Thursday, April 1, 2010

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to
Wendy, Lois K, Linda, Cindy, Julia, Christine, Anonymous, Christine, Lois, Julie, Becky, Mary, Karima, Alison, Debbie, Faye, Lori, CarlaF, Shannon, Gabby, Meredith and Summerset for talking back to my confession last week!

I asked how people had learned how to sew. The comments are full of wonderful stories and it's definitely worth reading them directly (
here), but, as usual, I'll do my best to summarize them. :)

One thing that I found interesting was how many different influences each person called out as contributing to her love of and skill in sewing. Only one-third of the commenters (7 out of 21) gave a single answer - such as "My Mom taught me" or "I taught myself" - while the other two-thirds of the commenters (14 out of 21), called out at least two different sources of learning and inspiration in their sewing lives.

Eighteen people talked about having mothers and grandmothers who sewed. Most of these people (14) had very happy memories at learning from these family members, although it didn't work for everyone. Alison, for example, compared it to having your parents teach you how to drive when you are a teenager - my Dad "taught" me how to drive a stick shift, so I can really relate to that example! ;)

Still, most of these family sewing memories were very positive. Linda, for example, is transported back to happy times ironing with her Grandmother, whenever she smells spray starch! :)

The next most frequently called out method was through a Home Economics class offered at a junior high or high school, with 15 mentions. Again, there were a mixture of positive and negative memories. On the less-than-positive side, for example, a couple of women have vivid memories of having to stitch in straight lines along lined paper. That does not sound fun.

But 9 of the 15 people had nothing but happy memories. Karima remembers her lime green linen jumper and Julia still keeps in touch with her highschool home ec teacher - even though she is now sewing for her own grandchildren!

Aside from these two main categories, there were a few "odds and ends" mentioned as well
  • 4 people said that they have learned a lot from short courses, workshops, etc.
  • 2 people talked about sewing in a 4H club
  • 2 people learned from friends
And speaking of friends teaching friends, it was being asked to teach a friend how to sew that gave Cindy the idea to start her own sewing school! ;)

Finally, 12 people explicitly called out something that is actually true for ALL of us - they talked about teaching themselves new sewing skills. Moms and Home Ec classes and friends notwithstanding, every time we open a new pattern and study the instructions, read a review on PatternReview, look up a new technique in a reference book or modify a pattern to change the look or improve the fit - we are most likely teaching ourselves more about sewing. Sewing and learning just go hand in hand. :)

Thanks again to everyone - I love reading your stories and hearing about your lives and the role that sewing plays in them! :)