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Thread: When did and who taught you to sew?

  1. #26
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    My Mom always sewed. She made our dresses, patched my Dad's and brother's pants, turned the collars around on their shirts to get a bit more wear out of them, sewed for Grandma (who never learned to read a pattern but could make her housedresses from whole cloth).

    I am the youngest of four children and did not have a 'bought' dress until I was 16! I was never taught how to put two or three patterns together to have this neckline and that sleeve and the other skirt, but I absolutely know how to do it!! I was the one who was outside doing chores and helping Daddy. But somehow or other, all that knowledge seeped into my brain anyway. I just cannot remember a time when I did not know how to sew, even tho I also cannot remember sewing anything before leaving home.

    Guess it was osmosis!

    And I have my middle sister to thank for infecting me with the Quilting Bug. Thanks Sis!!

  2. #27
    Super Member I go To The Sea To Breathe's Avatar
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    I too learned to sew in Home Ec class in 7th grade. My Dad was stationed at the Navy Shipyard in Boston I think. We lived in Danvers, Mass for 2 yrs. first time I was ever in one place that long....We did an embrody sampler with french knots and lots of stitches I don't even remember. We had to make a pair of flannel pjs. I picked out a clown pattern with ruffles around the neck, sleeves and ankles. I made them and they were so hard tomake...in 2 years we moved back to South Carolina and I got rid of the jammies. too hot for the south...but then I did not sew until about 7 or 8 yrs later when a friend named taught me the real meaning of sewing. of taking out even a slight mistake, of using other than cotton for dressy clothes, to make childrens clothes. I sewed a lot then. I thank her so often for making me rip out seams. I think she really was a quilt police. LOL my mom made all my younger sisters clothes and did not use a pattern, never saw her buy one, she would cut it out of newspaper. I have one sister that makes messianic jewish costumes and she does the same way. always wished I could do that. If I don't have a pattern, I can't do it...

  3. #28
    Senior Member collady's Avatar
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    Before I was 5, I would go visit my Grandmother Calaway. She had 4 sons and no daughters. I was the 3rd granddaughter and the first to want to sew. She started teaching me. My mother continued, and my Aunt Fan continued. I was making my own clothes by the time I started junior high school. I am so thankful for the time those wonderful ladies shared with me to teach me so much. I have also had several mentors since who have encouraged and helped me grow in my sewing ability.

  4. #29
    Super Member canmitch1971's Avatar
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    I took Home Economics in grade 9 and 10. That is where I first learned to sew. My teacher's name was Mrs Dodge. My Mother did a bit of sewing but not much.

  5. #30
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    My Grandma started my brother and me out with a square cut out of a grocery bag and a table full of scraps, we would cut squares for quilts she taught us how to get them most sqs out of each piece no waste, then she let me cut out clothes patterns telling me what all the symbols meant then just before first grade we pieced together a very easy quilt from all those scraps we cut up and it was 13ys before the back was put on that quilt still have is 30 later, loved to sew mom would teach me things have sewed clothes for friends and love to make ties for hubby (he loves to pick out fabric for them) now I am quilting again and being more adventurous with patterns and colors. Love it all, sewing, cross stitch, crochet, wood work, etc.

  6. #31
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I learned to sew from my mother at age 9 for 4-H projects. I remember being very fussy and pulling threads to get on the straight grain.....wow....sometimes I wish I had the time to be fussy now.

  7. #32
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    My mother taught me to sew and do embroidery. She told me my stitches were very tiny like my great-grandmother's. I remember embroidering a pot holder in first grade. Mom would buy pillowcase tubing or pre-printe pillowcases and I would embroider them. I started making aprons when I was about 8 or 9 with no pattern. We had a family friend called Aunt Kate who sewed quilts, patchwork aprons that looked like an upside down tulip (I'm trying to duplicate this from memory, but I'm having a hard time), as well as clothespin hangers that looked like dresses. Mom couldn't read a pattern, so I had to wait until my sophomore year of high school to take Home Ec. Apparently the principle thought that freshmen girls weren't old enough for Home Ec. I was the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow in my senior year and made it to the final 10 candidates. I made all of my own clothes, even after leaving high school. I took a break for a few years, then gradually picking it up again. I taught myself to quilt using a Georgia J. Bonesteal Lap quilting video and her Spinning Spools pattern and templates that came in two binders. I finally took a quilt class and learned to machine quilt and I've been doing it ever since for over 25 years. Quilting keeps me sane for the most part, I have made dozens of baby quilts to give away, raffle quilts for church and then started making family reunion quilts about 12 or 14 years ago, can't remember how many. Hubby and I are "retired" on SS, although he gets disability, so I had to purge a lot of my fabric when we moved to an apt., but I stiill plan to make quilted items and try to sell them at craft shows on online.

  8. #33
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    I was also tought by my mum , she tought herself during the war years , she lived in England and had 3 young ones to clothe , she would get coupons to go to a trade place , where they were given tickets to exchange for second had clothes.She would get mens coats and cut the down to make coats for the children, all by hand. When it came time to usize the coats she would get a good amount of coupons back , her sewing was so beautiful.My dad saw how well she did and bought her her first mchine as soon as he could get one .I was born in 52 , and as far as I can remember mum made clothes for 5 of us and herself.The first thing I made for my self was a shift type dress, with a frill around the bottom, and a hair band to match , I was about 8.I started with a treddle machine , and got my first janome for my 16 th birthday from my dad.I have recently been delighted to show my 8 year old grand daughter Annaleise how to make a skirt, I gave her a small Brother maching I got with free rewards points ,she quickly took it up to her room so her younger siblings could not get their hands on it.

    All 6 of my grands have loved to sit on my knee while I was sewing .

