When Did You First Start Sewing?

Girl SewingSewing is such an important part of our lives and most of us have been doing it for many years. There’s nothing better than thinking back to the beginning, when we learned the ins and outs of our favorite craft. These moments are special to many of us because through sewing we developed special relationships with our family and friends.

We were curious about when our members first started sewing, so we asked the question on Facebook. Here’s a taste of our favorite responses!

“I would use fabric scraps, old socks, sweaters, and shirts to make doll clothes. I stitched by hand and at age 6 and I had a toy machine that worked! It was similar to the one in the picture. So excited, I cried when I got it. I also helped my grandmother and mother quilt. At age 12, I made my first outfit without any assistance. At age 15, I was sewing for the public. Age 16, made my first set of pleated drapes. First real machine I used was a pedal singer machine and then an electric singer”

– Aleisa

“At 6, I was hand sewing dishtowels and doing embroidery on pillowcases At 8 or 9, I was allowed to use a sewing machine and I really can’t remember a time where I didn’t sew one way or another. My Mother and Grandmother both knitted and crocheted. I wish I had learned but I’m left handed and it was a real chore to teach me and ALOT of patience Lol.”

– Judi

NSC FB Quote 1“Basic sewing when I was 11. Later I learned to read patterns in school. After High School, I worked at a custom sewing shop for almost 2 years. Now, I’ve been working in a sewing plant for 21 years and have my own custom sewing and alterations. I’ve been quilting in my home for 20 years.”

– Sylvia

“Around ten years old. I would make outfits for my dog to wear by hand sewing them…lol. I learned on a sewing machine when I was about 13. I still love to sew 50 years later.”

– Robin

NSC FB Quote 2“I started sewing with my Grandma when I was very young! I can’t remember my age, but she had me sitting at her machine when I was a toddler. She was a lady of great knowledge & faith. I’m so thankful for every second with her.”

– Jan

“My first sewing experience was with a needle and thread, learning how to embroider by my best friend’s grandmother. We embroidered dish towels for our Moms for Christmas that year. I was probably around 8 years old.”

– Janet

NSC FB Quote 3“I was about 12 and learned in home economics. I was given my first Singer machine for Christmas that year. Between my books; my sewing machine; knitting and my 45’s I think I had the best childhood ever.”

– Sandra

“I started sewing at 12 in home economics, where we made a simple skirt with elastic. Next project was an A line with a zipper. I went on to embroider, crochet and at home my mom would let me use her sewing machine. However, I wasn’t allowed to touch the tension (lol), nor could I cut paper with her sewing scissors…good times :)”

– Catherine

“I started sewing when I was 9 years old and joined 4-H. By junior high and home ec, my first skirt had a waistband and zipper and I got an A+.”

– Donna

NSC FB Quote 4“I was hand sewing before kindergarten and machine sewing at 8 yrs old. Still sewing every day at age 61 and loving it. yay!!”

– Nancy

“1972 – 7th grade home economics – biggest project a baby blue skirt and jacket. The skirt was longer on 1 side, the jacket had 1 sleeve longer than other, I got an A+ and wore it proudly. Others made tank tops or kitchen towels. Overachiever.”

– Deborah

NSC FB Quote 5“Wow, I feel like odd woman out. I didn’t start sewing until I was in my 60s. I’m 69 now. I was just retired and bored so I decided to start learning all those things that my mother had been too busy to teach me.”

– Melinda

“I was 24! My mom always made my outfits when I was little, so I wanted to keep the tradition alive in case I have kids. Haha! I use my great-grandma’s Singer 401A and love it sooo much!”

– Tiffany

“I was about 4 when I got my first toy sewing machine. That was the beginning of my love affair with sewing and machines.”

– Barbara

NSC FB Quote 6“Love, love, love that little tongue sticking out in deep concentration… My mom taught me to use the treadle as soon as I could reach the pedal – around the age of 8.”

– Mavis

“I was 8. I wanted Barbie clothes and my Grandma had a basket of quilting scraps.”

– Pam

Now it’s your turn: when do you start sewing? Let us know in the comments!

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145 Responses to “When Did You First Start Sewing?”

  1. laurilli

    Like a lot of your comments, I don’t remember not sewing. Of all the xmas presents from my Grandparents the ONE I remember most was a sewing kit my grandmother put together for me, embroidery floss, scissors(her old ones) needles & towels and pillowcases to work on, I was seven. I bought my own sewing machine at age 10 with my babysitting money, used, at a neighborhood auction. I haven’t stopped since.

  2. Phyllis Mundell

    About 8. I had my own ideas about how to make my sister a pinafore with the top front in a heart shape, with straps to the back. One day when mom had to go to the field & work, I was to babysit the younger ones. As soon as she left I got three feedsacks and cut & sewed till I was pleased & put it on my sister. When mom came in she took one look & started crying. Dad took me aside & told me how purty the dress was & that we were a big family & would use a lot of flour, so mom would be able to get more feed sacks . What I did not know was that mom had been saving & trading sacks till she got enough to make herself a dress & that’s the ones I used. How I wish the dress had been saved . I bet I would have cried a lot. That was about 68 years ago & times were hard for us.

  3. Patsy

    I have been asked many times, “When did you learn to sew?” Honestly, as many have said I don’t remember not seeing. I used a needle and thread to see my baby dolls a robe. Then I graduated to Barbie dolls’ dressed. I made my first dress and wore it in 6th grade. By high school I was seeing all of my dresses. My first sewing for money was a disaster! The lady wanted her dress fuller in the Brest area. I wasn’t skilled yet on altering a pattern so I just moved the center seam on the gold over an inch, and the back seam the same. Oh my, when she tried it on it was huge all over. Later I learned how to custom fit by reading a sewing book. I have enjoyed many years of sewing for the public. I love to cost on sew, but will also do alterations and repairs.

  4. Joan

    Joining 4-H started my sewing experience. My mother sewed a bit, but bless my saint of patience, my 4-H leader, for being a stickler for straight hems and perfect top-stitching. My closet became filled with new clothes; I remember sitting up to the wee hours of the morning finishing an outfit for our sixth-grade field trip! I sewed for my little girl, doll clothes for my granddaughters, and now I’m attempting to create a quilt for each grandchild. I’m STILL learning new sewing skills–what fun!

  5. Linda

    I was about 6, I started sewing scraps into doll clothes. When I could reach the petal on my Mom’s Singer treadle,that was 60 years ago. I was allowed to sew some of my outfits. I still sew on a Singer machine.

  6. Lois

    As a child, I only had new clothes, if my mom made them. In high school home ec. and 4-H, I really started sewing, for myself and a younger brother and sister. When I had saved $100, in college, I bought my first sewing machine, a Sears zig zag. I sewed my wardrobe for my first year of teaching. A year later, I made my wedding dress, and both bridesmaids. Then most of the clothes my family wore. I did not slow down until I broke both bones in my arm.

  7. Ksy

    I can’t remember not sewing, probable about 5. My grandma let me see scraps together on her machine, and string buttons with a needle and thread. LLOVE LOVE fabric and sewing quilting or anything to do with a machine. I even have a knitting machine and have made lots of pretty sweaters!

  8. Brenda Dattilo

    I was about 10 years old when I remember standing beside my Mom watching her sew. I was so curious. Little did I know I was also learning a craft that I would love the rest of my life! In high school I took 4 years of home ec. My senior year I made a 4-piece corduroy suit. A lined blazer,lined slacks,lined vest and of course a lined skirt. My home ec. Teacher was so impressed, she thought I should take a vacation with my new wardrobe! She Gave me an A-plus!!

  9. Faith

    I started really trying to learn at 50 then having got the bug went to college for two years and am now setting up as a seamstress and will have my own Etsy store so Melinda I’m with you on being a late starter.

  10. Joyce

    I made a skirt in 7th grade with the help of my mother and aunt. I remember struggling with easing the skirt onto the waistband – and inserting a zipper. It’s funny, till I saw it mentioned in the comments, I didn’t consider embroidery as sewing! But I’ve done embroidery since I was probably about 8-10 years old. Always did dishtowels and dresser scarves. Who uses dresser scarves now??

