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

  1. Beatrice

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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 !

  6. 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.

  7. 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. 😊

  8. 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.

  9. 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 : ).

  10. 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.