Saturday, May 29, 2010

How I Came to be a Seamstress

My mom tells this story about how she knew I would grow up to be a seamstress by the tender age of 3. I had found some scrap gingham fabric and somehow I got the idea that I wanted to make myself an outfit. I asked my mom for some scissors to cut the fabric with but she wouldn't let me play with them since I was just 3 years old. But I was determined to make my outfit so I ended up ripping the fabric. Before my mom realized it I'd made myself a halter top and skirt, which I stapled together since I wasn't allowed a needle and thread. My mom was very impressed at how well it turned out and still talks about it to this day, some 23 years later. I wish she had gotten a picture of it but I still remember it!

By the age of 8 I was taking hand sewing lessons from my grandmother. Grandma Shumate taught me the basics of hand embroidery. I remember picking out the design, ironing it on to the fabric, and sitting at her kitchen table working on it. I have since expanded my knowledge with books and the internet. I don't hand embroider as much as I used to but I still find it a great way to sit and relax.

For my 11th birthday my dad bought me my first sewing machine. My mom remembers how excited I was to get it and it's probably one of the best gifts I've gotten! My mom also told me that getting the sewing machine was all my dads idea and he picked it out and everything. My dad is so good! I used that machine for such a long time when I eventually gave it to my friend after I'd gotten a new sewing machine.

When I was in 9th grade I took a home economics class. I thought that was the best class ever! That was my first experience sewing with a pattern. I made a pretty dress which I wore out and got lots of compliments on. I learned so much in that class.

I also learned quite a bit from Becky, an accomplished seamstress and mom to my best friend, Rachel. Whenever I spent the night she'd always let us go through her scraps. We made all sorts of things but I remember sewing some pajama pants that I still have around here somewhere.

Over the years I have done lots of mending & sewing on of buttons for my mom. She always paid me. As my experiences grew I eventually recovered a couch for her. That was a lot of work but the end result was great!

My first experience in quilting was when I was pregnant with my first-born. I wanted to make him a quilt but I had no one to teach me how. I went to the library and checked out numerous books and taught myself what to do. His quilt still hangs on his wall.

My first real commissioned work was when my first-born was in the parents as teachers program when he was 2 or so. The program leader and I became good friends and I showed her what I did in my free time. She was looking around online for aprons to use during art time and instead of buying boring generic children's aprons she bought 12 multi colored beautiful aprons from me. I had so much fun making them!

Soon after that I opened my Etsy shop, Heather's Custom Sewing. I started off sewing just aprons but have since included much more. I sew so many different things because sewing the same thing over and over becomes really monotonous and just down-right boring.

I really enjoy sewing and I hope to continue to expand my sewing knowledge as time goes on. Someday I would love to take on a few students so I can share the sewing bug.

I hope you enjoyed my little trip back through time on my sewing adventures!


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