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Thread: Who taught you to sew?

  1. #26
    Senior Member rrhaigh's Avatar
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    I learned to sew in Home Ec in 8th grade. I am so grateful for that class. That was the only formal teaching I had and no one else in my family sewed. I loved it from the very beginning and just practiced and read, read, read to learn. I have been sewing now for 45 years, making my clothes, my childrens clothes, and then grandkids clothes and home deco items. A few years ago I started quilting and I must say that quilting is so addicting and I enjoy it more than any other type of sewing I have done. With quilting I was lucky enough to join a friendship quilting group and I have learned more from them than I ever imagined possible. Learning from others is so much easier than learning from books and so much more fun! I am now teaching one of my granddaughters to sew. Sadly, neither of my two daughters were ever interested.
    Robin
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  2. #27
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    Miss Lydia Snow, home ec teacher extraordinaire, taught me to sew in Grades 7 and 8. We made a skirt using a border print, a shirtwaist dress and an apron. She also taught us how to make creamed onions, which I have never made again.

    As a child my mother sewed all of my clothes but had no patience to teach me and wouldn't allow me to use her machine. When I was out on my own at age 17 I borrowed a sewing machine and made all of my clothes including a lined winter coat. Made my first 9-patch quilt at the age of 27 for my baby daughter and haven't looked back.

    Last week I was paper-piecing like mad and this week I'm updating my work wardrobe with some professional-looking t-shirt knit tops. Thank you Miss Snow!
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  3. #28
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    My Mom taught me on the machine she got for her 8th grade graduation in the 1930's. I was about 5 years old and she put a phone book under the pedal so I could reach it. she also taught me to knot, crochet, embroider, and the beginning of quilting. After my Mom passed away a wonderful woman at the time in her late 70's taught me quite a bit beyond the basics of quilting..The bug bit and I am infected with quitling fever still...Of course many times as I work I find myself talking to my Mom and Miss Vivian as I work...

  4. #29
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    My mother taught me the basics. Dad was in the Air Force so we didn't see aunts or grandmothers much. I learned to quilt on my own. It was pretty much the school of hard knocks. Rip it out and try again 101.

  5. #30
    Senior Member Digitizingqueen's Avatar
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    My mom taught me to sew when I was 8- we made a doll skirt designed it made the pattern and did marking and all the detail work, once we finished that she let me use her feather weight which she still has, then when I was 15 she bought me my very own machine and said "you get this on one condition...... You use it" I still have that beloved singer my daughter has it to do some basic sewing, I have gone to much higher end huquvarna machines, and now have my long arm too.... Seeing as I'll be 50 this year I have been sewing a very long time, sewn everything from cloths for me, to costumes an
    Ned wedding stuff -turned to mostly quilts a few years ago... I too took home ec in jr high learned lots but got more out of the many classes I have taken elsewhere.

  6. #31
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    Mom got me my own treadle when I was 10. Between her and my grandmother who was a tailor I was sewing long before we HAD to take Home Ec. I really hated that class. I could cook and sew already and would much rather have had the study hall. At the end of high school we had to take a test to see who would win the Betty Crocker Homemaker Award. I grumbled all the way through the test and had only taken the required 1 yr of Home Ec. Guess who won? Mom and grandma must have been pretty good teachers!
    Cheryl Robinson
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  7. #32
    Junior Member lynnegreen's Avatar
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    My mom taught me to sew. When I was about 10 she got a new machine and I was able to use her Singer (still have it out in the garage somewhere - need to bring it in the house!). She had made all of our school clothes. Two years later during the summer before entering junior high school she told me I would be making all my own clothes from there on, which I did, well out of high school (including one year making the cheerleader outfits, boy that was quite a project). During summers I would spend time with a cousin who was a phenominal seamstress, today she is an award winning art clothing designer and teacher, and we would make clothes. I still remember making a denim skirt and how she took the pattern and made adjustments to make the skirt look and fit better.
    During raising kids and working full time I stopped sewing almost completely. My mom found a local quilt class around 1978 which we took just to do an activity together, and we have been quilting ever since! I thank her for my love of sewing AND finding that quilt class!
    Lynne

  8. #33
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    At age 7, my grandma taught me to embroider and crochet. I took it upon myself to start sewing little clothes and such for my dolls. At age 22, I bought myself a machine and a sewing kit, ordered a quilt kit, and the rest is history!
    Be a blessing to others, as you may entertain angels unaware!

  9. #34
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    My beloved Nanny Lena (my paternal grandmother) taught me to sew Babie clothes by hand at the age of 5 or 6. She was a wonderful seamstress, and I loved her making things for me. She taught me the basics of embroidery too. I did mostly handwork until 7th grade home ec with Mrs. Shields. She was demanding and not terribly helpful, but I learned to set a sleeve, sew lovely darts, and put in a zipper. Of course I didn't sew for years after having her!