  11. Pat Copeland

    I don’t remember when I first picked up a needle and thread, but I do remember when I was 6 I wanted an embroidery kit. Then when I was 7 my mom let use her Singer slant-o-mantic to make a cover for her mixer. That was in the early 60’s and she was still using it in the 80’s! I t was just the start for me. Friends and family come to me for special outfits, I love sewing for children, making heirloom outfits so that they can be passed down. I have even designed a special christening gown because a lady I worked with, gave me her wedding gown to make a christening gown from. I was able to get the pattern copyrighted. I also enjoy knitting and tatting, my next learning project is going to be bobbin lace. I am 62 now and still have quite a few projects waiting for me to make for my grandchildren and friends grandchildren.

  12. Candace

    I began learning to embroider stamped designs at about age 7. The next year I got a toy sewing machine to make doll clothes and graduated to my mother’s machine about age 10. At 11, I made my first top and shorts. (Mom put in the zipper.) I nearly gave my home ec teacher a heart attack when I removed the needle plate and bobbin case to fix a tangle. She didn’t believe I would be able to put it back together. I made all my daughter’s clothes until she became aware of labels, and my boys never had store-bought suits until they were in middle school. I have been sewing for 62 years and I am now learning free-motion quilting.

  13. Dianne Baker

    When I first thought about sewing, my Grandma, would send pages of the sears catalogue with lines across the places of a dress where she wanted her to measure me. She lived in Missouri and we lived in California.
    She would send back clothes to me that fit perfectly. When I was 11 yrs old I started sewing in the 7th grade and have never stopped. We have 5 girls and enjoyed sewing for all of them and I’ve been teaching Grankids to sew for a few years.

  14. Sandy

    i was hand sewing at age 5, made my first sewing machine project at age 7, a pair of pajamas made of printed feed-sack material. I still have & use that machine, a Singer Featherweight, made before WWII. Until I got the machine that I now use most of the time the Singer made the best buttonholes of any of my other machines.

  15. Janice

    I made doll clothes by hand when I was around 7 and also learn to embroider. I took 4 years of sewing in High School and won 1st place in a fashion show for a suit I made for myself. I have been sewing off and on ever since–some 65 years.

  16. Pauline

    For school mom would take us to Goodwill or thrift stores for what back then (early 1960s) were shirt dresses with lots of skirt fabric. We would separate them at the waist with her taking the skirt sometimes or me cutting out a skirt from it. We would get large shirts and take them in for my brothers and use large men’s slacks for fabric for shorts for school. I guess I learned alterations before I learned my ABC’s!

  17. Laurie

    I started sewing at 4 years old. I embroidered bibs for my sister and also learned to sew on my mom’s Singer sewing machine. It was a treadle machine. I have the machine but it needs to be entirely cleaned and resurfaced. It actually has the original leather pulley for the wheel.

  18. Gwyn

    I was 4 when I made my first apron by myself. I started sewing by hemming tea towels for my mom. Yes, that was long ago. I still quilt/ sew most days.

  19. Becky

    I watched my mom sew on an old treadle sewing machine, she taught me at a very young age, maybe 5 . By 7th grade I made a fitted plaid jacket with 8 panels with every plaid line matched up. The home economic teacher had me instructing the class. The funny thing is I never learned how to use a pattern because my mom had taught me to figure it out on my own. So i had to learn to teach the class. I ended up becoming a professional seamstress, I’d made custom valances, wedding gowns, men suits, gloves, silk nightie and more . I can’t thank my mom enough for being so patience teaching me so many crafts and sewing growing up, I’d probably had a different career without her.

  20. Peggy Lloyd

    My mom sewed for the public from home and raised us 4 kids. Although I can remember watching her intently as she cut, measured and sewed, I never really set down in front of a sewing machine until I had my first daughter. My husband’s grandmother worked for a company that made girls’ panties and slips and I was lucky enough to get quite a few “left-overs” of trimming doodads and began making my daughter nightgowns and then expanded to making our matching Easter outfits complete with pocketbooks. Luckily both of my girls, now in their 40’s, have acquired the urge to sew and even out shine their mom sometimes. Now if I could only get my granddaughter interested in sewing.

  21. Debra Clark

    I was about 3 when my greatgrandmother would let me sit on her knee and “guide”the fabric through her old treadle machine. I can not remember not knowing how to sew. She made everything. And My Fraternal grandmother was a seamstress. Sewing has always been a part of my life.It is not only a hobby, but my stress reliever.

  22. Lynne

    I learned on my moms treadle machine.mom did not sew so learned on my own making doll cloths. I had an aunt who helped me with a few tips.i used to make my kids cloths . Took course and made kids panties and nighties, men’s suits(only made once as too time consuming)Now I don’t sew much, but help my kids and grandkids learn the basics.

  23. Brenda

    I was 12 and in my 1st Home-Ec class. My family moved a lot, so I was lucky enough to get 4 yrs of the class, when most students only got 3 yrs. I am the oldest of 7 and sewed my for Mom, sisters and me. I’m now 61 and still love every minute of it. I’ve just started to make quilts and am not a pro yet, but I really enjoy the end results. I just got new sewing room furniture and am as excited as I was when I got my 1st machine in the early 70’s. Love, love, love sewing more than anything.

  24. Kathleen

    Great stories. I have done stamped embroidery, needlepoint, knitting and crocheting since I was around 8 years ago and always wanted to sew.

    About 5-1/2 years ago, my husband surprised me when I came home from work and found he had transformed our 2nd bedroom in our apartment into a sewing room for me (complete with a tri-level perch for our kitty son, Ozzie, to lay on and enjoy sewing with me). He sent me to a class at Joann Fabrics and after that, it was full steam ahead. I taught myself to read the patterns and figure things out on my own.

    Still need to learn lots of things and this is one of the best sites I have found to do so.

  25. Laura

    My mother was an excellent seamstress and “DIY” before it was a thing. I don’t remember when I started sewing but Home Ec was a favorite class. My mother passed her creative gene to me. My first sewing contest was a “Design, Construct and Model”. “Jackie” would have been so proud, right down to the pill box hat. I won two years in a row! Sewing was a necessity. Farm family, small town, and one (too expensive) clothing store. My mom would check out the ads and manipulate or make a pattern and with her expertise at sewing, we were always in style and unless it was brought up, I don’t think anyone really knew they were. I especially remember the “sling” dresses and Liz Taylor Blouses! Then we discovered crafting and the rest is history! Crafting with sewing among all kinds of stuff. Our Hancock store closed and I grieved that like a death! We can never let the art of sewing die! It is the base of all things good for me since I was old enough to remember anything.

  26. Carleta

    I started sew in junior high school. My first project was an apron in the famous treadle, it was an wonderful experience. At 71 I’m still sewing and do machine embroidery. It a great life!! Happy sewing!😘✂️

  27. Carol

    when I was big enough to stand next to the sewing machine my mother said she had made all her broher and sisters clothes growing up. it was time for me to learn to make my own. I don’t remember what age I was, but I almost flunked home ec in 7th grade because I already knew how to sew and did it my way instead of how the teacher wanted me to do it. I had a lot of years of sewing and then got out of it for a while. I bought a serger and it sat in the box for a long time before I felt I wanted to try it, but a few years ago I started square dancing and decided to make some of my own outfits, so I’m off and sewing again, this time trying the serger also. I now have a new granddaughter I am looking forward to teaching when she is old enough, too.

  28. Chrissie

    I learned to sew by hand around age 8 or 9. My mom insisted that I be able to sew things by hand before she would teach me to use a sewing machine. As she became terminally ill, she was never able to teach me how to use a machine, but at age 16, I was able to take home ec, and a dear older lady helped me with my sewing projects until I became familiar with machine sewing as well. When I was 18 or 19, my grandmother gave me a used New Home sewing machine for Christmas. (I still have it!) It only stitched straight stitches, but it made many of my own clothes and clothes for my four sons through the years. As I have gotten older, I have been gifted many second-hand (or or third or fourth-hand, lol) sewing machines. I have a Singer Touch and Sew from the early 70’s as well as a brand-new Singer a friend bought and didn’t like given to me last summer…I had hoped to learn on my mom’s Nechi, but never got to…however, I have enjoyed many years of sewing for myself and others.

