love. After my son was born, I put the sewing machine away and focused on being a mom.
Once my second child was born two years later, I discovered brand new opportunities to sew — because my second child happened to be a girl. There is something so special about a little girl’s dress and matching headbands! And my skills grew! I also started to sew for myself. Pattern shopping, fabric selection and design were now regular elements of my sewing experience. It was the late ’80s and fashion was amazingly cool! I stretched my abilities and improved my equipment. My first serger was a used one and I learned HOW to use it by the seller. She taught me every trick she knew. She even gave me general sewing tips to improve my skills overall.
Working with silk, wool, and other fabulous fabrics became my joy! I started making clothing that flattered my body, with new garments for every season. Friends started to notice and asked to barter with me. Ah, those were the days! One of my favorite items I made for a friend was a lined bolero jacket. It was for a special occasion and she loved the finished product. Sewing was my go-to hobby and joy!
Life changes. Children grow. Sewing ebbs and flows.
Twenty years later, I found myself back on the bike of sewing again. This time it was because I wanted to see my grandchildren as the recipients of beautiful and handmade clothing made just for them. Boutique style dresses, designer fabrics, and adorable details like rickrack collars, big bows that tie in the back, and pretty buttons that compliment their outfit perfectly! So, yeah, years of experience have brought me to now.