Sewing Lessons

Ready to Sew

My first experience of using a sewing machine was when the religious knowledge teacher at my, all girls, school was required to “manufacture” another string to her bow!
It was the early 1970’s, she was an already elderly lady, and jobs were impossible to find and almost impossible to keep. She did her best.
I ended up terrified of sewing machines, and in particular, the bullet type shuttle that required you to be able to “pull up” your thread before you even started.
I was a lost cause, couldn’t get my head around the workings of it!
I had another go about ten years later.
My mother had bought a lovely new electric machine, it even did button holes! I got hold of it one day, when she was out, and made a pair of trousers, (I was always good at cutting out patterns)!
They were fine.
( Luckily I was skinny at the time and the fit didn’t matter!).
So fast forward a few decades, and I find myself with time to do the things that I want to do.
I bought a new machine and waded straight in, full of confidence. Unfortunately trying to make a fabric cube is not the way to start, who knew, so I signed up for sewing lessons with Fiona Doubleday of
#Crafts and Company and earth threads fame .
My first lesson was last week and, within an hour, I had gained the confidence that I had never had before.
Although, to be fair, we did discover that my sewing machine had a few quirks that even Fiona hadn’t seen before, so I feel a little vindicated.
I did end up with a finished article, (thank you Fiona for the extra hour and a half it took to accomplish it), but I can’t say what it is as it’s a surprise for my daughter!
Next lesson I’m apparently going to be making a coaster!
Watch this space!


Lynne is having another lesson today so we can expect a picture of her coaster to follow.


Reading Lynne’s post reminds me of my school days and learning to sew too.  The story was quite similar, perhaps sewing teachers were of a certain type. I have no recollection of Mrs Smith teaching any other subject, but strangely I do recall her face and voice very well. I was way ahead of her though, I had a talented big sister who was a far better teacher. I am talking about the mid 60’s when music, boys and fashion ruled my out of school time.

It was not long before I discovered that a yard of fabric from our local market cost just pocket money and more importantly; I could make a mini skirt with just one yard! I was much slimmer in those days.  A couple of french seams down each side, no need for fancy waist bands, we wore hipsters. Four or five long loops for that big wide belt with a huge buckle and a hem. That was it really, a careful iron and it was ready to wear.  The amazing thing about this was, it could all be accomplished in just one day!  I think the walk to the town was less than a couple of miles. A quick shop in the market and a brisk walk home again, eager to sew. This was the way for affordable fashion, clothes were expensive and most families made good use of their sewing  machine.

vintage mini skirt

Bringing this right back to our retirement activities, I purchased a lovely new light weight Brother sewing machine a couple of years ago. I also have plans to include sewing as one of the many crafts we are enjoying this year.

Watch this space, but there will be no mini skirts!



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