Re: What’s Your Sewing Backstory?

These photos are from my sewing “peak,” which was when I was a junior in high school.
Today, I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing any of these in public!

A couple of weeks ago when I was browsing my usual list of sewing blogs I read, Lindsey T’s post asking her readers about their sewing back story prompted me to think about how far I’ve come since I started sewing at age 9 (even though it isn’t too much!) .

So here’s my backstory, in a nutshell:

  • My interest was first piqued by the extra scraps of fabric I used to play with in my Mom’s sewing room. She showed me how to thread a needle and do a running stitch, and off I went making dresses for my dolls from a pattern she drafted for me. After a while, I wanted to learn how to use the sewing machine since it would be so much faster to make little outfits. I received two sewing machine books for Christmas and learned how to sew on my Mom’s Bernette machine. What an awful machine! It always ate my fabric and jammed up at the drop of a hat.
  • After moving beyond making blankets and outfits for my dolls and Beanie Babies, I tackled my first garment when I was 13: a purple floral drawstring skirt.
  • In high school, I took home ec classes in sewing construction as well as fashion design. I often visited Goodwill to look for old jeans I could rip up and turn into skirts, shirts to attach grommets to, and pretty much anything I could refashion into something new with my machine. I also got my first sewing machine, a Bernina 1005, which I still use today.
  • By my Junior year, I was making costumes that I *ahem* would wear to school…I refer to this period in time as my “freak” period, because clearly people must have thought I was a freak for wearing Renaissance dresses and corsets to class! It’s still embarrassing to think about 🙂
  • Senior year I channeled my inner costume freak towards the theater department and made/designed costumes for the spring musical.
  • Once college rolled around, I didn’t do much sewing. No machine at school, and I was pretty burned out. And no, I didn’t continue to wear my dresses and corsets in college. That would have been tragic.
  • It wasn’t until the end of my senior year in college that I returned to the machine (I had an apartment that year so I had room and time to sew!). I will admit that Project Runway was a huge inspiration and motivation for me to get back to creating clothes, and this time around I’m focusing on everyday garments that are more practical than my previous endeavors a few years ago. I’ve recently caught the quilting bug as well, which is another avenue that I’m sure will expand my sewing repertoire as well.


1 Comment

  1. January 29, 2009 / 9:23 pm

    Your back story reminds me of mine! Thanks for sharing, and I’m glad to see you posting again!

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