Sew On, and So On...........

My friend Linda wrote a post on how she came to sew.

I figured I would do the same - it might be interesting to some, or maybe not!!! I wish I had pictures to go along with this tale, but I do not............

My Finnish grandmother was a seamstress, a corsettiere, for a time.I am not sure if that is a real word - she made corsets!!! Her father was a tailor, and I was always under the impression my grandfather's father was a tailor also.

My grandmother made my doll clothes, and she made me dresses when I was in elementary school. My favorite was a 2nd or 3rd grade grape colored print dress, with a full, full skirt that twirled beautifully when I spun around!!
I still have a small collection of some of grandma's ribbons from her corset making days that I treasure, and use from time to time in different projects.

My mother sewed, but not to any great extent.She is artistic in many other ways. She taught me to sew, and I made some clothes in jr. high and high school. Granny dresses were in then- remember them???

I took home economics- I still remember the teacher's name - Mrs. Biggs! We were always at odds - because when it came time to learn to sew in class- there were steps you were supposed to follow- making a muslin sample, basting, lots of things I don't remember now - because I never did them!! I had all the sewing shortcuts my grandmother taught me - and couldn't be bothered with all these "unnecessary", time consuming steps!!
My first class project was a rust brown wool A-line skirt with pockets! I wore that thing to death during the school year!! I think I got an "A" on it too!!!

I continued to make my clothes, and after high school, made hippie blouses out of cotton Indian bedspreads and sold them! I was always making something and trying to sell it - go figure...!!!! I worked in a bank for a while and made all my suits.

One of my first home based businesses was as a seamstress doing alterations, when my son was born,and we lived in California. I grew to hate doing that - but met alot of interesting people! There was the lovely little elderly man, who brought me a slew of his suits - many from the 'zoot suit' era - he needed them taken in and modernized a bit. One woman needed a full skirt and peasant blouse for her dance class- made out of some beautiful Guatemalan fabric- wish I had a picture of that! Another man, a spaced out Manson type, needed his drawstring pants altered - as it turned out, it was just an excuse to get me to keep measuring his inseam - YUCK!! Fortunately, my husband was home- and was a policeman, so we got him out of the house!! That kind of ended my alterations at home career.

I then took a class on quilting - made a pillow in the log cabin pattern. I still have that pillow in the closet somewhere. That class piqued my interest in quilting.
I did craft shows, also made dolls, stuffed animals, went thru the teddy bear making phase!

When we moved to Va, I joined a quilters guild and a doll making club.

I discovered I liked applique, but not piecing. I liked creating my own patterns,but following other people's - not so much! I like starting new things,but my mind is constantly discovering new things to do - thus - alot of UFO's over the years!!! Once I learn something how to do something- it's kind of like, been there, done that - on to something new!!!

I continued to sew,until the mid 1980's, under the name "The Fourth Generation", making custom draperies.My proudest moment was seeing some of my window treatments in a beautiful home that was open for an annual house tour.

After some long nights trying to meet deadlines and please customers- I came to realize, I don't like to sew for people!! I like to sew because I want to, not because I have to!

So, I still sew - love to make new things, sometimes sell them, sometimes give them away. It's all part of the creative process.

Well, there ya' have it - how Pat came to sew.......spellbinding, wasn't it??? LOL

I'd love to hear how you all came to sew!!!!

8 comments:

  1. Very interesting! Don't you wish now you had a scrapbook full of everything you did for other people. But I'm with you. I like to sew for sewing's sake. I love to make gifts for others.
    As you said, it's a creative process, and how do you put a price on that? \
    Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Anita Caldwell SchmitzSeptember 14, 2009 at 8:12 AM

    Oh my God...You are answering so many questions that have come to my mind about myself! I often wonder how I've turned out the way I have and why I learn a craft, get bored after i've mastered it and move onto the next adventure! And sewing?? Well, I never knew I knew how to do that either! Until I dated a guy that taught me basic sewing machine techniques and I made my neice her first Halloween costume (Tinkerbell). And then moved onto Window treatments such as simple drapes, valances and unbelieveably, Roman shades! My first roman shade was a basic panel with the edges hemmed and the rods were glue gunned on the back, cuz I didn't have a clue and then ran the draw strings through eyelets on the back! Then my ex's mom made a real one and I studied it and before I knew it, I was doing them for friends. Then, one year my friends were planning to get married in Aruba. I couldn't find what I wanted to wear. So I got frustrated and decided to make it myself. Of course, as usual, I picked the most difficult style to create. I picked two fabrics. A base cream colored fabric and a gold and beige netted material for over the cream fabric. Ughh...I turned a favorite pair of flare dress pants inside out and followed the pattern and tried it on my model(me) as i was sewing it. And then the top of the outfit came off the top of my head. No pattern. I still wear the pants from time to time to weddings. Can't quite find an appropriate top to match them, since the original top is a triangular tie back shirt, created for the beach only, and quite innappropriate for a formal wedding. Perhaps I will make another! I'm excited for the winter to come so I can decorate my own house with roman shades everywhere! See my Facebook pics under "Things I've made". I will post the pics of my sewing.

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  3. Oh, and then there were all the little outfits the kids had that I made - Katie was the best dressed in preschool and kindergarten - had an outfit for every holiday, and adorable nightgowns - I've saved some of them! Halloween costumes were all home made -and pretty darn good, if I do say so myself!!! I regret having given some of them away- but we have pix!!! And then there was my wedding dress,....yup, we inherited the "Olga" gene!!!!!

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  4. Loved reading about "Pat the Seamstress"...another thing to add to your farm girl creds!!! Making suits and draperies = WOW!

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  5. yes, the creative part is the best! I am scared to sew for someone. But i love sewing just because I want to.

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  6. I loved reading all about how Pat learned to love to sew and more! A great tale, and you can make suits and draperies, Big WOW! Lennie

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  7. Pat, what a treasure to here from whence your talent came, thank you for sharing. Christen

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