I asked the question of my high school students. Does anybody sew anymore? I didn’t expect an answer in the affirmative. One student out of sixteen was on board.
My mom provided the role model. She was an excellent role model in many areas. One in which she excelled was as a seamstress. She had sown clothing for my sister and I all throughout our childhood. I took up the mantle during my teen years. I sewed different pieces and took great joy in knowing no other girl on campus wore what I was wearing. Custom-made items exclusively mine. It set me apart.
I hold four boxes of patterns from Simplicity and McCall’s. These served as the guide by which my sewing skills were honed. Dating back to the very early 70s. I never took a formal sewing class. My treatment of sewing was an evolution. I just sat down to the sewing machine, threaded the needle — as I had seen my mom do countless times — and began to stitch. A few misses here and there (with sufficient success to become confident) and I held a new garment, handmade, with characteristics unlike anything off the rack at JCPenney, Sears, or Macy’s.
I entreat a generation of young girls as I pass the baton. You just might find a gratifying, lifetime hobby in pursuing the fine art of creating clothes for yourself and others. Of course, it doesn’t stop there. I have gone on to fashion pillow slipcovers, placemats, and a variety of gifts crafted at my sewing machine. The machine itself? Mine is a hand-me-down from, that’s right, my mom. It is identified as a Belvedere. It rests in a cabinet that has four legs. At the moment it has a space in my laundry room and it lies dormant. The last piece I put together was a costume I constructed for a dance number. I have since retired from sewing. However, that hasn’t changed my regard for the machine that brought me so much pleasure (and a few tears of frustration) over a 35-year run. And to repeat myself, did I look sharp on that high school campus!
My sewing machine needs oil, and a thorough cleaning. I have offered it to my daughter-in-law. She happens to possess abundant talent in the arts and crafts arena and my son has assured me that when they buy their first house, they will move my machine into it. Happy sewing!