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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Going sewing

I’ve just had an e mail suggesting that I might like to go to a dressmaking class tonight so I’ve booked and am really looking forward to it.

When I was at school sewing classes were a sad trial to me and I’m proud to say I was a sad trial to my sewing teacher.  Back in the sixties every girl (and no boy!) was expected to learn to sew.  In my first year at Grammar School I made a ghastly embroidered pincushion stuffed with stockings cut into tiny pieces.  That went in the bin before it was even finished!  The quilted handkerchief case got finished and then went in the bin.  Has anyone used a handkerchief case since Queen Victoria died?  Then it was a nightdress which got finished because Mother intervened.  After the second form needlework lessons and I parted because I was in an academic stream and had MUCH more important things to learn!  I can still conjugate a neat Latin verb!

After I finished school I made most of my own clothes.  Mother was a good dressmaker and as I didn’t earn much it made sense to make my own but gradually other things took over and a few years ago there wasn’t a single home-made garment in my wardrobe.

Which was a pity because I made other things – papercraft, domestic sewing, embroidery all featured in my regular activities.  The whole rigmarole of making space for cutting out, maintaining a machine and fitting garments when one is very much non-standard size was not appealing.  And then I decided to give it one last shot.

What a revelation!  Modern sewing patterns are so much better.  My machine is easier to use.  And with my teachers help I can get some wonderful results.  Tonight I shall take some lovely jersey fabric with me and will come home well on the way to making a tee shirt which will fit. 

Well, that’s the theory.  If I haven’t posted here in a week you will know despondency has set in.


  1. I loathed sewing lessons at High School, and rarely had any success. I made a handkerchief sachet too! The most pathetic thing we ever made was a pair of knicker linings. Can you imagine!
    Now I Iove to sew.

    1. Why did they do it to us?! I think an awful lot of girls learned only two things in sewing lessons: - the first that sewing is boring and the second that they are no good at it.

  2. We spent a whole year making a cushion when I was at school, it was enough to put me off. I would love to learn dressmaking but I find the classes really expensive near me.

    1. It's sad that sewing lessons are so expensive. Local authorities have had to cut back and private classes have to be financially viable. The one I go to is a max class size of five (so plenty of one-to-one tuition) but three hours last night cost me £20. It's my main hobby and an important part of my social life so once a month it's money well spent but starting out as a sewer (or sewist as they seem to say these days) is not cheap