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We are honored to welcome our friend Natalie Chanin, whose hand-sewn Alabama Chanin clothing line, DIY kits, and School of Making are lights leading the way to a world we want to see: one in which handmade things are celebrated, valued and, most importantly, used every day. We have been admiring Alabama Chanin—and swooning over the clothes— since the company’s early days. We can think of nothing more satisfying than a few hours or days spent in Natalie’s company, whether virtually—by working on one of her exquisite sewing kits—or in real life, stitching and chatting and eating pimento cheese at the Factory, in Florence, Alabama. As the winners of this contest are about to find out, stitching an Alabama Chanin project evokes the same zen state as knitting, and the finished object is a treasure. 

–Kay and Ann


At Alabama Chanin we have always found that concepts are best understood (and taken to heart), when you can grasp them with your own hands. The very first t-shirt I made was recycled and constructed to fit my body. The business model that still serves us today was created when I couldn’t find anyone to produce the type of garment I wanted. Since its inception, Alabama Chanin has been deeply rooted in the DIY enterprise.

From the very beginning, customers immediately took to the concept of reworking a garment to suit them personally. Before we knew it, our garments and sustainable practices began to stir in others the desire to create.

We began selling the raw materials that we were using to our customers, and we would host small sewing circles and gatherings at Trunk Shows and events here and there. All of this was happening as I was writing our first Studio Book, Alabama Stitch Book. The writing process helped me to crystalize my thoughts on making, open-sourcing, and programming.

As a designer, I am always striving to make the living arts accessible to as many consumers as possible. But the hand-made nature of the pieces in our collections, created by artisans who are paid a fair wage, can make them prohibitively expensive for some. And, against the warnings of many, I felt in my heart that open-sourcing our patterns, methods, and materials was the best way to encourage sustainable practices, promote living arts, and demonstrate what makes our company uniquely dedicated.

My instincts held true, and over the course of these last ten years our Studio Book Series has opened our company up to an entirely new base of consumers. Our DIY programming has been a natural outgrowth of the company. And since that very first book, and those very first sewing circles, we now offer workshops ranging from one-day to weeklong, programming for hosting your own sewing party, as well as programming that allows you to build your own Alabama Chanin wardrobe.

Alongside our DIY division, in the summer of 2013 we launched our machine-made line of basics through our manufacturing facility called Building 14. We found that the machine skills, once so prolific in our community, needed to be honed. So, we re-dedicated ourselves to our own education and The School of Making was born.

Launched in the fall of 2014, The School of Making has helped us to fully embrace our constantly growing and evolving educational programming. And recently, we’ve been working behind the scenes to elevate our offerings and take larger strides to make The School of Making more sustainable.



Last week launched a new chapter as we introduced new packaging that greatly reduces the use of (and need for) plastic in our studio and your homes. This is something we care strongly about since Alabama Chanin and The School of Making strive to be a zero-waste company and leave the smallest environmental footprint possible.


Due to the overwhelming popularity of our last giveaway with Modern Daily Knitting, The School of Making is offering two new DIY kits for two lucky winners—just in time for Mother’s Day. Shown in this post are the Daisy Scarf DIY Kit in Peacock and the Daisy Slim Scarf DIY Kit in White. Both kits are available in 15 tonal colorways and feature our newest Daisy stencil design.

Edited (May 4) to add: This giveaway is now closed. Winners will be announced in our Snippets email on Saturday, May 6. Thanks for playing!

To enter the giveaway drawing:

  1. Sign up for Snippets, MDK’s Saturday morning email newsletter, at the top of the right sidebar on this page;  and

  2. Leave a comment on this post telling us how you first learned to sew.

Entries will close at noon (Eastern) on Thursday, May 4, and MDK will announce the winners in the Snippets email next Saturday. Best of luck!







About The Author

Natalie Chanin is the founder and creative director of Alabama Chanin, a clothing company based in her home town of Florence, Alabama. She has open-sourced the company’s handmade couture in four books, Alabama Stitch Book, Alabama Studio StyleAlabama Studio Sewing + Designand Alabama Studio Sewing PatternsTogether with the School of Making’s collection of DIY kits, these books enable home stitchers to create a stunning, sturdy and sustainable Alabama Chanin wardrobe. At the company’s Factory building in Florence and elsewhere in the world, Natalie leads workshops where she teaches techniques, tells stories and makes people fall in love with hand sewing.  Natalie’s latest book is The Geometry of Hand-Sewing, a breakthrough approach to embroidery stitches that is sure to become a classic.


  • My mother taught me to sew. She was taught by my grandfather who was an upholsterer for cars. He, not my grandmother sewed my mothers and my doll clothes. My mother used to make a lot of my clothes and her own. My grandfather actually helped me reupholstere my first car’s beat up seats to a cool faux fur leopard. I miss them both .

  • Already signed up for Snippets My aunt taught me to sew when I was 14 – French seams and all. It was wonderful and at that time in history it was pretty usual that we made much of our clothes – there were wonderful fabric stores too. Still sewing but more knitting now – thus I am one of many MDK followers!

  • I’ve made several alabama chanin diy kits and treasure my hand stitched garments.

  • My great aunt ( who sewed her own winter coats) taught me to sew.

  • I learned to sew from my mother, making Barbie clothes. I got to use the sewing machine after she was done making my clothes.

  • My Grandmother had a classic old Singer sewing machine at the end of the hall in her big, old farmhouse. This always fascinated me from a very young age. While she never got the opportunity to teach me, my mother did indulge my curiosity after my grandmother’s passing. My mother never took to sewing, but set me up on the porch where I spent an entire summer in trial and error efforts. I can still see the enormous mess I made. You know I’m a AC fan, thanks for this lovely article.

