There is one question every new customer asks me, "how did you get started in this business?" I've been sewing since I was a kid, somewhat out of necessity I think and somewhat due to my mothers' love of sewing.
I am the 12th of 13 children and apparently, as you can see in the photo above, it was pretty difficult to keep 13 children clothed! That is only partially true though. The photo is pretty funny - and the overalls ridiculous - but the truth is..... I looooved them! My mother kept trying to get rid of them and each time, I would find them in the pile of "must go's" and sneak them back up to my room. Days later I would come marching down the stairs in this attire with a big grin on my face. Finally, she grabbed them while I was at school and instructed my brother, "take this to Goodwill right now because if you don't, she's going to find them again". Really makes me laugh; I had fallen in love with the fabric, and what's even funnier is that to this day, I'm still always drawn to red with yellow!
Watching my Mom sew, I decided I wanted to try it out myself. (After my earliest life memory, from about the age of three, when I sewed my finger with my Moms' machine) I started with doll clothes. I'm pretty sure I taped the fabric on this doll but it was a start! See the little doll with the crazy yellow hair? I realize now I probably should have been more focused on making her a hat as a first project! I loved that yellow-haired doll because she had a heartbeat. Funny though, as much as I loved her, I learned how to use a seam ripper on her. I NEEDED TO KNOW what made her heart beat and that little tool let me right in on the secret. Poor thing. My mending was not at couture standards back then so you can imagine, she was never the quite the same. (You may notice the black toile chair in the background, that was my Mom's slipcover in process.... the apple didn't fall too far from the tree I guess.)
For all you young readers: yes, this "water graffiti" was before computers. But this is what we had to look forward to for fun.....that, or Shirley Temple Movies (which by the way, I loved!). That is me on the right sporting one of the first of my many custom outfits, hand-made by my Mom.
So, without the ability to pop in a movie or hypnotize us with techno gadgets my mother got us sewing. It was a great past time to keep us learning... and clothed (remember... 13 kids?). Pretty much everything I wore as a kid was handmade by my mother and from the 5th grade on by me.