September 4, 2011

It runs in the family

From time to time, people asked me how and when I started sewing. The answer is simple: my mother used to make clothes for us, so I started out by helping her and gradually 'evolved' to trying simple projects of my own. Then, I didn't sew for several years, bought a very cheap sewing machine of my own when I was in college and got addicted ;)

Today, I will show you some very old pictures, of me as a little girl, wearing the clothes my mother made.

She enjoyed making my sister and me matching outfits, like these cotton dresses.

Sometimes, only the fabrics were matched, combined with patterns which suited our personal tastes and activity. My sister was more of a tomboy, so in this particular set, I got culottes, she got dungerees. My (then) baby brother had a matching outfit of a shirt and dungerees in pale yellow.

And finally, this is my school portrait from 1987. I think it's great because 1. I'm actually smiling widely (I didn't like having my picture taken and usually looked less than cheerful in these school pictures) and 2. if you look closely, you can see the home-made quality of this blouse quite clearly. Lots of zigzag stitching is on show at the collar. Now I know what my mother means when she says that, being a mother of three and sewing for all of us, she didn't have time for fancy finishes...

It may seem rather unkind of me to point out a flaw in my mother's sewing. However, I have always loved wearing the things she made for me and I wouldn't have started sewing as easily and naturally if it weren't for her. So, even if I'm not praising every detail of her work, I still love and admire her for it.


  1. Thanks for sharing - I do love the pictures - very charming! My mother never made clothes - home ec made her crazy - but she picked out my school clothes - which even at that age was different from what I preferred!

    I am pysched to know that you learned your sewing skills early - now I know how they are so finely tuned!

  2. Very charming photos of your younger self, and you know I rather like the charm of the zigzag edging on your collar, and am now fantasising about this finish on a future collar... It would be difficult to line the zigzags up to finish neatly on the turnpoint, but if this was managed successfully I think it would be a fun casual look.