    • Margie

      My first machine was a niche I got in 1970 love that machine .but started hand sewing at about 8 or 9.loved to sew my whole life I’m 65 now

  29. Susan

    My first sewing experience I was 3 or 4 my mom was sewing and I was watching. I for the other side of the machine. She was making a Christmas dress for me. That is when I heard her say go get you shoes and coat on. I was like ok then I asked why? Long story short. We went to the hospital. My mom ended up with the sewing machine needle in her thumb. She did not yell or scream nothing that I can recall. They took it out we went home and she went back to sewing. That when my mom tells me you never take your eye off the needle. So I watched the needle. As I got older I started using scraps to make doll clothes and doll blankets. Then clothes and blankets for my stuffed animals. Well, schools did not offer Home economic when I was in school.
    So at the age of 12 Mom found a sewing class for me to take. We made a skirt. The next class I could not take because they were during school hours. So I would just sew with my mom.
    Mom was knitting and crocheting. She thought she would teach me. That did not go so well. Mom is right handed and I’m left handed. So that started a break in sewing of any kind. I went on to do cross stitch, embroidery. Things my mom could not do
    Then when I was 16 or 17 I started sewing again. Since, Mom and I could do it together and have fun and become very close. We laughed a whole lot!
    I have been sewing on and off ever since. After I got hurt in the military I started sewing a lot more now I quit and do machine embroidery and make clothes.

  30. Francine

    The first thing I bought when I began to work at 16 years old is a sewing machine and I followed some courses and never stop since then. I am now 69 years old.

  31. Kathleen Koepke

    Enjoyed reading the response. I don’t do Facebook but I started sewing about 6 years ago. I did hand embroidery as a child plus knitting and crocheting and always wanted to learn to sew. Life took some twists and turns and after the 2nd bedroom in our apartment became empty (after my husband’s mom passed away), it became my sewing room. After having his chemo shot one day, my husband gave me the gift of sewing. He set up the whole room for me and I was overjoyed and cried. I am self-taught – reading patterns, cutting, etc. and love it! I have made blouses, vests and just finished my 2nd suit. I get a lot of great tips from your site. Thanks for a terrific website.

  32. Lenore

    Egan when I was seven made clothes for baby sister! Made her wedding dress! At age 88 now machine embroidering,. Love It!

  33. Rosana

    I started late…according to what I have read , I was fifteen years old and it was on an old pedal Singer sewing machine from my girlfriend’s grandma , LOL. It was over 50 years ago and still remember as if it was just yesterday, so much fun and still is.

  34. jneyr

    I started sewing when I was 1 1/2 years old. I sat under the featherweight table while my mother sewed for me and herself. I learned to sew on my mom’s Singer Featherweight. I never had a purchased dress until I was 14 and got a job. My mother instilled the love of fabric and sewing in my heart. I have 3 embroidery machines, two sergers, and 8 sewing machines including my mother’s beloved featherweight. I still love to sew, embroider, and iron despite my arthritis.

  35. Susan L Clarkson

    At around 4 I would sit on floor at my mom’s side while she sewed. I would make doll clothes out of scraps & sew by hand.

  36. Cheryl Fisher

    I began at about 10 sewing Barbie clothes by hand, after cutting from a pattern. By 11 I moved on to sewing for myself; Mom helped me with my first dress- a border print, empire waist, 3/4 sleeves with a flaired ruffle. We worked on it over a weekend, and Monday when she got home from work all that was left to do was the hem.

  37. Kathy Gamble

    Mom taught me to embroider on the pre-printed dishtowels and doilies when I was about 5, graduated to my own designs (hearts and flowers) on dad’s hankies and boxers! I don’t remember when I started sewing on my little chainstitch machine making Barbie clothes, but I was making my own clothes before high school on the electric Singer. Poor machine was ruined many years later in my sister’s house fire, but we girls all have fond memories of it!

  38. Donna Murphy

    I was probably 8 or 8 when my mom taught me to embroider dishtowels and dresser scrafs then when I was Junior high school I took home ec and made a skirt then an elastic waisted pair of pants

  39. Louise Manning

    I started sewing at the age of six, learned sewing on a machine in elementary school

  40. Sharon Bouck

    When I started sewing and when I learned to LOVE sewing occurred at different times. I joined 4-h with thoughts of making my own clothes quit after remaking a dishtowel throw time, took home economics in high school, absolutes hated it and the fashions we were required to sew. By the end if HS, I was making all my clothes and altering clothes for my friends. Now, some 50+ years later, I made my husband sports jackets, all my children’s clothes, drapes, etc. Name it, I’ll sew it. Had I depended on my first learning experiences, I never would have touched a machine again!

  41. Marilyn

    I started sewing at the age of 5 making doll clothes by hand. My mother and grandmother sewed and I would sit on the floor by them and wait for them to throw any small piece of fabric in the trash. At the age of 9 I asked my mom to teach me how to use the sewing machine. I took Home Eco. and during high school I made a lot of my own clothes as well costumes for school events and alterations for others. I loved sewing so much that I majored in Home Economics Education in college and while at college I did alterations for my dormitory directors. Making wedding and bridal party gowns and prom gowns was my favorite thing to do. I have taught sewing at the high school level for many years but am now retired. I now enjoy sewing for my grandchildren and teaching my granddaughter to sew.

  42. Bobbie

    I first started sewing by hand when I was about 10 or 11. I use to get sick a lot when I was young with strep throat, so my Mom showed me to give me something to do.

  43. Denise Perez

    I asked Santa for a sewing machine when I was six. I asked Santa to bringe a sewing machine for Christmas. Having that sewing machine was my all time gift. I would see all through my teen years. When I got to high school and I loved my Home Economics classes. Four years of Home Ec in high school, sent me off to college for a Home Economics degree. I taught for thirty years of teaching and loved every minute of it I’m still sewing

  44. Norma

    In elementary school it was required to learn to sew and every girl had to make her 8th grade graduation dress. I have sewed ever since and even attended several of the Martha Pullen schools in Huntsville. Have taught a few specialty classes in the past. This octogenarian no longer has the room to do what she used to do. I have 2 bookcases of sewing related books and no family interested. Do you know a place to sell them?

  45. Randi Jo Empanger

    I was maybe 5 when I learned to embroider dish towels. By 10 I was using mom’s singer featherweight. I was tall and skinny (I made twiggy look fat) so we made almost all of my clothes.

  46. Sue

    My grandfather was a Singer sewing machine salesman in Europe. He spoke all the languages! There was always a treadle machine in my home. I can’t remember when I first sewed on that machine, probably 8 or 9, but I am still sewing. I am now 81.

  47. Catherine

    I stared sewing by hand sewing charms from the gumball dispenser on to an old hat. Grandma started me on her treadle machine and I made clothing for my Revlon doll(larger than Barbie). I then went on to making jumpers with a set in waist. By the time we had home-ec in junior high I was assisting all the other students in making their white shirtwaist graduation dresses. Mine was white eyelet. Sewing always gives me peace

  48. Lynn Bills

    I missed your survey on Facebook because I shut my account earlier this year but I thought I would add my experience now. I started seeing on my maternal grandmother’s Necci (so) when I was 4. My mother and grandmother weren’t at all concerned but it scared my father out of his wits. Now all these years later, I have not run a needle through my finger as my father feared would happen and the worst experience I have had was the “bird’s nest” I created when I started learning to use my embroidery machine.

  49. skbros

    I was sewing little things when I was around 7. My mom taught me my sewing basics when I was 8 or 9 on an old Singer electric sewing machine. It can in a cabinet where you had to lift the machine while positioning the resting wood part for the machine to sit on. I was making my own clothes at 10. I continued to make clothes for my mom and 2 sisters. I loved to sew then and still love it. I haven’t had any formal training but would love to know more about this art.

