This is my best surviving make is a floral cushion made at secondary school when I was 14 years old. I was so pleased with how it turned out back then. I did go on to study GCSE Textiles and made a bag. A horrible bag. Ugly it was. This I realised far too late to bin the coursework and start over. I watched in envy as one friend made a suit – jacket and matching skirt. ‘What a great idea, why didn’t I think of that?’ I thought. I’ve no idea where the bag is now, binned long ago hopefully.
While at university I became interested in sewing again and bought a pattern to make a shift dress but couldn’t follow it very well and gave up in a huff.
My Dad was a tailor in the Caribbean before arriving in England in the 1960s and I grew up watching him on the sewing machine altering his trousers, sewing a patch on his jeans or replacing a broken zip on one of our cushions. My Mum liked sewing in a small way having attended classes before I came along. Both were pleased when my bursts of interest cropped up and bless them, said little when it fizzled out.
Our sewing machine was a beautiful Singer set in the middle of a wooden table. It looked a look like this one:
When not in use the machine could be flipped over and hidden so the table could be used for other things. It’s still with my parents. My own machine is by Brother and purchased at the Battersea Sewing Machine Centre – I highly recommend making a visit there if you’re looking to buy. They repair machines, sell second hand ones and give helpful advice.
So…why the interest almost ten years on? Not one to jump on the band wagon but watching BBC Two’s Great British Sewing Bee earlier this year reminded me that sewing was a skill I really did want to learn at some point and blogging about my efforts would help me keep on task. So ta-da!