Ok...I love this site. There are tons of ideas that spark my interest. Today it was making your own patterns from store-bought clothing. I never knew how to do that...at least not so it actually turned out decent.
I sew our clothing, yes. I sew the dresses, aprons, underthings, shirts and even pants. But I use patterns. I have trouble fine-tuning patterns for a better fit. I am a complete self-learner with sewing of any kind. No one really did much sewing when I was growing up. A few hems here and there, a tuck or two in some slightly larger waistbands maybe. I remember a baby doll type shirt my cousin made in some high school home ec class...
But that's pretty much it. I asked Dewey about a sewing machine when Christopher was still pretty little. I had gotten my mom's old monster-weight machine, but neither of us had a clue how to re-thread it :o(
So, off to Sears for a new machine. I was very specific with what I wanted...no dials with endless stitches I knew nothing about. Plain and extremely basic was all I wanted. I wanted it to pretty much do everything but hold the fabric for me. Straight atitch, reverse, zigzag. That's it.
We bought a 6 stitch Kenmore that did pathetically little. I was tickled. We stopped at Joanne Fabrics for a pattern and some fabric on the way home.
A few years down the road, I graduated to a Brother machine that did about 45 stitches. Never did use most of them, but I was tickled to have them nonetheless.
I went from that first Brother machine to 3 more, and even found my 1921 Singer treadle. In the closet here we still have 2 Brother machines, but I'm on to that Janome now, and a machine in its own table/work station from my grandmother. I wanted to have a machine for each daughter.
Still, I know very little really about sewing. I just know what I know for what I sew. I'm not a pin pleat, French seam, or even a smocking sort of person. I just sew clothes for practical, hard working, daily life here. No silks or specialty fabrics. Just plain denims, cords and cottons around here.
That first dress I made -- I almost wouldn't wear. I was still pretty sure, machine stitching or not, being 'homemade' it would fall apart at the seams :o). It didn't. I wore that princess seam dress for Thanksgiving dinner at the big farm. And I finally gave it up when the hunter green with small flowers print was well-worn and faded to almost a pale minty green.
I am sure I have something store-bought here to make a draft pattern from. This is definitely a sewing skill I want my daughters to learn. Just makes so much sense to have a good basic skill like this.