    I really started sewing again when my oldest son was born, and I've been doing it ever since. I started quilting 6 or 7 years ago, more in the last 2years.

    Pam

  10. #35
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    My mom was a professional dressmaker and I was raised around it. The sewing machine was almost always out and I would watch. She started teaching me bits at a time about 8 years old. I watched more than "made" but didn't "get" patterns. I did make my kids clothes for a few years but stopped. Two years ago I took a quilting class and loved it. I think I have her talent, but in the quilting area, not dressmaking.

  11. #36
    Super Member 3incollege's Avatar
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    7th grade home ec. and in Girl Scouts. My mom never sewed, but my grandma did alot she could make suits and everything she wore. She never showed me, how. When I graduated from high school, I went to a fashion school and loved it. Also taught myself to knit and all needlework.
    Donna

  12. #37
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    I don't remember being taught to sew... I remember watching my mother cut patterns, pin the pieces together and sew. Somewhere along the line I got a child's machine and I was hooked. I sewed clothes for baby dolls and barbies, doll blankets and I remember trying to sew a simple skirt for myself. My father taught me home dec sewing... he could do amazing pleated drapes!! My mother taught me embroidery using those pre-printed blue-inked table linens and pillow cases. My Grandma taught me crochet. My mother tried to teach me to knit, but I never could manage it!! My one semester of sewing in Home Ec taught me the technical names of the things I already knew and that has been useful. I sewed most of my clothing in middle school and HS, sewed my wedding dress and the dresses my sisters wore as my bridesmaids, formal wear, my maternity clothes and just about every stitch of clothing my children wore until they were each 6 or 7 years old. I made my first quilt when I was in college... an anniversary gift for my parents. Their instruction and encouragement were wonderful gifts to me.

    I have loved reading all these stories... so similar and so individual. We all took a different roads, but we all ended up here!
    "Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them."
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  13. #38
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    My mom showed my sisters and I the bare basics of using her Singer Featherweight when I was around 7 years old so we could make stuffed animals, rag dolls, and doll clothes for our Barbies and trolls. We figured things out by trial and error. My Mom would have been glad to show us things herself, but it was always more fun to figure it out ourselves or with the help of another sister or a neighborhood friend.

    By the time I was about 12 she sent us off to Mrs. Kelly's for sewing lessons. We went every day for a couple of weeks and made shift dresses from mod prints to match our Capezio mary jane shoes. After that, I sewed some of my own clothes, buying patterns and fabric from one of several nearby fabric stores.
    Elizabeth

  14. #39
    Senior Member RV Quilter's Avatar
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    My mother taught me to sew on a treadle type machine and I also was in 4H and took home ec classes. When she died last year she left me some money and I bought a Janome which I named Evelyn, her name. She is still overseeing my stitching.
    Dreams Do Come True
    Good friends are like quilts - they age with you, yet never lose their warmth.

  15. #40
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    I don't remember how old I was when I started to sew. I do remember hand sewing doll cloths and my Mom making pattern's for them out of newspaper ( grade school). My grandma Annie taught me to tat and crochet, I could make lacy coller trim and round doillies by the second grade. I remember sitting under the quilting frame in the basement of the Luthern Church while my grandma Ruth and my great grandma Grace quilted with THE Ladies of the church and watching the needles moving through the fabric (4 or 5yrs old). The same two grands taught me embrodrie I know that in the 8th grade I could sew better than my home ec. teacher. She didn' like me making adjustments to store bought patterns so they would fit me. ( she couldn't do it so of course I had to be doing it wrong! LOL) Mom taught me to knit. quilting just sort of slipped in there some place. I no longer knit, or tat, I still crochet, an embrodrie some, sew some of my own skirts and tops. Am trying to get quilting again but it is a slow process, Life seams to be getting in the way LOL!!

  16. #41
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    grandma, mom and home-ec! I can remember back to being 3 and having my own fabric box to play with....there has never been a time in my life when I did not sew or craft

  17. #42
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    Mostly learned in home ec in high school. Taught myself to cross-stitch in my early twenties. All my life though, I always loved making things, crafty stuff. I used to love those sun catchers that you put the beads in and bake, anything like that I always loved!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  18. #43
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    I always hung over my mothers shoulder and asked, "Why" like a 3 year old while she was sewing. She came home from work one day and found me using her sewing machine when I was 7. In Jr. High when I had home ec she spent some good money on my fabric for my project. We were both upset when the teacher made me cut off the bottom for the hem and she had no idea how to do a good hem and it was a lot shorter in the back then the front. I would have worn that dress forever, but it was embarassing being so short. Now I have to say that I did wear my dresses & skirts VERY SHORT then, but this was bad..... I would have fixed it if I hadn't had to cut it off....

