The CoBloWriMo prompt for today is “Origin Story” and I had to think about this for a little while to see how I wanted to address this topic…
Often enough I get asked when I first learned how to sew, and what was the first thing I made.
I was making costumes out of bubble wrap and newspaper back when I was pre-school. Tape, staples, string… these were the things that tied it all together. I got my first sewing machine around grade three or four. It was a Cabbage Patch Kid Sewing machine. I remember that it didn’t work very well… and my frustration with it led directly to my mother’s machine instead.
With scraps left over from my mom’s sewing projects (mostly Halloween costumes for me) I made doll clothes mostly… not well-made doll clothes though! I did some hand-sewing, and some machine sewing, and when I got to grade 7, I finally got to take “Home Ec”. I put up with half the classes in the cooking section, for the other half in sewing.
I was a bit of a keener there. I blasted through the goofy pillow and the super simple apron… and moved onto more complicated sweatshirts usually reserved for the older students – and then used regular commercial patterns for things like peasant blouses.
In high school I did costuming (and acting, singing…) in school plays, drafted my first patterns (historically inspired costumes!) and with the help of my aunt, made my own graduation gown (a silver hammered satin halter-neck button-up top and a very full black faille skirt).
From there I went to college out of province to take Fashion Design! I learned how to draft patterns, about surface design, dyeing, grading, and other things. When I finished there, I worked for a couture fashion designer in Calgary, and continued my education in communications.