  9. #34
    Super Member Debra Mc's Avatar
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    My gm & my mother about age 6. USed machine & hand sewed.

  10. #35
    Super Member donnalynett's Avatar
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    My Mom taught me to sew when I was nine. We made all my clothes.

  11. #36
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    My grandmother, who raised me, was a well known dressmaker in St. Louis. Ladies would bring pictures of the dress or suit they liked and grandmother would make it to match the picture. She insisted that I learn to embroider, knit and crochet from about 4 years old on. Every afternoon, we had our stitching hour. I loved working with beads and was very good at it and grandmother had me do designs which she would put on elegant jackets and suit coats as was the style in the late 40's. She made my clothes clear up into my married years while I made my children's clothes. I have always sewed for my home.

  12. #37
    Senior Member tazzyjj's Avatar
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    I knew my grandma quilted..but she would not let us kids near her sewing room...but teaching me was my cousin in the year 2000... :?

  13. #38
    Junior Member adorabowe's Avatar
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    Hmm.. still in the process of teaching myself. Youtube and the quilt board have made pretty good mentors though!

  14. #39
    Super Member slk350's Avatar
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    I remember my Mom teaching some very basic sewing on a Singer threadle. I remember making doll clothes (I loved playing with dolls). I think I was around 10. Then my close friends Mom taught me some, and also how to knit.I think there might have been years I didn't sew until Home Ec in HS. I always remember sewing since then. After getting married I made clothes for my kids and really got into quilting when my youngest was in elementary school. Even that has been on and off. My first sewing project was hand sewing an apron in Brownies.

  15. #40
    Senior Member mmdquilts's Avatar
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    My mom taught me to sew everything from aprons to wedding gowns. Grandma taught me to knit and crochet. And a very old lady in Canada at camp taught me to quilt by hand. Taught myself machine quilting. Most lessons took place over 40 years ago!

  16. #41
    Super Member Weenween's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUSewing
    Okay, I'll answer first.
    I used to watch my grandmother as she happily sewed on her old black Singer. As a very little girl, who loved dolls, Grandma made my doll clothes and gave me scraps to cut up for "dresses" (without sewing).

    The first time I used a needle and thread was to make a "nut cup doll hat". We took a tiny, paper cup (used for mints at her Canasta parties), used a beautiful maroon taffeta, covered it with a ruffled brim and embellished it with a feather. I sewed with a thimble and "real" needle. It was the first of many doll hats - even Barbie wore them!

    55 years later I still sew, quilt and dream of Grandmother and the "nut cup doll hat".
    I HAVE TO SAY SELF TAUGHT MY GRANDOTHER DIED WHEN I WAS ONLY 14 SHE DID INSPIRE ME THOUGH SHE MADE SOME BEAUTIFUL QUILTS

  17. #42
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    My Mom.

  18. #43
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    I did it at school from about age 7 until I left at age 16.The subject was called Needlecraft and Garment Construction and we learnt drafting and many different styles of embroidery.Also used to sew and knit with my grandma from about the same age.

  19. #44
    Super Member MaryKatherine's Avatar
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    My Mother. I started making doll clothes in a hand crank machine. Still have that machine.
    MK

  20. #45
    Senior Member 2manyprojects's Avatar
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    I too watched my Grandmother, but there were too many grankids to try and teach us, my main learning was from my home-ec teacher in 7th grade...she iw who I learned my love of sewing from...and also trial and error and read...read...read!

  21. #46
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    My girlfriend's mom taught me a little. She wanted her daughter to learn and my learning was the bribe to get her daughter to learn. Then we moved away. My mom's cousin taught me after that. I made a lot of my own cloths. I did have home ec in high school. A required class I didn't need. I could sew and my mom had taught me to cook already.

  22. #47

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    When I was a sophomore in HS, I took home ec & learned to sew. Since I went to Catholic school, I never had many clothes, so I was able to make my own. The nun who taught us was excellent & impressed on us that the inside of a garment should look as nice as the outside!! For many years I made all my own clothes, then my childrens. I have taken tailoring classes, upholstry, lingerie, bishop you name. So when I retired & wanted to start quilting--I took a beginners class so I'd learn the correct way. Always think of my teacher & say the back of my quilts look as good as the front!!

  23. #48
    Junior Member edensgaite's Avatar
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    Made my first quilt when I was 13(summer of '74 I think it was). Drove my grandmother batty until she pulled out bag after bag of sewing factory scraps, and made a huge scrap mountain in her living room floor. She taught me about color selection about fabric weights and then let me pick out my fabric. Patterns were next. I chose "Road to Okaloma". I cut out till I was blue in the face and then, and only then, did she sit me down in front of her machine and taught me the piecing. She took me to purchase batting and a muslin backing, and then she taught me how to machine quilt. I was hooked, and she had some peace and quiet.

    Best Summer ever!
    Mikki

  24. #49
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    My mom, on a treadle machine (we had no electricity yet) My first dress was from a white with blue print feed sack. two would do it in the those days and she cut the pattern from a newspaper. Gathered skirt onto a bodice and cap sleeve. No finished seams. Next time I learned to do french seams. I've been sewing nearly everyday sense for65 yrs. I was 14 then. Still love it! Have taught my 6 daughters and 1 son to sew and 3 daughters earn their living that way today, as they recall living in our shop and working with their mom and dad. It has been a wonderful way to live. My mom was the BEST!

  25. #50
    Junior Member Old hen's Avatar
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    My aunt started me sewing about 55 years ago. I used scraps to make underclothes for my poor naked dolls. Hand stitching everything took a lot of time for bras and undies. Sooooo glad she got me started......and I've loved it ever since. Even made dress pants and sports jackets for my husband, and winter coats for my young daughters. Now quilting is my passion and hope I'll be sewing right before they put me in "the box".

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