  50. Margie Fedorchak

    I started sewing when I was 9 and I learned on my grandmother’s treadle sewing machine. When my mom got her Singer sewing machine I began sewing a lot. I made clothes for myself, Christmas gifts and have been sewing ever since. I’m in the process of making a nightgown for my 4 year old granddaughter and a matching nightgown for her American Girl baby doll.

  51. Linda L Blake

    Started sewing by hand when I was about 3 or so . My first project with sewing buttons to washcloths. By kindergarten- 1st grade I was helping him my dresses and so buttons on them for school. By the end of second grade I was starting to make some of my own skirts and shorts. The first year was old enough for 4-H I entered a tennis dress and took a second place with it and from there on out competed in 4H for the next 3 years

  52. Beverly

    I embroidered starting about 4, watched my mother sew garments often and made doll clothes at about 6 and sewed hems by hand at 7 or so and sewed and made garments by 10 years old. I made most of my clothing most of my life till about 60 but still made garments and did alterations till about 76 and still do alterations for a store and myself. I just turned 80 and continue to sew almost everyday but Sunday. Love it!

  53. Cassie

    I started sewing at about 9 years old, making doll clothes. When in high school I took HE. I was way ahead of my class. I did learn to pin. My mother would not allow me to pin, wheather it was the pattern to the material or while sewing. (My mother used the butter knives as weights to hold the patterns on the material.) I thought this was really cool, I still pin everything. I now sew for the Zambia Medical Mission and send dresses to Zambia with our missionaries.

  54. Linda L Blake

    my first experience with sewing was when I was just over three. Mom gave me a needle, washcloth, thread and buttons and turned me loose to sew. By the end of kindergarten I was helping him my skirts and sew buttons onto my dresses. By 4th grade I had made my first outfit for 4-H and took a second place for that. In 5th and 6th grade I took blue ribbons in 4H. As a result of my love for sewing I have made multiple garments for myself and others and continue to enjoy sewing to this day at 67 years old.

  55. liddy hertz

    interesting to read about others first time sewing. i would like to share, i was 5 and made my first skirt on my mothers “electric” White. my parents were not home and i got into trouble for disobeying them as i was not allowed to touch the machine so as not to get my fingers hurt. the next day my mom helped me make a top to go with my skirt and i have been sewing over 75 yrs. I had a great career in New York City as a fashion designer. my sewing has afforded me so many wonderful experience and opportunities to have met wonderful people through out my life. as a side note, my 3 children started sewing very young also.

  56. Trudie Turner

    I was taught by my mother when I about 7 or 8. Went onto 4-H, making skirts. In Junior High Home Ec, because one other girl and myself already knew how to sew, we got to make suits, Jacket and skirt, while the others were make gathered skirts! At 16, my Grandmother taught me to crochet. Still doing it it all at age 64.

  57. patricia pickens

    I was 11 in 1959. I took a 6 week course in home ec. Been sewing ever since. It was hard to get my parents to get me my first Kenmore for Christmo/birthday. They thought it was a fad.Self taught, pattern drafting etc. Started with a skirt but have made coats, blazers lined, pants with lining. shirts, I alter everything as my measurements are not pattern perfect. Also make home dec, piped pillows, cushions, curtains. I have 3 granddaughters. Wish I could leave my knowledge with them. Hoping they will work with me on their clothes.

  58. Pamela HILLE

    Probably around 6 years old. I would sit on the floor by my mother’s sewing machine and would collect up all of her scraps. I sewed for my quintuplets, all in a pink pocket blanket!

  59. Mary Louise Bettess

    My Mom tought me how to hand sew when I was Home sick. I was about 5. and I loved it. As I grew up I would help my Mom to do the mending of my Dads pants he worked in and our clothes too. When I was in Jr. High we had to make a long apron like nurses use to wear. I got an A for it. I have sown a lot of my clothes when I was single but now that when I got married we didn’t have a sewing machine until My husband gave me a sewing machine for Xmas one year and I had been sewing a lot until I got sick again. I haven’t had strength to do anything until my sister gave me a Kidney and I have started sewing again and I am learning so much from National Sewing Circle.

  60. Christina

    I had a grandma who was a seamstress but I didn’t really learn till I was in homecoming class. When I was pregnant I had to sew my clothes because at the time they didn’t make maternity clothes long enough. I stand 6’1” and was a size 18. So I learned out of necessity and now I do a lot of alterations, garment making and crafts.

  61. Dorothy Rodgiers

    From January to June of 1957, I watched my nimble fingered sister, Nancy, sew an extensive wardrobe for herself. At the time she was eleven years old, and I was filled with envy and a desire to expand my own wardrobe. Later that year around the time of my eleventh birthday, after many lonely, frustrating sessions with the family sewing machine, I asked my talented, (now twelve year old) sister to teach me how to sew. Nancy took me shopping, and with my saved up allowance I purchased a pattern, fabric, and notions. Then she sat me down in front of our old sewing machine for my first and only lesson, which consisted of Nancy saying, “Read the instructions.”

  62. Jacqueline Singleton

    I started when I was 12. I would see with my stepmother and then I took home economics which included cooking and sewing. When I was working at one of my first real jobs I would make an outfit in a night and wear it to work.

  63. Sue Loyd

    At age 6 my grandma taught me to embroidery with pre-stamped designs on dish towels and pillow cases. I joined 4-H when I was 9 the first year I made an apron & laundry bag, the apron went on to claim a 1st prize at the County Fair and a 2nd place at the State Fair. That Christmas I received a Tammy doll, pattern & bag of fabric. My dad didn’t think is was a good present because I didn’t have doll cloths to play with by new doll. However all I did for the next week while still on break was sew, sew, sew, it was the best present ever, I was hooked and never stopped sewing. That summer my great aunt hired me to make Barbie & Ken cloths for her granddaughter, she gave me a bag of fabric and a few patterns and paid me $5.00 for 10 outfits. By Jr. High I was making all of my cloths as well as clothing for my two younger sisters. In my house fabric didn’t have a chance at making it into a fabric stash, I was sewing it as soon as it came in the door, friends would give me their scraps and old cloths that I would remake. In 8th grade I took home economics to learn more but had to start with 1st year, while everyone else was making a basic skirt I made a blazer to go with the skirt, as well as helped others in the class more like a teachers aid. In high school I still wanted to learn more and talked the teacher into letting me skip 2nd year sewing and start with tailoring. In my Junior Year I made all the bridesmaid dresses my cousins wedding. A few years later when the pattern companies came out with a men’s suit patterns so I made deals with my brothers and two other male friends to make them suit’s if they supplied the materials. I made suits 4 suit’s that summer that consisted of Jacket, Pants, Vest, Shirt, & Tie each. I then promised myself that when the time came I would sew everything for my wedding. Well my wedding was Hawaiian themed with a Luau for the reception, so I made the girls Hawaiian printed dresses & shirts to match for the guys, for my wedding dress & my husbands shirt I used a white Mexican Lace cotton fabric, it was very different for the time but very beautiful. I still sew today but for my great nieces & nephews, & they come to my house for sewing sleepovers. This past spring my nephew took his family to Maui for their 15th anniversary and I made outfits for all 5 to wear to a Luau while they were in Maui. Today the fabric comes in the door faster than I can sew, I can’t pass a beautiful piece of fabric, so I do have a large stash but now that I’m retired I’m working on downsizing it.

  64. Roberta Barker

    I started in Home Economics first with an apron then a long-sleeved blouse with a caller and front button closure.

  65. Mary

    I began sewing at eight years old. My paternal grandmother and three of her daughters inspired me. At family gatherings, my cousins would show up in clothinig made by their mothers and I was there in my store bought clothes. I knew just what I wanted to do. Sew like my aunts. Of all my cousins, I am the only one who took up sewing and continue to do so, today. I love it!

    I was eight years old when I sat down at my very small electric machine. Prior to getting the machine, my grandmother and three of her daughters were beautiful seamstresses. I can’t tell you how envious I was at family gatherings when my girl cousins would show up in their new outfits made by their mothers. I had nothing handmade by my mom. We had to go downtown and buy my clothes!