    My aunt and great-aunt were fabulous seamstresses so this runs in the family up until me. My DH doesn't know and wouldn't learn when she was younger...

  19. #44
    Super Member grammysharon's Avatar
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    I learned to sew from my 7th grade Home Ec teacher!! Most schools around here don't have Home Ec anymore and I think it is so sad as I learned so much in 7th and 8th grade. Learned to love all kinds of sewing including hand sewing, embroidery, etc!!! Also, cooking, nutrition and everything having to do with keeping a home clean, neat and healthy!!! What fun to read how many of us learned our love of sewing in Home Ec class. What a loss for the kids of today!!!
    Last edited by grammysharon; 07-01-2012 at 07:37 PM.
    A quilt is a blanket of love. Sharon

  20. #45
    Junior Member grandmasieg's Avatar
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    My grandmother was a seamstress and had a shop in downtown Pittsburgh at the old Jenkins Arcade. She made clothing and furs and specialized in corsettes (yes she did) and girdles! I would spend weekends with her and she would give me scraps of material to make dresses for my Barbie dolls. One of my first memories was helping her make me a dress when I was about three or four. My mother didn't sew at all. I've been sewing since. When my grandmother passed away when I was 12, I kept her Singer Featherweight and 99K which I still have. For highschool graduation my parents bought me a "new" Singer in a cabinet, which I also still have. I made clothes for myself, for my daughter (baby up through and including proms and wedding dresses). I got into quilting only recently (within the past ten years) and mainly make quilts for family and NNICUs. I make purses and love to embroider on just about anything.

    My grandmother was a single mom and supported herself and my father with her sewing skills. I think of her every time I sit down at any of my sewing machines, but especially my grandma's featherweight and 99K. She was such a lovely lady. I'm sure she's very happy that I continued sewing.

    Hugs!
    Debbie

  21. #46
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    I used to sit and watch my Moma make me and my 2 sisters clothes. Did'nt have a store bought dress till junior high. As soon as my feet reached the sewing machine peddle Moma taught me. She could sew everything, from upholstering furniture, all our clothes and later she made my Dad leisure suits.

  22. #47
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Mom taught me beginning when I was big enough to listen, I guess. I don't remember ever NOT sewing. Don't remember any "tips" per se. I was making my own clothing by grade 5.
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  23. #48
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    My Mom taught me.. saying "make it or go naked"! so by 8th grade it was a no longer an option for her to make any of my clothing . It was just understood , I was on my own now for making my clothing. Up till that point she would suppliment my efforts with some items she made for me.
    I can still recall begging her to put in an invisable zipper in my prom dress, as I so wanted the dress to be perfect.
    I made my prom dress, my wedding dress, my maid of honor's dress, and dresses for both sisters' weddings-----------along with many more prom dresses for others later.
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  24. #49
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteQuilts View Post
    I always hung over my mothers shoulder and asked, "Why" like a 3 year old while she was sewing. She came home from work one day and found me using her sewing machine when I was 7. In Jr. High when I had home ec she spent some good money on my fabric for my project. We were both upset when the teacher made me cut off the bottom for the hem and she had no idea how to do a good hem and it was a lot shorter in the back then the front. I would have worn that dress forever, but it was embarassing being so short. Now I have to say that I did wear my dresses & skirts VERY SHORT then, but this was bad..... I would have fixed it if I hadn't had to cut it off....

    My aunt and great-aunt were fabulous seamstresses so this runs in the family up until me. My DH doesn't know and wouldn't learn when she was younger...
    Do you have any idea what the teacher was thinking? That had to be disappointing for you and for your mom
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  25. #50
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azure68 View Post
    My mom was a seamstress, but I never caught on to the sewing. She tried teaching me when I was 12 on her industrial Singer and I got a thread nest underneath the bobbin. I was immediately discouraged. I haven't touched a sewing machine for decades.

    I'm 43 and took a Sewing 101 class 2 months ago at Joann's with a friend of mine. It was then and there I decided I wanted a sewing machine and I was sick of paying a tailor to hem my pants for me. I'm pretty much self taught in crochet, knitting, and soapmaking. So I figure why not self teach myself with sewing. And somewhere along the line, I got bit by the quilting bug. I haven't made my first quilt yet, but it will be soon. I also have the charm packs and jelly rolls sitting on my table, waiting for me.

    Dig in! You'll be glad you did.
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