Home / Who taught you to sew?

Who taught me to sew? The standard response is that I had sewing lessons in a little town  north west of Boston from a 7th grade Home Ec teacher…but really? Well…not really…but I did learn to sew a pleated blue and white checked gingham “half” apron with my  name embroidered (by hand!) on the waistband in a contrasting color of embroidery floss (butter yellow)!

Honestly, that was a jumpstart, but if those were the only sewing lessons I ever had I would not be writing about sewing today!

The truth of the matter is that much (but not all!) of what I know about sewing was taught to me by my mother, my grandmother and my sister. My mother sewed skirts and dresses for us and our dolls until she started sewing business suits for herself. Then one day she wore one of her home-sewn suits to an interview, got the job and then continued wearing her home sewn creations to work!  Grandma liked to sew just about everything, but by the time I was around, she was in her home decorating phase; making curtains, pillows and table cloths. My sister liked to sew totebags and stuffed animals. She made me a stuffed turtle and felt bean bags we could toss around.

I learned a lot from mom, grandma and my sister, but I also continued my sewing instruction by taking private sewing lessons with at least a half dozen other instructors… so far! I also continued my education by learning about color and design in high school, college and art school and also in my former career by working as a graphic designer for many years. Then it was practice, practice, practice by making all kinds of sewing projects from simple to complex that solidified my knowledge and gave me the confidence to tackle just about any sewing project. Becoming proficient at sewing certainly takes an investment of time and effort plus a desire to learn, but it is creative and satisfying  and practical all rolled into one!

Can you sew? Who taught you to sew?



    My grandmother sewed, but as a result my mom didn’t…at least in my memory. She does have a few homemade outfits from when I was a baby tucked away somewhere.

    I really learned to sew in college, in a theater arts costume class. I was hooked the moment I stepped into the studio. Ended up getting my MFA in clothing construction and costume history about a decade ago.

    Though, my mom tells me stories about how I used to cut up old t-shirts and make clothes by hand for my Cabbage Patch Dolls when I was a kid. I have no recollection of this.


    You did!!! LOL!

    Jane E

    My 4-H teacher Hilda Rock was the most influential sewing instructor in my life. (How’s that for a bit of homegrown Midwest life?) Hilda was very exacting and gave each of us her particular attention with no shortcuts allowed. Even now, almost 50 years later, when I see instructions that omit stay-stitching or that do amazing but suspect things with fusible web, I wonder if Hilda would approve. She taught me to put in the effort if I wanted to have something last and look right.

    Create Sewing Studio

    I love hearing about how people learned to sew. Thanks for sharing!
    @ Melissa, It would be so great to have you come and teach a class with us sometime in the future!
    @Jane, I love your story!
    @ Susan….That is true! pretty funny….

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