  66. Carolyn Reese

    My grandmother started teaching me on her treadle machine when I was 6 or 7 in 1942. She didn’t have electricity on the farm. By the time I was a freshman in high school I was making all my clothes. I went on to sewing for 3 boys, 1 daughter, square dance dresses and shirts, curtains,drill team uniforms and husbands sport jackets. Then I opened a quilt store( owned that for 25 years) taught quilting and related items. Finally I started a quilt show and ran that for 23 years. I sold Road to California to my grandson 2 years ago and he is doing a good job. I am now teaching classes in local stores and making some clothes again. Sewing has been my life!

  67. Karen

    There is a doll dress in my baby book I hand sewed when I was 2,and an oven mitt I embroidered at 4. I was given a singer of my own at 7 to keep me off moms singer 401. At 9 I learned to knit, and a grandmother taught me to crochet sometime before then. I am now 62 and have 2 embroidery machines, 2 sergers, and 3 sewing machines that I use pretty regularly. I made most of my kids clothes and am trying to teach a stubborn granddaughter to sew. I love to shop garage sales and thrift stores for things to repurpose! And still knit and crochet in my “spare time”

  68. Joyce

    My great gran was a sewer, as was my godmother and my Mum, I started sewing on my own when I was around 6. By hand I made dolls clothes and quilts for dolly. I also learned to knit and crochet from my Mum. I learned on a Singer Treadle machine at around 9 but I bought my first electric sewing machine when I married. I am now 75, still sewing regularly and have made each of my 4 children patchwork quilts when they married, and each of my grandchildren (14 of them) a patchwork quilt. I’ve also made quilts for many friends and neighbours patchwork quilts. When I was asked what would I rescu if my house was on fire, I replied my dog and my sewing machine.

  69. Lori

    I began to sew by hand at age 9 usually to take up or in my pants. I always liked the idea of making things but never really got much into it. I bought my first (very basic) sewing machine about 12 years ago. I always remember as a child how my Mom crocheted, sewed, and did embroidery. She made everything we needed. When she died earlier this year I couldn’t help but wished I spent more time trying to learn from her. I have since upgraded my machine and have to admit that while im not a great seamstress; now I understand her love of sewing. I always think about my Mom when I sew now.

  70. Doreen

    At a very early age, probably 3 or 4. My Greadmother taught me to just make very little stitches in pieces torn from old white sheets. Then I learned to Darn socks which I thought was so much fun! From there I learned how to sew on buttons and how to put in or fix a hem. I also learned how to use a Thimble. I still love to sew, even If It’s just some mending!
    Like a lot of others I made a skirt in school.
    I’ve always found sewing relaxing. Hand sewing is my favorite way to sew.

  71. Lucy Morales

    I started sewing at age 12 Home Economics class. My mom made our clothes(family of 9) so it was easy to learn sewing tips from her. Itching to get back to it.

  72. Eileen

    My grandmother taught me to crotchet when I was 4. I made a doll blanket with rainbow yarn. I taught myself to sew in Junior high so I could have fashionable clothes. I made my sisters wedding dress when I was 17. I designed it and then sewed nonstop forn36 hours. I used a singer. Today I make costumes and outfits for myself and family. I taught my daughter to sew on a play sewing machine when she was 7. She made adorable costumes for her beagle. She followed patterns.

  73. Katrina

    I first started seeing when my children were small and money was short. I did not do much seeing when the children grew up and I worked full time. I returned to sewing, crafting , knitting and crocheting when I retired early due to breast cancer. I love to share skills with friends, and attend a Knit and Natter group weekly

  74. Janet Siddall

    I started at about 8 yrs old making clothes for my Cindy doll from scraps. My mother made most of my clothes and just about everbody elses who live in our street. I was then give a toy sewing machine for xmas and that was it my affair with sewing and machines had started. I graduated to the treadle machine from my grandmother but was not allowed to use my mothers new electric one as it cost a lot of money. I have had some disasters like the terry towellling bikini I made in the 70’s that stretched when it got wet – LOL but I am still sewing my own clothes 50 years on and have several machines, old and new.

  75. Monika Schwarz

    I startet sewing very young. I think I was 4 or 5 years old. I got a children sewing maschine for christmas. I was very happy. As soon as I could reach the pedal I used the tradle maschine of my mother. Often I mixed the direction and my father had to repair it. Never the less I used it as often as possible. This has been more tah 60 years ago. I still sew and love it. (Sorry for any mistakes. I’m not a native English speaker)

  76. Jeanne Anne Goldrick

    When I was 12, I needed a ‘poodle skirt’ and my teacher, who taught all 8 grades in a one-room school, took the time to assist. I have continued to this day. Knitting and crocheting started much earlier at the feet of my grandmothers and mother. Sewing is such a useful skill and it helps you learn about space relations, textiles and how to make repairs as well as getting a better fit. The best thing about making your own clothes is that your wardrobe becomes unique in style, colour and pattern. You do not have ro rely on brand names to get what you want.

  77. Susan

    I belonged to a 4H sewing club when I was about 11. Mom sewed and so I knew the basics before I took Home Economics in school. I have been sewing ever since. I have had so much fun sewing for my two children and grandchildren. When I retired from teaching, I bought a sewing machine(Pfaff). I had used hand me downs all of my life. This time it was my choice and it has been a great experience. I have learned new techniques and even make my own bras and panties. What started out as a necessity(couldn’t afford to buy clothes) has become a joy and pleasure in my day. The machine is in use all the time.

  78. Winnie donegan

    I always want d to sew but I did’tvhave anyone you help me do I started when I was a freshman. I wasn’T very good but I purse it. JUst found out my great grandmother was a tailor.

  79. Diane

    At 11, my eldely aunt said, “Now sit down here. You’re going to learn to sew whether you want to or not!” I did want to, and was good at hand sewing. A year later, I was given an brand new Singer with 6 free lessons. My aunt & cousin picked up where the lessons stopped, and I love sewing! I also knitted, crocheted, did embroidery,etc. When I married, my m-i-l taught me quilting and I gave up every other form of needlework for that! I made my kids sew before they toik hime ec, and other kids were jealous! I’ve helped my granddaughters to make quilts, too. Now retired, I live having time to sew.

  80. shanon

    I loved to watch my Grandmother sew barbie doll clothes for me. She was an expert seamstress. My mom made clothes for her and I. Funny though, I hated home-ec class; I had NO interest. Now in my 40s, I love to sew, crochet, and felt! -but all self taught, oh how I wish I learnt to sew from my Grandmother.

  81. Celene

    My late mother taught all four of her girls to hand sew at about 5 or 6. We started making doll clothes and learning to embroider. And then at 6 or 7, the magical day came when I could use her sewing machine! I thought I was in heaven! That love affair has never diminished. My dear mother made all of our clothes and loved to share the story about when I was turning 6 and we were all going back to school. Her sewing machine broke and the part had not been delivered in time so we had to go and buy dresses to start back to school. She said we all wore them once and then cried that we didn’t like and didn’t want to wear “store bought dresses”! I started a business at about 10 making Barbie clothes for the children of the women my mother sewed for and it just took off from there. I made all of my clothes and my children’s clothes and helped to support my family by sewing innumerable wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses! Sewing has provided me not only monetary support but therapy during many hard times. What a wonderful hobby!

  82. Marlece White

    I started sewing in 7th grade home economics,it was a one piece pants outfit and a jumbo blue and white plaid. Prior to that, my mom had a birthday surprise birthday party for me, that i didn’t know about and i tried to hand sew by shortening a dress and hemming it by hand it turned out well also i was a cheerleader in six grade, and had to have my cheerleader outfit made, my aunt constructed the outfit for me and through the years i had incentive to continue my passion, especially when i married my other aunt sewed my wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses. So today is my passion after all these years at 63.

  83. Vicki

    I learned to hand sew when I was about 5 or 6, and then moved on to my grandmother’s Singer Featherweight by about age 8. I sewed mostly doll clothes. In middle school, I learned how to read patterns, basic techniques, and was off and running. I made Halloween costumes, an A-line skirt, even a bathing suit! When I got married, I made my sister’s flower girl dress. Over the years, I migrated from apparel for myself and my kids to sewing for the home, quilting, craft sewing, and more recently, a few apparel items for my granddaughter, who I’ve taught to embroider. Now that I’m retired, I have more time to brush up on my skills. Oh- and I still have the old Singer Featherweight!

