4/18/15

AtoZ Letter P ~ Patterns, Predictions and Perspectives

"Sue, to be a seamstress you must learn to use and read  pattern instructions."

Those words from my Mother and Homemaking Teacher usually had me putting the pattern and instruction guide back in the pattern envelope.  I was a 'Visual Learner'. 

Show me once and I've got it.  Give me a 'Step by Step' picture guide, and I can do it.  I think it all goes back to doing Math Word Problems which I talked about in Letter I-Iowa Test~Not My IQ.  In a nutshell  my brain interpreted written instructions and math word problems like this:  If you have 10 ice cubes and you have 11 apples, how many pancakes will fit on a roof?

As a first born, I was a parent and teacher pleaser, (Child Psych 101) therefore, I worked very hard to make ice cubes, apples and pancakes translate in to Dresses, PJ's, and Pants.

Sewing was my favorite part of Home Economics, and often the teacher, an excellent cook and so so sewist, would have me demonstrate how to put in a zipper, or my short cut technique of putting in sleeves... with an emphasis on 'this is not the way the pattern instructions show how to do it'.

At home...I completely took over Mother's sewing machine and sewed dresses, skirts, blouses and pajamas for my two younger sisters and myself.  I did not have a problem with being one of those girls who admitted to "making all my own clothes". 

My Teacher said, "Sue, knowing about Fabrics, Patterns, Sewing Machines, and all that goes with being a Seamstress can lead to a career."  She did not mention Culinary School.
My Coach said, "Sue, being able to read and draw basketball plays along with knowing how to shoot a right and left hook shot will make you a better basketball coach." He forgot to mention the after school days and hours, pay and parents.
My Mother said, "Sue, you can't play basketball forever, but you can sew for the rest of your life." 
 
Thanks Coach...you gave me so much more than basketball plays and how to shoot a hook shot.  So many life lessons learned on and off the court carried me through a Teaching/Coaching Career.

Thanks Mrs. B and Mrs. P...I can not imagine my life without Sewing and Needlework.  Not only did I learn to read Patterns, but became a Quilt Pattern Designer.  To you I owe my lifetime interest in the Textile Industry...which led to a second career after Coaching...Sue's Quilt Shop, Sewing Machine Dealership and Machine Quilting Services.

Thank-you Mother...for everything!

19 comments:

  1. I'm useless with a needle, but I so envy people who can make theri own cloths.
    But this post is so much more, and I really enjoyed it :-)
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Sarah. Where there is interest and a need there are skills to learn. I was lucky to have tolerant and patient teachers.

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  2. The only sewing I've ever really done was costumes and that was always fun, although you don't really need to finish a lot of the seams and things as well as on clothes you want to last ;). Sounds like you are awesome with a needle and thread!
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. Costume making sounds so fun...all those great fabrics, trims and free hand fittings. Besides the making there is the research, history and designing...I bet you were great as a Costume Designer.

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  3. I was good at laying out the pattern, pinning it, cutting. Need to match up a plaid? I'm your champ. I loved the sound of pattern paper unfolding, pressing out the folds and wrinkles with my hands, cutting through it. If you used the pattern more than once, it became very soft. Remember that?

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    1. I hadn't thought about al those 'pleasing pattern points', but now that you mention them I do remember how soft and worn a pattern could get. Amazing they could hold up so well. I still have have some of my early patterns...as you can see from this post. I'm always looking for vintage patterns...love the illustrations on the 1940's patterns.

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  4. Hi Sue - I could make clothes for me .. as long as they were cotton and simple and if I could work a short-cut I would .. but I do that with everything .. I couldn't (didn't like!) use the Butterick patterns and always went for the Simplicity ones .. I am a good cook .. but now don't sew and have given all my sewing machines away - I inherited a couple.

    I worked for an agency in London that organised export deals of capital plant and machinery sales to eastern europe - and one of the deals was a bartering arrangement with a Polish machinery company - bartering cheap sewing machines for other products they couldn't make in Eastern Europe ... I had one of those machines for life - and rather wish I'd kept it - it was simple, functional .. I made curtains and a sofa cover (after someone cut the pattern out for me!!) ... basic, very basic stuff ...

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. Love today's photo of you in your studio .. excellent one .. H

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    2. Simplicity has always been my favorites, too, although I have Butterick and McCalls, as well. How enterprising of you to barter with your machines. I have my first machine given to me by my parents when I was 18 years old....will never part with it and a couple of others...a Singer Featherweight for one. Good basic sewing will get most all sewing jobs done. I love couture design, but seldom use those more time consuming sewing details....unless I'm sewing something really fancy/elegant/slippery fabric.

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    3. Thanks, Hilary. I liked the photo too...it made me think of my Mother.

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  5. That's awesome, Sue! I could sew really well. And had no problem wearing home made clothes. I liked the fact no one else would have one exactly like it. But to me, sewing was shear work. And once I began working and running a home, it was way too effort on top of everything else. I also learned to crochet, fairly well and to embroider rather excellently. But I felt the same about those two, also.
    Visit me at: Life & Faith in Caneyhead
    I am Ensign B of Tremps' Troops
    with the A to Z Challenge

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    1. Shear work....good one...pun intended...I take it!!!! There is WORK in Needlework for a reason...it is work, and not always the kind that everyone finds enjoyable. I hate ripping out...LOL!!! At least you have the those skills to take up when there is more time and less work. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. P is for Popping by to say congrats on passing the 1/2 way mark on your A to Z journey. You can find me at www.scarletembers.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks for your "PopIn" . Wow...half way through!

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  7. Sounds like you've done fantastically well. I love the idea of being able to make my own clothes. I really need to sit down and get to grips with my sewing machine!

    Cait @ Click's Clan

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    1. After years of making quilts and few clothes, I am getting back to grips with clothes and fashion sewing. So many awesome fashion fabrics.

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  8. You had a solid pattern of parental guidance. Very nice and you've certainly made a lot out of it all.
    Neat pics and stories. I'm late to commenting but back on track next week. Hope you've had a great weekend.

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    1. I did have a lot of parental guidance....as first little piglet I got extra guidance so as to be a good example for the next little piggy's. Thing was, I was a parent and teacher pleaser and hardly ever got in trouble...so when trouble #2 came along they had to start all over. Notice I said hardly ever...they were so busy with #2 through #5 that I got away with _________...you name it.

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  9. Hey Sue, Thanks for the A to Z visit. You thought you were visiting me back, but I'm only first seeing your blog right now. And I'm glad I'm here. What a hoot. I cannot believe you have all this stuff - mimeographs? Patterns? Wow! Your site is fun, when I come up for air I hope to return. (April is a busy month for me without A to Z... :) -- but I want to let you know of another blog that might grab you - it is sewingwords.wordpress.com - a costume designer/writer writing about commonalities between story writing and costuming tasks. Given your quilting background it might be of interest.Keep up the good work! -- Jeri from storytellingmatters.wrodpress.com

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