Garment Sewing: Who Can Resist a Baby?*
I started sewing in 4-H when I was nine years old. I wish I had a picture of my Quick Trick Skirt. It was a tube with a casing at the top and I wore it with a white blouse and a kerchief tied around my neck. I know I sound super cool.
The skirt was made of brown calico like the one above.
This is the idea, but I wasn’t cute like this girl. I was awkward and I had cat-eye glasses.
Even so, I fell in love with sewing during the second and third years of 4-H and I never looked back. In the 60s and 70s, you could save a lot of money by making your own clothes. My mom said I could have all the clothes I wanted if I made them. So I did.
But there came a point in the 80s when garment sewing was over for me. There were a couple of factors.
- I had small children (see photo, above).
- It became less expensive to buy clothes than to make them.
- I discovered quilting
Throughout that decade and into the 90s, I made the occasional garment. But each time it felt like a failed 4-H project. These clothes didn’t look right or feel right, and it was costing a lot to make things that landed in the donation box.
One of the things I made during the transition out of clothing was this Asian-style coat. I guess I thought it would work because it was kind of quilty. This was well before the internet. I bought the pattern and then gradually found Japanese fabrics, one at a time, as I attended bigger quilt shows with international vendors.
But even after spending several hundred dollars on supplies, I never wore it. I still put it on every so often to see if it might work, but it never has.
So you can understand my reluctance to sew garments again even though I have six-month-old twin granddaughters. Before they were born, my daughter asked if I’d consider sewing for them.
“Probably not.” I tried to let her down easy.
Each time she asks, I gently decline.
They’re so sweet. And they’re full of love.
And soon they’ll have hair.
And the little girl patterns are almost irresistible.
What’s not to love?