  84. Debbie Wilkinson

    I was six or seven when i began making barbie doll clothes from the back of my grandmother’s patterns. As soon as i was old enough i entered 4-H. Now i am sewing for great grandbabies!

  85. Cheryl Carlin

    That picture says it all. I was 5 years old and received two toy sewing machines for Christmas, I have been sewing ever since. Sewing is my passion!

  86. DIANE J

    I passed on an apron that I sewed at around 8/9 in 4H to my granddaughter & 2nd sewing 4H project was a empire waist A line navy blue dress with 4 gold buttons. Loved it! I sewed off & on through the years & now have picked up the joy of sewing once again. I remember loving to embroider pillowcases with my mother & my Baba taught me how to knit. She spun her own wool & thread. Now retired I can play & have sew much fun.

  87. Ann

    I started sewing with a machine when I was nine through 4-H when I made my first skirt. Then I made lots of skirts in different fabrics, lined and unlined. Then we learned to make dresses and I made all of my clothes thanks to the great technical instruction of my 4-H leader and the County Extension classes, including a pants fitting class by Nancy Zieman way back when. I still take classes from reputable instructors to keep up with changing fabrics and notions to produce polished, well-constructed garments and home-dec items. There is always some exciting new challenge to try. I am so grateful to those women who encouraged me years ago.

  88. Pat Copeland

    Since I am a twin, our mom would always sew our outfits. I remember hearing about tatting when I was around 4 years old. My great aunt was talking about how she once could tat with sewing thread, but she could no longer as her sight was gone. I remember thinking that I wanted to learn how. When I was six I wanted as embroidery kit for my birthday. In two weeks I had finished all the projects in it. Then when I turned 7 my Mom let me sew a cover for her mixer in 1961. She still had on the mixer in 1990. I still love to sew and I did learn to tat many years later, self taught from a book. I still love taking something and making something different or beautiful from it. I love to sew heirloom dresses for special girls. Even now I have several projects waiting for me when I finish what I am working on now. Even though I am a lefty, when my Mom was teaching me to knit, she said to watch the yarn and the needles so I did. I don’t hold the yarn like most people do, but my Mom did say that I have perfect tension when I knit. I do remember someone asking me where I learned to sew like I do. When I said I learned from my Mom, she said “No I showed you how to sew, but you took that and ran with it.” Best compliment I ever received.

  89. Karen

    My grandmother taught me to hand embroider and knit then sew on her sewing machine. My first project with her was my Easter outfit when I was 10. By high school I was sewing all of my own clothes. I bought my own sewing machine when I graduated from high school with my baby sitting money. Five years later, I took a quilting class but quilting didn’t take over until twenty-five years later.

  90. Helen Newton

    Started hand sewing at 6 doll clothes. Joined 4-H AT 9, made gathered skirt. Wasn’t good but persisted. Made coat and suit in high school. Graduated from Cornell in Home Ec. Taught High school for 27 years. Made suits and coats for sons and lots of outfits for my daughter. Made about 6 wedding dresses. Now in my 80’s I dress dolls for charity.

  91. Phyllis Rogers

    Watched my mother and grandmother sewing when little and mother taught me to embroider on dish towels when I was about 7. Really started to sew in home ec when I was 12. We made a skirt and blouse. Skirt had a waist band and zipper on it. Really started to sew after married and had time and space for it. Made myself some dresses. Altered some skirts, etc. Then when my oldest daughter was little made us matching dresses for sister-in-law’s wedding. Grandmother taught me to crochet when about eight but she got tired of me losing stitches and ripping it out. Started and stopped with it until after I had my first child and was overseas with husband and I taught myself to knit with an instruction book I bought at base store. Then I started to crochet again, too. I enjoy all of it and have picked up new stitches and techniques from You Tube and other sites. I really like to try and learn new things even at 71 years.

  92. Deborah Taylor

    I so enjoyed reading the stories of those born with the gift of sewing/creating. I too started sewing around age six. First with needle, thread, and thimble. I made a rag doll from my grannies old sheet and named her Annette. I later received a little red, battery operated toy sewing machine with a foot press, which I still have. At age 12 My granny gave me an old Singer troddle machine. I made most of pants and skirts and tops by using existing clothing. At age 14, I learned to use an actual paper pattern. At age 16, I’d made my first coat along with drapes. I’m now 65 years old and continue to sew, making dolls, quilts, and other fun things for my grands and great grands. I
    still have my first toy machine, which still works, along with 2 of my old Singers. I primarily use the Husgarvarna and server my husband gave me 21 years ago.

  93. Rosemary

    I started sewing when I was 4 years old. My Mom taught me. She didn’t think her daughters would learn before this so when she could no longer use her treadle machine because of leg problems, she sold her machine. I got a sewing kit that had a little doll in it. The patterns had the individual pieces shown in just the right size for this doll so I traced the pictures and cut them out to make the doll clothes. A couple years later I asked my grandmother if I could have her extra sewing machine. She gave me the old Paragon machine that she had used to make my Uncles baby clothes in 1893. I used this until I got a job and bought an electric zig zag . I used it a couple years and then I bought another machine that I could monogram on. I used it for 50 years until it broke and could not be fixed. I make most all of my clothes and those of my daughter. I have also done a lot of sewing favors for friends. I now have a a fancy machine that embroiders .My Mom taught me to crochet and my Aunt taught me to knit. N ow that I am a retired (76 years old) I keep busy sewing and knitting for charity.

  94. Linda Johnson

    I absolutely love reading all of these stories about sewing. I also can’t remember exactly when I learned to sew. I was 11 or 12 when my mom started a sewing class with 4-H. My sister and I were in that class and we all made a very simple skirt. I am 66 and still sewing and doing machine embroidery. I teach sewing at a local sewing machine store and at my church. I’m doing what I can to pass on this amazing skill to the next generation.

  95. Jan

    I was a preteen trying to sew on my mom’s treadle machine with Horrible tension problems & breaking thread.. Guess Mom saw me struggle cause the next thing I knew I had a new Sears machine WITH A BUTTON HOLE ATTACHMENT! Started making my own clothes & by the time I had children alllll of their clothing was homemade & STYLISH

  96. Susan Kmetz

    I learned to sew when I was 14 yrs old, I am 61 now. My neighbor was a seamstress for several stores in town.
    She taught me how to sew. I was tall and I could make my pants longer than normal and was wonderful.
    I started to make all my clothes thru my high school years and my 20’s. It was a magical time in my life.

  97. Dorothy A Steingrubey

    When I was a new mother for the first time, 65 years ago, I answered a contest in our local newspaper and won a New Home sewing machine and taught myself to sew. I sewed clothes for my children and myself and some curtains. Loved that machine.

  98. Carolyn Naumann

    I was raised up in the tailoring business by my grandmother. Made my first suit under her watchful eye at 14. I’ve learned a lot over the years at almost 70. Started a new business within a haberdashery which includes bridal.

  99. Susan Nash

    I can’t remember not sewing, seems I did it almost from birth. Nana taught me to crochet age 9, my teacher in infant school taught me to knit age 5 Mum got a home job when I was around 12 sewing teddies. We would sit and cut apart the chain pieced teddy parts and turn them ready for assembly back at the factory.
    My sisters and I spent many evenings with mum crocheting blankets and knitting picture jumpers for ourselves. Now I am retired and spend my time making family and friends presents and for charity.

  100. Susan P

    I started seeing when I was in high school. My shape was big on top and small on the bottom, which made it difficult to buy store-bought clothes. When I was in high school we had to wear dresses or skirts!

  101. Diane

    I learned in 9th grade home economics. I sewed a Vogue pattern shirtwaist dress with a collar, cuffs, pockets and buttoned front. That was over 50 years ago. My mother and older sister mother and sister made men’s suits during the 70’s and 80’s and I made skirts, shorts and tops from the scraps. 90% of my wardrobe is hand made.

