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Thread: Who taught you to sew?

  1. #101
    Senior Member GammaLou's Avatar
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    My dear grandma taught me to sew and made most of my clothes in elementary school (on a treadle machine)!! I remember having to help her rip out (unsew) seams, so learned even the best sewers need to do that occasionally.

  2. #102
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    My mom and Mrs Hunnicut(my home ec teacher) out of seven girls only two of us sew, embroidery,crochet,knit or even pick up a needle. Both are long passed but i love both and thank them for the skills they taught me so quilting just came naturally

  3. #103
    Super Member janiesews's Avatar
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    I have really enjoyed reading this thread this am. Wonderful stories. My Mother and Granny taught me how to sew. When I was in the 5th grade I got a beautiful treadle machine for Christmas. I was makng my own pajama's ; doll clothes, simple slacks and tops. Took home ec 6 yrs in Jr. high and Sr. High. I loved it. Had good teachers and I was ahead of many of the other girls and didn't have to wait for the teacher to help me. That pretty treadle was loaned to a cousin when i was a couple of years older and had rec'd my 2nd.treadle and we went to visit my cousin one day and i asked her where the machine was and she said her dad had gotten tired of it being around and had taken it to the Salvation Army store. I was not happy. I still have my 2nd treadle. Yesterday my granddaughter and I made cute little makeup bags. She learned to put in a zipper and line the bag. It was a good pattern and we had a good time. I told her I hoped she liked to sew because when I am gone she may be the one to inherit my stuff! Through the years I have done lots of clothing construction - making clothing for my tall husband, and my daughters when they were younger. Got into quilting in the last 10-15 years. Love sewing.
    This too shall pass.
    Janie

  4. #104
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    I learned how to sew from books as an adult after I purchased a simple Kenmore sewing machine, just as I am teaching myself how to quilt now. I did know how to knit and crochet and hem by hand though, something my mother had taught me as a child.

  5. #105
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    It has been so much fun reading all the posts about who helped you learn to sew. I learned from my older sister. Mom doesn't sew... she will be 92 this month and still mends. We only had grandma's treadle when I first started sewing at 5 and I had a hard time working the treadle and sewing a seam but my sister was really patient. Mom bought a new Elna when I was 8 because my sister did a lot of sewing and I was learning. The one trick my sister taught me that I still use to this day is how to set in a sleeve without ever a wrinkle..... it's pretty neat! I grew up to become a home-ec teacher and I hope I taught many a student. I hated the apron and gathered skirt I had to learn in jr-hi home ec and I taught how to do certain skills and the students had to pick a pattern that they could use those skills. It was kind of hard on me because every student had a different pattern but we all managed. I loved to teach sewing. I have 1 daughter that I taught to sew in 4H. She hated it at the time but now is so glad that she knows how to sew. And I have 1 granddaughter that I helped make a dress and a quilt for 4H. She got blue ribbons for both. Then, they moved 750 miles away and I don't get to sew with them. Now I have a greatgranddaughter that is 3 and I love making dresses for her and her older step-sister. I took a class to learn to smock so I could make those beautiful dresses. When they get to come for a visit I hope to work with them to help them learn a little about sewing.

    My quilting love came mostly from my husband's family. His grandmother and aunts all quilted and I thought it was so beautiful. So, I started quilting about 40 years ago.... before rotary cutters, etc. I hated the first quilt I ever attempted and threw it away.... stopped quilting for quite a few years. But now, I'm back to quilting... full force.... love it... it's my passion. I still sew for the babies, knit, spin, tailor, etc., but I love quilting the best.

  6. #106
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    My grandma taught me to crochet when I was 5 or 6, but I learned sewing from reading books and manuals. I'm a bookworm and can learn just about anything by reading (if I'm interested enough). Over the years I've taught myself to cross stitch, embroider, quilt and knit. I loved making clothes when I was a teenager. This was in the 1980's and very little was taught in home ec classes, so my friends were always amazed!
    Bobbi
    Quilting happily in Tennessee!


  7. #107
    Super Member Caswews's Avatar
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    I learned to embroider, sew at my grandmother's side.. she was so patient with me, until she became ill. Then I took a class in Home EC and the teacher said my skirt wasn't good enough for the fashion show. My mom picked out the material and I made it; a very simple A line skirt-flowery with gold thread running through it. I can remember this to this day the teacher's words and how hurtful ( I should of made a flounce skirt like the other girls and gold thread-what am I a hoity toity person? NO It was something my mother picked out and I wanted to be different than the other girls, in sewing what I thought was nice). So I read all I could and am pretty much self taught on quilting, crocheting (with help from DH's wonderful Grandmother who showed me many things in crocheting). BEST tip I ever received-well actually 2 tips- Take your time, and be sure you have your sewing pattern in the right positions on your material -both from my grandmother (bless her soul!). I read alot of books and internet sites to keep up on the latest trends (for the GD's sake and making their clothes!LOL).
    I swore when I taught my kids or grandkids I would never be as mean as that teacher and when it comes to the GD's I am very patient and very helpful.
    When Life brings big winds of change that almost blows you over.Hang on tight and Believe.
    Words and hearts should be handled with care-for words when spoken and hearts when broken are the hardest things to repair. Author unknown to me
    Do what you feel in your heart to be right; for you'll be criticized anyway-Eleanor Roosevelt

