I started sewing on an electric sewing machine in 1939. I was four years old. I have been sewing ever since. I started out making doll clothes, and of course had to learn to make my own patterns–we were poor and lived in a town that didn’t even have a fabric store, even if we had had money to buy patterns.
My sewing was confined to doll clothes until I was about 8, when Mama let me start making clothes for myself. The first dress I made I had to wait until we used up five 50 pound bags of flour, so I could have the flour sacks to make my dress from. I was scared to death.. they wouldn’t have the same fabric each time we went to buy flour, which was every four-six weeks, depending on how much baking mama did. The next year I was old enough to pick berries and get paid for it, so I could actually look in the catalog, pick out some fabric, and order it.
I grew up, got married, and had five kids I sewed for, and I still made a lot of my own clothes, which I continued to do because I hated the styles in the 60s and 70s. Then I went back to sewing just doll clothes, this time for money. When I went to my very first doll show I could see there was a dire need, and I went about filling that need, and have been doing it ever since.
ABOUT FABRIC MARKERS
I have shared this story for a reason — all those early years I sewed, I had to mark fabrics with chalk, and then chalk fabric markers, and so on. Then they invented the Disappearing Ink fabric markers! What a wonderful thing! They are made by various companies in different forms–some are not really disappearing, you turn the pen around and there is a “remover”. This can be time consuming if you have marked darts in 12 bodices, so I prefer the plain disappearing ink ones–although I have learned not to mark the darts ( or other things) until I am actually ready to sew them, because in 24 hours, the marks will pretty much be gone!
These markers are utterly fabulous for marking where you want to sew trim and so on, so you get it all perfect. I hope you will give them a try if you haven’t already, they will make your sewing so much easier! When I do sewing seminars, I always make sure my students go home with their own disappearing ink marker. I hope you find this a helpful hint!
I am always happy to answer your sewing questions. Feel free to use my FAQ section to add one, or to email me for a personal reply! Blessings, JoAnn