August 1, 2015

Answering the questions.

I haven't been doing any sewing for the last week and a half, instead I've been busy with life.  Over at Sew Mama Sew they're asking sewist some questions, it's a contest.  I'm not in the contest, but I thought I'd answer the questions on my blog.  These are the questions, so far.

How Did You Learn to Sew?

I taught myself to sew when I was 8 years old, in 1952.  Our family of four lived in a small house, two bedrooms, one bath, living room and kitchen, 782 square feet, in Long Beach, CA.  The sewing machine was in my parents bedroom, it was a converted Singer treadle machine that my Dad bought for my Mom, during WWII.  One day, I went into their bedroom and dug thru my Mom's stash of fabric and decided to make myself a pair of PJ's.  I had no pattern, I just cut, guessed, stitched and made my pajamas.  It's an understatement to say I was proud, also, my Mom was not proud, she was livid.

Why Do You Sew?

When I was a teen, I sewed my clothing so that I could have a nice wardrobe.  In those days, the 50's and 60's, you could save money by making your own clothes.  Later, after my girls were teens, sewing clothing really wasn't economical, but I made all their special occasion and prom dresses so that they could be stylish and unique.  They didn't want to look like all the other girls.  I also did a lot of home decor sewing in our first house, also in Long Beach, that we lived in for 30 years.

Now, I do very little personal sewing, I can buy what I want for less that it would cost to sew, instead I make quilts.  It's very satisfying and I get a tremendous creative outlet.  I give most of my quilts away, but I make a lot, so some go in my etsy shop.  I've actually sold a few.

Tell Us About Your Sewing Space…

Even though my retirement home is more than twice as large as the home I grew up in, I don't have a dedicated sewing space.  I could, but I'd lose my guest bedroom and I like having a guest room, just in case.  When we moved to this house in 1998 we dedicated one room as "the office".  It contained our secretary desk, and a small drafting table for Bob's artwork, some bookshelves, and a computer desk.  It worked out really well for over 11 years.  Then I decided to quilt.  Previously, any sewing I'd done I set up my portable sewing machine on the dining room table.  That worked for awhile when I started quilting, but not for long.  The bookshelves became fabric shelves,  The drafting table was replaced by an Ikea table for my sewing machine.  (Bob was no longer painting.)  I still use the dining room table for my cutting mat and design space.  I'd give anything for a design wall, but I don't think that's happening anytime soon.

While sitting at the computer desk, I swiveled around and shot the above photo.  Very messy, no tidying up.  The photo on the wall shows Babe Ruth and Ted Williams duck hunting in Los Alamitos.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever sewn?

I think the best thing I 've ever sewn is my wedding gown.  I still lived in that small house in Long Beach, but I had my own sewing machine, and I used the kitchen table to sew on.  I had to "fold up my sewing tent", for every meal.  Nothing could be left out while the kitchen was in use for normal kitchen activities.  It was a challenge.  Here's my gown.  I still have it, but I'm no longer a size 6.  I saved it for my girls, but they each wanted to buy their wedding gowns.  Perhaps they were tired of homemade.

The photo doesn't show the tiny covered buttons along the sleeves and down the back, it seemed there were a zillion of them, there is also a lace train.  I made my veil, too.

This is Dad, me, Bob, Mom and my sister.
My great Dad always supported me in everything I wanted to do.

May your bobbins always be full,

1 comment

  1. I loved reading your post! Your wedding dress is a lot like my mum's, which she also made herself. Happy Sewing :)


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