Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Back when we were learning to sew clothes

When we were in Junior High, my friends and I were expanding our sewing skills. By that time we could all follow a pattern and make a garment more or less fit, but I never even thought about actual tailoring. That is why I found my best friend's sewing so impressive.


She used her grandmother's Singer. It didn't have a zig zag. It didn't even stitch backwards, but she made great clothing. I'm still impressed by a cropped, cotton shirt and matching capris that she made. They were her favorite color (green) and she designed the top herself. She started with a V-neck pattern that she adapted into a double-breasted front with four large buttons. Thinking back, it was relatively simple, but I still have never tried to alter a pattern like that. I was very impressed--especially since it looked so great!


The clothes that I made in Junior High and High School often had something wrong with them. I wasn't a careful sewer and my seams wiggled. Because I didn't alter patterns, the waists were too high, and my fabric choice was sometime disastrous. For example, I made a pretty sundress with quilting cotton. It wrinkled like crazy every time I sat down.


I had some successes, however. One was a pink, silky, sleeveless blouse with a wrap around flap. The handkerchief seam around the flap was sewn on the bias and the fabric was slippery, but it came out well. It was my favorite blouse--until I was getting ready for a school concert one evening and dropped my mascara brush down the front. I had a second blouse that I had made from the same pattern, but the seam wiggled and the fabric was a dull grey. It just didn't compare.


I don't sew many clothes any more, and I don't know if my friend does either, but she has a daughter of her own in Junior High who is sewing costumes for her school play. Her daughter uses a newer model sewing machine, but Pam still has the Singer. Her grandmother would be proud.

Pam's daughter is certain to be a fearless sewer with the legacy of generations of sewing women supporting her.


1 comment:

  1. like you I used to make clothes, when the girls were little now 36 and 40 I even made dresses for the 3 of us in the same fabric! Since I started to embroider the making has stopped, I do the occasional skirt but nothing else which is a crime as I have a stack of fabric.Have made coats and even did a bridesmaid dress once but would not dare attempt anything like that now. Oh for the "good old days"