  8. #108
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    I learned to sew from my mother who was a depression child. She would turn collars and cuffs and save buttons. I enjoyed playing with her sewing notions. She taught me to embroider when I was five soon to turn six. I made bibs for my baby brother that arrived a few months later. I sat at the sewing machine when I was a full six and used a pattern for Shirley Temple Doll Cloths by Mc Calls. I was an early reader but I had seen my mother use patterns so it was so easy. I sat on catalogs and pillows with the foot peddle on another chair so I could reach it. I was just a bit of a mite so we had to be creative. I never sewed my finger, made lots of mistakes but was never afraid of any pattern, technique or instruction. I love hand work and crochet, embroider have done nearly every needle craft known to man and still love it. It kept my children in tennis shoes and music lessons for many years because I did sewing piece work for a store. Thank for the opportunity to honor my mother's wisdom to teach me to sew.

  9. #109
    Junior Member Old hen's Avatar
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    I think I have loved the feel of fabric in my hands since I was born! I taught myself to sew, then in High School took all the Home Ec. classes that were available. Even now I'm a sucker for sewing machines and fabric, and still love the feeling I get when surrounded by bolts, fat quarters, thread, scraps, etc. If there's a quilt class going on, I'll probably be there. I think it's all a learning experience, and I certainly don't know it all yet...........and never will!
    Husker Barb

  10. #110
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    My mom taught me to sew when I was in 4-H using a treadle sewing machine. First was an apron, next a pleated skirt. I remembering ripping out a lot of stitches to get it perfect for the fair. To this day I can't stand a stitch that isn't straight but am learning to ignore that when I can.

  11. #111
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    My grandmother used to spend a month at a time with a family and make all their clothes. My mother was my hands on teacher and I learned a lot from the pattern directions. I am quite new to quilting and have learned many new things from this board. Thanks everyone.

  12. #112
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    I learned from my grandmother in 3rd grade. My dad was overseas in WW II, my mother was about 90 miles away going to business school so in case my dad didn't come back, she would be able to support us, and I lived with my dad's parents during that year. Grandma taught me to sew, and I have loved sewing ever since. When my dad came home, and we moved to so. California on our own my mother continued the teaching, as she sewed a lot.

  13. #113
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    I learned to knit at an early age, then to sew at about 10 or 12. I made a dress for 4-H. Home Ec in Jr. High was a joke. Spent the whole semester making an apron and a full skirt. My mom sewed a lot but was a poor teacher. I still have the apron. Then, I read everything I could find on sewing. Made draperies, tailored suits, my daughter's prom dresses and helped with her wedding dress. Have sewed doll clothes, awnings, upholstered furniture, etc. I taught my daughter to sew and two granddaughters. They don't sew now but can do it if they need to.

  14. #114
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    I learned to knit, embroider from my grandmother and my aunt (my mother died when I was about 4yo).
    I was not allowed to touch the sewing machine unless with supervision. I learned to sew in home ec. ..... And had my own sewing machine when I was 20 or so and have been sewing ever since.

  15. #115
    Super Member Grace MooreLinker's Avatar
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    MY mother was my teacher,I can't remembr the age I started I think about 5, on a tredle singer machine. Even on that you could
    sew through you finger if not careful. Of course I have done that a few times.
    What beautiful memories I have when sewing ,of the times spent with my Mother.
    I did take homemake in school which helped refine my knowledge. Quilting has become my favorite in the sewing realm.
    Freedom is costly and quilting keeps us busy...

  16. #116
    Junior Member DaylilyDawn's Avatar
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    I started sewing before I started school. I would be playing with dolls while my mother was sewing . I would beg her for the scraps of fabric and made my own Barbie doll clothes. They weren't the fancy types , just a simple sheath dress. By the time I was in jr high I took Home and the teacher refused to call me by the name I go by so as a result I never answered her in class but I did make a simple jumper dress with suspenders. The In High School I took a semester for Textiles and clothing. The class was taught by a Mrs. Girtman. Under her I learned so many thing s but the one thing I have not forgotten her saying is this: If you make something and wear it, and some one asks you where you bought,it means you have reach the level of Hand Made. Paying attention to the details in a pattern means the difference between Hand Made vs Home Made. When my children were small I made many of their clothes. My oldest son's clothing had to be altered so it would fit him , he was a very small boy and very underweight for his age due to kidney disease he was born with. Even now at age 35 he weighs only 95-98 lbs. He has never weighed more than 98 lbs in his entire life. On Sept. 2 , 2000 he received a kidney transplant that was from a young man almost the same age as my son was at that time. friends of my daughter were always asking her where she got her clothes at. It really shocked them when she said that they weren't store bought. She would have to show them that there were no manufacturer's tags in the necks of all her dresses or blouses and things. My mom got me started sewing but Mrs. Girtman made me a better seamstress by the time I had finished her class that year. I made a princess seamed dress, a corduroy pantsuit, and a plaid skirt and vest , and the vest was lined and reversible. I got an A on all items I made.

