So here they are, 7 facts of my sewing history:
- My first sewing memory is a little project that my Grandma gave me. It was a handkerchief with a design on it, and you outlined the motif with an embroidery floss running stitch. I was 5 years old. The needle was blunt, but I can hardly imagine something like that being marketed as a child's project today in our watchful, litigious society.
- My mom was one of those cautious moms who was always afraid we'd hurt ourselves around the house. So, when I expressed an interest in sewing when I was 11 or 12, she insisted that I take Home Ec so I'd learn to "properly" use a sewing machine. Once I was enrolled, she let me start using her sewing machine, a circa 50's White made of solid metal with an olive drab finish. Man, that thing was a tank!! It didn't have a foot petal, it had a lever that you pushed with your thigh. I made many, many projects in junior high and high school with that machine.
- The 7th grade home ec class was absolutely awful. The girls in the class were primarily of the "hood" clique, and I did not fit in with them at all. Our first project was a poncho. It was the 1970s but uggghhh!! I couldn't wait for that class to be over but it was enough that I had open access to the sewing machine.
- When I was in the 10th grade, I went to live with my Grandma for a while. Long story that I won't get into here. Grandma did not like to sew, her needlework activities were needlepoint and crochet. However, like most women of her era, she had a sewing machine that was used for general maintenance and repair of the household's clothing, for curtains, etc. That machine was a "portable" Singer with black enamel and golden accents, and it had a bentwood case. Another tank, and that thing also weighed a ton, even though it was a portable. When Grandma passed away, I inherited that machine and it currently resides in the front hall of my home.
- Because my early machines were both straight stich only, I got really good at making French seams.
- I had a sewing hiatus during my college and grad school years, more due to lack of a machine than anything else. I got my first "modern" machine 20 years ago, when my then-husband bought me an early electronic machine from Montgomery Ward. I recently gave that machine to my friend John, who is delighted at learning to sew!
- My stash accumulation habits have been aided and abetted by my late Uncle Bobby, who worked for years in the custom drapery business. He would bring home remnants and roll ends of high end home dec fabrics with instructions to use them for something. He later taught himself to do basic sewing and fabricated cornice boards and draperies for his house with the help of the ladies in the work room. He also liked doing re-upholstering and made his own cording for his projects.
She also asked a question about little black dresses, "is yours ready to wear?" Why yes, yes it is. My current LBD is from Talbot's, it's the black version of this:
It's matte jersey dress, and I recently bought at Talbot's--very basic, as a LBD should be. I got it to wear with jackets and such for work. I also got the navy version.