I probably picked up my first sewing needle and scrap of fabric when I was about 8 years old. Growing up somewhat poor, my sisters and I got 3 new dresses a year that were hand-made by my mom. First day of school, Christmas and Easter.
My two best friends each had a mother or grandmother that would knit them beautiful outfits for the barbie dolls. Buying new outfits for a doll was a luxury we couldn't afford, so I started to dig through my mom's old fabric scraps and make things for my barbie to wear. They were extremely crude looking, but at the time I was excited to have clothes for my doll.
By the time I was about 11 years old, I wanted to learn how to sew on my mom's old Pfaff. (She still uses that same machine she bought about 60 years ago!) Patterns back when I was young were usually 50 cents to a dollar. We found a pattern for coulotts (sp?) that required only a yard of fabric and a 7" zipper. My mom would let me pick out clearance fabric at Zayre's that was $1.00/yard or less to make several pairs of these. My sister taught me how to read a pattern and make them. By the time I started High School and took Home Ec, I was quite the accomplished seamstress. Made all of my own clothes throughout High School and College. If I needed pants, I made them. If I needed a special dress, I made it.
I still love to sew, obviously, but not clothes. Quilting has been my passion for many years now.