Member Since: 06/30/2009

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Re: Who first taught you to sew?

Before I went to kindergarten my maternal grandmother taught me how to hand sew, quilt, embroider, knit and crochet. My first garments were for a Shirley Temple doll and by the age of 10, I was making my own clothes. My grandmother and I would go through the Alden's catalogue and when we found a dress that I liked, she taught me the basics of pattern making and we would recreate the garment. I would go to the high end department stores in the city and look at the ready made garments to figure out how they were constructed and then incorporate what I thought the techniques were into my own garments. Sales clerks were always kind to me and encouraged me to ask questions. In 8th grade I saved babysitting money to buy a real Vogue designer pattern for my Easter outfit. I loved that pattern and hated to cut it apart and alter it to fit my minute body! After all, it cost a whopping $5 when other patterns were $.50 and $.75.

When I taught high school home economics in a low income environment, I was able to solicit local donations to buy supplies for my students and expand to night courses where we taught women to make slipcovers and draperies. By my third year teaching some of the boys began to take sewing so that they could learn to make some clothes for themselves. All one needed was a desire to sew and I found a way to provide pattern, fabric and notions. To this day fashion sewing continues to be a passion and I teach sewing to anyone who asks. I refurbish machines from yard sales and thrift stores and my student leaves with her own machine.

Sewing for me is a creative outlet, a therapist and an expression of love. The love was first experienced through my grandmother and I continue throughout my life to hopefully infect others with the same passion.