I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. My first “sewing” project was a taped-up trash bag dress when I was 6. Perhaps my parents saw potential and introduced me to a needle and thread. My little fingers went wild stitching up everything I could. I was so confident in my work, I decided to sport my red, hand-sewn bathing suit one afternoon while I was with friends. I remember feeling the seams burst open as I took a dive into the water. I ran for shelter holding closed as many openings as possible.
The incident inspired my parents to buy a sewing machine for my next birthday (the big 11). It was the cheapest model, but I thought it was a walk on the moon (if only I knew what I was missing). I broadened my projects to include jackets, dresses, alterations for family members, and such.
A serger for Christmas, when I was 13, added to my passion for sewing. Now the projects were limitless, or so I thought. Clothes looked more professional, they lasted longer without fraying, and I could sew stretch. Eureka!
The next five years saw pattern after pattern, fabric after lovely fabric. One of my favorite things then (and now) is to visit the fabric store to look and drape fabric. Back then, I didn’t have as much control as I do now; and I would convince myself I couldn’t part with a particular fabric. I ended up with so much fabric. Years later, when de-cluttering, I began to wonder what I could have possibly thought was attractive in some of those fabrics.
I picked up knitting and crocheting to occupy my nervous hands while traveling. My family would head down to Argentina to visit my aunt. We would go for a month at a time. To occupy my afternoons, I took sewing lessons from a woman. She taught me to make patterns, which fabrics to use for which project, techniques for specific details, and so much more. Some of my fondest memories are in that woman’s sewing room.
After highschool, I started sewing for others “officially”, as in they actually paid me. I was nervous at first, but my confidence increased as my customer base grew. I couldn’t say “no” to any job, and I didn’t want to. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone, but it was the greatest learning curve I could imagine.
I was sewing cheerleading outfits, Halloween costumes, wedding dresses, women’s suits, and more. I also helped making costumes for a few plays, worked in an alterations store, and briefly worked making drapes.
Sewing slowly took a hiatus in my life after the arrival of my two boys. As the boys grew and became more independent, sewing slowly resurfaced. For me, sewing has recently been in the form of alterations. I am just coming around to dedicating a little more of the time and space required for garment construction.