  17. #117
    Super Member southernmema's Avatar
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    I do remember hand sewing some little project in Girl Scouts when I was about seven. My mother sewed beautiful clothes for some wealthy ladies in our town and I watched her quite a lot. She would explain to me "what she was doing and why" but I rarely got to use her sewing machine....a Singer 66-16....because she was always using it. (Still have it today, btw.) Then I made a blouse in 8th grade Home-Ec under the watchful eagle eye of Miss Jones who seemed to me to be very old at the time. All the mothers of us girls called her an "old maid". A side note here....Miss Jones was very frugal and upon her death she left quite a large fortune to a local university. In Home Ec class we were assigned an "outside" project to complete and turn in for a grade. One of the projects was a puff quilt made from wool salesman's samples stuffed with nylon stockings. This is where my love for quilts began. I began to stay up late at night to use mother's sewing machine teaching myself as I sewed. This continued until I married and was able to purchase my own sewing machine, a Singer 603 Touch and Sew, which I still use alot. I paid $20 a month on this machine until it was paid. That was 50 years ago.

  18. #118
    Senior Member roadrunr's Avatar
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    I basically taught myself how to sew. My older sister had a sewing machine and I would get a pattern, read it and then do it. Once my mom saw that i wanted to sew, I had lessons at the local high school when I was in junior high. In high school, I had home ec.

  19. #119
    Super Member Murphy1's Avatar
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    Back oh so long ago, junior highs had home econ classes. Cooking and sewing - certainly for the girls, I think the guys learned wood working or engines. Anyway, I remember making a skirt and cumberbun. I sewed many of my dresses in high school. That was a time when it was cheaper to sew clothes than buy ready mades. I sewed stretch and sew pants, t-shirts, costumes, swimsuits, pj's for my kids. Today I have no interest in sewing clothes. First ,the patterns are expensive, secondly,fabric is costly and finally the finished outfit probably not liked. If I am putting the effort into a quilt, I know it will be here long after I am gone. Clothes wear out, go out of style and are tossed, quilts are passed on to the next generation.
    Murphy1
    For our wonderful Golden Retriever adopted in March of 2010.

  20. #120
    Senior Member quiltmau's Avatar
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    my grandmother taught me how to sew by hand and machine. She had a Singer knee control and to this day when I am tired I press my knee over to start the machine.
    She also taught me how to cook, how to bead, fine needle work, make dress patterns from paper bags, use pins to mark seams, how to quilt and most important how to put up with male of the species!!
    She was an amazing woman-all 4'10" of her!

  21. #121
    Senior Member Landers's Avatar
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    My Grandmother and Mother! She had me sewing my own clothes in Elementary school
    Carolyn

  22. #122
    Junior Member Donna in Mo's Avatar
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    Mom sewed all my clothes and taught me to sew. Of course I made the Home Ec. apron. By High school, I was making all my own clothes. It only took 1 1/2 yards for a mini dress like was popular when I was a teenager. My great-aunt Nannie taught me to quilt and crochet. I still remember crocheting an edging around a washcloth. Always got it too tight! Wonderful memories!

  23. #123
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    My Great Aunt taught me. She had a foot action sewing machine in her huge kitchen. She would let me watch her sew so long as I kept my hands in my lap. It is amazing that I did not fear the sewing machine, lot's of stories about children who had a needle go through their fingers. When I was a bit older my first project was hemming feed sacks to make dish
    towels. Aunt Olga was an amazing seamstress and made the bulk of my clothes, as well as my cousins. She made wool
    plaid pleated skirts. They were eventually pass down the cousin line. As they wore, she would take them apart and reverse the pleats. My younger cousin and I thought we got the short end of that. We deemed them much prettier with the original pleating.
    Kaye Jacobson Salverda

  24. #124
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    while I was still very young, my mom worked as a seamstress in what she called "a sweatshop".....sometimes, she'd take home tie belts that my sister and I would get paid a penny each to turn right-side out. I was always next to her at her own sewing machine and she taught me well. I picked up quilting on my own some 30 years ago.

  25. #125
    Super Member Rose Bagwell's Avatar
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    In high school took 1 year , the rest I have learned on my own.
    TxCaRose

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