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!!!!


  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.

  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.

  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!!!!!

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

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

  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

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

  8. Fun tale of learning to sew!