As a young woman going to high school in the late 1970s, there was no way I was going to take home economics. I had big plans and they didn’t include being a housewife who made her family’s clothes and cooked her family’s meals. I planned to got to college, get a graduate degree in archaeology or something equally interesting, and travel the world. As it turns out, I did indeed go to college, earned a graduate degree, and have traveled parts of the world. But as it turns out, I wish I HAD learned how to sew properly – it would save me a lot of money and could have been a fun creative outlet. I did take one short class in jr. high at the local community center and learned how to sew a maxi dress with a ruffle at the hem.
My parents both appreciate dressing well, as did my grandparents. I have liked clothing and fashion since I was a kid, and used to daydream about being a fashion designer. But I was realistic enough to realize that fashion design was not a practical path to a stable income, and majored in English instead. (Yeah, the irony.)
Now I wish I could stitch up a pretty silk skirt in a day. I don’t want to make beginner’s projects like pot holders and elastic-waisted skirts. I recently took the tentative step of buying a used sewing machine.
Enough whining. Instead I’ll share snippets of some vintage garments that illustrate the beautiful stitching used on clothing women used to make for themselves. My goal this year is to learn how to thread the machine and sew a straight line.