  102. Begonia

    I was about 5. My teacher asked me about some embroidery on a dress my mother had made me. My mother taught me the stitch and I went to school and showed my teacher. She was quite impressed. I don’t remember it well but my 88 year old mom remembers it like it was yesterday. I then made puppets, etc for school projects and around grade eight I made my first skirt in home ec class. It was an A line rusty corderoy skirt. Loved it!

  103. Barbara Mobley

    Can’t remember my age but prbly around 5 or 6 I was making doll clothes by hand. When they didn’t fit just right I wud get my mom’s patterns and see where I needed to add a dart to make the fit right. I also wud loosen the belt on her singer pedal machine and sew with just the needle following the lines on notebook paper to practice making straight seams. Got a child’s singer machine for Christmas one year. I still treasure it. I took sewing in 4H and won a blue ribbon for a shirtwaist dress. In high school Home Ec class I also helped the teacher with the other students. My mother made most of our clothes when I was young but by high school I was doing my own. Over the years I have sewn for other people and enjoyed making dresses for my neices then for my granddaughters. Taught my granddaughter to sew a few years ago. Now I still sew at 67 years old. Enjoy sewing American Girl doll clothes for my 7 year old granddaughters dolls. I have also crocheted since I was very young and recently learned to knit.

  104. Theresa Auguste

    I starterd sewing very young, I even use fish bones as neetle , attached to threadd, I made dolly clothes, cloth dools, I sewed on a bpeddle machine, I did embroidery, sew by hand all that before the age of I i should guess Really I dont really know, for i always know my self to be sewing, I made jeans bagsm dresses and so on i even had dresses on exhibition, and i also learned some tips in my home ecomomics class around the age eleven in primary school around grade 6.

  105. Janine

    Hand sewing then serious sewing when u started going to parties and dances – I guess around 12!!

  106. clem

    I started sew when at 25 when I was sailing aboard a tanker ship and had nothing to do after watch at sea



  108. Sandra mercado

    I started sewing in my 7th grade at the age of 14yrs old. Haven’t stop yet and I love it!

  109. Patricia Perot

    I remember my mother sewing on her Singer sewing machine(black with gold) and i am sitting on the floor collecting the scraps for my doll baby. I was hand sewing, and my mother could see that i had a knack for sewing things together and i quickly graduated to the sewing machine. I have been sewing for many years and i absolutely love it, i have made many,many things and what i am most proud of is my prom gown and matching coat. My mother also taught me how to knit, what a smart woman and a great role model teaching me skills that will last a life time. When i am sewing i am in a beautiful zone. Happy sewing, Trish

    • Patricia Perot

      I started hand sewing when i was four, and using the sewing machine(Singer) when i was five. In addition to sewing my mother also taught me how to knit, i absolutely love both. I enjoy making pillows, drapes, and clothing including my exceptional prom gown with matching coat. In knitting i make babies hats, sweaters and booties. Forty five years and eight sewing machines later ( 3 embroidery machines, 2 sergers, 1 heavy duty, and 2 computerized machines) i cannot imagine life without sewing. In this day and age having a wonderful career is great, but designing and sewing what you want is a blessing. I am pleased to say that i am currently teaching my nieces to sew and knit, and i hope that more young people will learn this wonderful skill. Happy sewing, Trish

  110. Elsie Gallant

    I started sewing when I was nine. My mother always sewed all my clothes as well as her own. I was always wanting to make something of my own. On Xmas of 1969 I received my very first sewing machine. It was pink with a small foot pedal and operated on batteries. I could use left over fabrics to make clothes for my doll. I have been sewing since then. I still have that little machine on shelf in my sewing room.
    What a great gift learning to sew has been.

  111. Sharon Chatterton

    Started at 5, on an old Singer treadle sewing machine, and it is still in the family. My sister has the treadle at this time, so it wasn’t thrown out like so many old treasures were. So my love for sewing has been going on for many years and still growing.

  112. Bart

    I was about 23 years old when I first starting sewing. And the reason that I did it then was because I had asked my then wife to sew me a kite, she refused and told me if I wanted the kite that I would have to sew it myself. The first attempt was a total disaster used the wrong type of material. The second attempt worked like a charm, and the kite flew like a charm. Then later on in our relationship after having a girl child she needed help on a dress project, she could not figure out how to do a french seam, I read the instructions and showed her how to do it. After I showed her how she stated that now I could finish the rest of the dress, and it’s been the love of sewing ever since.

  113. Donna

    I have sewing since I was in the 5 or 6 grade. I remember baby sitting and knew for the 50 cents I could buy 3 yards for a skirt. Never had anyone to teach me except the teachers . My mother did little but no teaching. I am in my 80’ and still learning. Sewing is my 2 nd love.
    My grandfather came over on Saturday when he knew I would be sewing nd sit saying “I wish Grandmother was here she would help”. I was in high school and making a white full length white wool coat. Loved that coat.Three kids and

    3 grandsons& great granddaughter later I still love sewing but more quilting than clothes.

  114. Andrette

    I was around 7. My grandmother had a treadle singer sewing machine. Loved sewing ever since. . I even make my daughters dresses when they were toddlers.

  115. Diane Ludden

    At 10 years old, I took sewing lessons at the YWCA. I remember making purple corduroy elephant leg pants with gold buttons down the seam on the bottom half of the legs, flannel pajamas and the print on that fabric, the dress with zigzag print that I wore for my eighth grade class picture, and the suede maxi coat that was lined and hooded. Nastalgic! I did not have a sewing machine for decades but recently bought one. It’s like getting back on that bike and riding it like it was just yesterday . . . well except for all the new stitches!

  116. Cathy Inman

    I first started sewing on those punched cards with pictures on it that had you thread yarn through the holes.

    When I was 10 years old my mother won a sewing machine in a local drawing. I loved that machine. I taught myself mostly to sew on that machine. My mother sewed but mostly for utalutarian purposes when something was needed. I sewed for the pure joy. My first credit card purchase was a sewing machine and table st 18. I still have that machine. Unfortunately my mother gave away both the machine I learned on and the Singer treadle that my grandmother gave her while I was in college. I would loved to have had both of them. She knew I had a machine and didn’t think to ask me if I wanted them.

  117. Sharon McDonald

    I took seeing in home ec back around 1973 but was terrible and lost interest. Last Christmas my son gave me a Brother sewing machine as a Christmas gift. It sat in the box unopened for months. Once I did finally open it. I fell in love. I started watching you tube videos and taught myself how to sew. Now I make bags, purses, luggage, curtains, cushions, etc. I have not tried clothing yet. So I learned at 54 yrs old

  118. Nora

    I wanted to learn, so I took Home Economics class, in 8th grade, The teacher had us to make an apron with pockets, an A line skirt with waist band and zipper. My mom had an old singer, so I used it to get more practice, and made a pair pants. I wanted another machine, even though I knew she couldn’t afford it, but after about 4 months, I came home from school, my mom told me to go look in my room. I opened the door and there was a brand new (New Home) machine with the cams, I Loved It, after getting familiar with it, my mom started buying patterns, and I made clothes for both of us. I still have that machine, and it still works like new.

  119. ARLENE

    I was about 9 and decided to make my doll a dress. I laid her on the floor and traced around her. Needless to say I forgot she wasn’t flat but soon learned to measure. I was the only one in my family to sew so I was on my own. I learned to make summer tops out of feed sacks and just kept on learning and have taken some classes in school and fabric stores. I also did embroidery learning from a book by candlelight when the power was out. Now I do a little quilting mostly jackets, table runners and tops. I’m in senior living now and trying to make cloths that fit my changing body. Arlene

  120. Vanessa Jenkins

    I started sewing at the Neighborhood Center in Camden, NJ. My mother, Loretta Monroe wanted us to be exposed to a variety activities. My first project was an apron for my mom! She was so excited! I currently sew and embroider.

  121. Deborah

    I was about five when I started embroidery on stamped pillowcases for a wedding present. I got a Barbie doll and tiny chain-stitch Singer with a hand crank when I was six. I learned I could sew clothes for my dolls and then for myself that were exactly what I wanted at a price I could afford. I was making my ow clothes by middle school and sewing “professionally” by the time I was in high school – making custom items for re-enactment, prom dresses, etc. I didn’t think of it as professinal at the time – I was jus that weird girl with sewing machines. My dad taught me how to do basic maintenance on machines and I was scavenging for them at yard sales and thrift shops in my teens. Sewng machines are magical things.

    six when my mom helped me make my first Barbie outfit

  122. Marilyn

    A friend’s mother invited me along when she took her daughter to buy a pattern and fabric to learn to sew. I was about 11. She bought me a pattern and fabric of my choice also, and I’m still sewing and still grateful 60 years later! She was so generous and patient. Also had two aunts who taught me embroidery and knitting. Still doing those things as well. Now hoping to interest my granddaughter in learning. Pass it forward!

  123. Sammie

    I made a dress in Home Economics but only took that course 1year & that dress would go home with me in my notebook for Mom to correct my mistakes. Later, made a few double knit efforts… not so good. I’m retired now & I really want to learn correctly.

  124. Ginger

    It wasn’t until I was in Grade 9 that my first attempts to sewing happened. We had a wonderful Home Economics teacher that taught everything very carefully and methodically from our first sampler of hand stitching to our attempts at stuffed pillows with trim to finally, a garment to wear! She was patient, encouraging and totally wonderful! And when I was able to present my finished product for my mom to see, I got to use her machine at home. From there, it went on to a machine gifted to me to another lovely upgrade and so on and so on. Or is it, and sew on and sew on?

  125. Carolyn

    When I was five or six my grandmother sat down with me and taught me to hand-piece a doll quilt! How exciting!! That started a lifelong love affair with quilting! When I was 7, my mom taught me to make a summer top from a pattern on her singer! I was hooked!!! I am so thankful!!!

  126. Judith Malphurs

    I started sewing when I was around 7 and like so many others I started sewing dolls clothes. I continued through school and won several contests. I continued because I couldn’t afford nice clothes. I sewed for all my children through the years. A few years ago I sewed 7 bridesmaids dress for my youngest daughters wedding. I also do alterations for brides and bridesmaids. I am 70 and its something you never give up.

  127. Silvia

    I started sewing on buttons at age 5, then hemming flour sacks, and sewed my first skirt (poodle) and blouse (boatneck) at age 8. And 61yrs later it’s my therapy to sew; repair, alter or create.

  128. gehane fawzi

    i started at the age of ten. i was always watching my mother . it was her who taught me to use the sewing machine it was a Singer the old one not electric ,with a paddle. my first skirt i done it alone with the help of Burda patron. since then i have allot of the Burda magazine .know i have 62 years old

  129. June Turner

    Started with a little electric sewing machine I got for Christmas when I was 5 or 6 , then joined 4-H when I was 8, and still drag my machine out once in a while and I am 70 now.

  130. Debbie

    I started sewing when I was about 11 (1964). My Mom would start sewing something for me but wouldn’t finish it so I decided that I was going to learn. I still sew today – not as much as I would like. After my Mom passed away I went through her box of fabrics and, at the very bottom was my very first project – a red plaid shift (easy beginner project : ).

  131. Sandy

    When I was 7 or 8 grandma taught me on her old Singer treadle machine. About same time her sister my great aunt Rosa taught me to crochet. I was making my own box pleated skirts etc by time I was 12. Crocheting clothes for first Barbies out and selling them.

  132. Jo

    Can’t remember when I started hand sewing. I must have been pretty young as my Mum let me start using her hand Singer sewing machine when I was 11. I was always making clothes for my dolls and presents for friends. Recently taken it up again, now that I’m in my 50’s. 😊

  133. Jane

    First grade hand sewing Barbie clothes. 4th grade 4-H learned to make an apron. Still have it, 54 yrs later. A few things in high school just by reading patterns. Then I had a girl! Lots of Cinderella dresses and matching ones for Cabbage Patch doll. All along, embroidery and needlepoint. Then quilting. I’m a Leftie so crochet and knitting are difficult for rightys to teach. And all directions are written for the usual righty. Too much trouble to transpose. Do enough anyhow! Still using my 1954 Singer. Prefer over newer models.

  134. Portia D Waters

    My first memory of sewing was when I was between 5 and 6 years old, and considering I am 65 years old … about 60 years ago ! I would sneak into the unfinished living room, where my mom had the sewing machine and sew until it tangle, and since I didn’t know how to fix … had to quit… then sewed the rest by hand ! Sew all my dolls outfits and then used lids from household bottles to cover and make hats ! I went on to take Home Ec. in the 9th grade and fell in love ! Made all my clothes from that point on… all thru high school and then majored in Home Ec. in college ! All from my love of sewing ! Made my wedding dress, dress for my bridal shower, all my clothes as I started teaching as well. I was pregnant the same time as Princess Diana, which was a wonderful thing to share … since suddenly the companies started designing all these amazing outfits for her ! I had the most beautiful wardrobe for my pregnancy ! I made bathing suits, designed projects for my students… if I couldn’t find something I wanted for my class to sew … made the patterns for them ! Made clothes for my daughter and husband … it was such a blessing to know I could do make anything I wanted and make it to fit perfectly !

  135. Shirley Nunes-Thornton

    I was 6 and started making clothes for my baby doll. I am now 62 and the still love t create things. unfortunately my arthritis doesn’t allow for fine hand sewing, but my sewing machine keeps humming alongwith gifts to be given.. Shirley

  136. DeAnna Brandt

    At 4 years old my mom sat me on the chair at the singer sewing machine, on top of both a Sears and Wards catalog, with the foot pedal on a wooden milk carton crate. I had hand sewn a lot and she introduced me to the machine. My first project was a “blanket” of black scrap cotton with a light blue wide satin binding, mitering the corners! I never looked back. I kept that project into my late teens as a keepsake, then tossed it when I moved out. I’m now 61 and wished I’d kept it! I volunteer and teach sewing to immigrants and refugees and also teach the teachers as most can’t sew very well. I still love sewing to this day!

  137. Beth Cupo

    My family lived in a rural area. The mothers in the vicinity decided to set up various skill classes to teach all their daughters home economic skills (I know it was very “old fashioned”) through 4-H. These are some of the best childhood memories learning how to: sew, crochet, cook, garden, arts and crafts. Sewing has been a beloved pasttime to feel creative. It is definitely a pleasure to go into my lady cave (hey; men aren’t the only ones that deserve their own retreat) and make something from the plethora of fabrics that I have. I’ve created every single one of my daughter’s Halloween costumes and it brings her great joy (me too!). My sister just lost her husband this year so I gifted her one of my sewing machines to allay her lonliness and to bond again after all these years sewing together.Now that I’m contemplating retirement – it is nice to know that I have a hobby that I love and will spend time at (my Grandaughters may need Mimi to make them some clothes 🙂 ) It is a bit sad to see that sewing isn’t as prevalent with youth. I stopped into a sewing machine store the other day and was floored by the cost of some machines and will have to stay with my tried and true machine (sewing/serger/embroidery machines). It’s funny that there are so many videos about having a serger or embroidery machine still in the box because I’m guilty on both fronts. Maybe when I retire I will have the time to really delve past my sewing machine to these other tools. I’m sure I will wonder – what was I waiting for? It would be great to work with similarly interested people sewing. The one place that taught advanced skills (I made my first set of draperies) is now closed – sigh! But I did get to work with a group that sews quilts for children in hospitals; that was very rewarding.

  138. Beatrice

    I am learning how to sew now, I just turned 42 in November. I have no idea what I am doing.

    • Peggy

      Hi Beatrice! You can learn so much now on youtube videos. I hope you have access to them. Or go to your library and get kids books which are very easy to learn from. Sewing School is a good one and Ready Set Sew by Jane Bull is another good one. Anyone near by who sews would be willing to teach you. If are near madison Wisconsin I would teach you! Good luck and have fun. Watch Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Company -she is so happy and sews very well.