  • I learned to sew making puppets by hand to stage plays and stories my brother and I made up to entertain family and neighbors one summer loooooong ago. The fairy godmother made of yellow jersey velour taught me the lesson about adequate seam allowances…

  • My mom taught me to sew, starting with sewing buttons onto dish towels. Then she taught me embroidery stitches, again on dish towels. I always wanted to sew because she was always sewing, making a lot of my clothes. I was soon sewing on the sewing machine myself, making dolls and clothes for the dolls and then clothing for myself.

  • I have wonderful memories of my mother teaching me to sew then knit. I started with doll clothes and moved on to making my off-to-college things. My mom was very frugal yet I always felt in style.

  • Sewing clothes for my Barbie at about 9 and making clothes for my ‘wishnik’ (yep, I’m that old) when I was about 7. My mother taught me the basics, as she made all my clothes until I was in high school.

  • I learned to sew in school, with added input from relatives and a skilled friend. In my early 20s I made much of my clothes myself but I’ve been too busy doing other things for a long time now. Knitting became my handicraft instead. I hope to ge back to more textile work of all kinds as my life slows down a little.

  • I learned to sew in school, in Home Ec, making a pair of bell bottom pants for my final project in an unfortunately chosen bicycle print. I never wore them but learned a lot. I have the AC books but have yet to dive in to making anything from them as of yet.

  • I am already a Snippets follower. My mom taught me to sew and knit and cook. My first memories of using the sewing machine was without any thread and learning to stay on the lines by following the lines of notebook paper. One of my aunts was also instrumental in teaching me to sew. Daisies are my favorite flower. This contest is definitely calling my name.

  • I am already signed up for snippets. I learned from my mother who sewed many of my clothes when I was younger (and made Halloween costumes for me and my 2 brothers). I loved having the ability to create my own clothes expanding my wardrobe despite my family’s modest means. My favorite piece was made with mom’s encouragement as I tackled a very complicated Vogue pattern to make my prom gown.

  • I learned to sew from my mother, and was using her sewing machine by age 8 or 9. As a teenager and young adult I made all my clothes, but drifted away from sewing in later years. But I’m back to sewing with renewed enthusiasm! I recently discovered the utter joy of making doll clothes using couture techniques learned eons ago and have been having a wonderful time searching out vintage fabrics and trims and sewing tiny garments by hand.

  • My mother taught me to sew when I was very young. Both my grandmother and grandfather ( a trailer) sewed. I havealays followed and admired Alabama Channing.

  • My mother taught my sister and I to sew. And crochet. And knit!

  • My first sewing experience was in Home Economics class, maybe in the 7th grade. I couldn’t get enough of it, and progressed to Saturday morning classes at the local Singer store. It’s been years since I sewed my own clothing with any regularity, but the machine calls to me every now and then.

  • My mother taught me. She was taught by her grandmother, who was a professional seamstress.

  • I learned from my mom. She was always sewing when I was little – garments for the whole family and home goods from napkins to recovering cushions. Later in life she did a lot more quilting and I moved onto knitting… I have so many memories of going to the fabric store to pick out a pattern, fabric, & notions and then spending the rest of the weekend sewing.

  • I learned in home ec class in junior high! We made wrap-around skirts. Then I took off making my own hippy dresses with square, 70’s elastic necklines…
    They are back in style with my 15-year-old daughter!

  • I learned to sew in jr high home ec class. The first time I used the sewing machine for real (and not on test sheets of paper) was when I sewed in the darts for my skirt.

  • I, too, learned to sew from my mother. At first, it was hand sewing and simple running stitch embroidery. By the time I was 10, it was detailed doll clothes on the sewing machine. The doll outfit I was most proud of was a pink gingham shirtwaist dress with a pin tucked, lace trimmed, peter pan collared bodice. There was also a navy blue, pink gingham lined swing coat to match. And the outfit was for my 11 inch fashion doll. I would love to have one of these lovely kits.

  • Although I am new to Alabama Chanin it sounds so intriguing to me. I would love to learn more.

  • I already subscribe to Snippets. I took Home Ec in junior high where I made a skirt that was too small and a top that was too big. One summer, a friend and I took a class at the Singer sewing machine store and I made an orange jumper that fell apart the first time it was washed. Completely discouraged and without access to a sewing machine to practice on, I didn’t think about sewing until after our first daughter was born. My husband’s grandmother gave me an old machine that sewed forward and backward – no zig-zag – and I learned on it. I got a fancier machine with seven stitches after our second daughter was born, and I made lots of our clothes as the girls grew up. Now that I have three grandchildren and am planning to retire soon, I am ready to dust off the machine and start sewing again.

  • I learned to sew standing at my momma”s knees…and my grandmother’s. Honed those skills later in a home ec class (remember those?). My current favorite garment is the Alabama Chanin skirt I made as a practice piece before beginning the AC Craftsy jacket (which I continue to work on). Thank you for your generosity in sharing your vision and your skills, Natalie!

  • I love to sew and have taught me kids the basics. I learned in home ec during junior high, and so much of it has stayed with me even after all these years. Thank you for the opportunity!

  • I actually learned to sew in middle school as we had to sew an apron as a project. With guidance, I did a great job. Thanks for the chance to win this. It truly is a great design.

  • I am a 74 year old want a be. I began seeing in first grade. I love sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crocheting. I just recently retired from my job at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore,Maryland. My new desire is to be involved in some of the above mentioned skills. Please consider me in this wonderful contest.

  • I first learned to sew after reading one of the Little House books where Laura and Mary are making nine patch quilt squares. I can’t say I’m great, but I love making.

  • my mother taught me to sew when i was a child. she made so many cool 60s and 70s-era clothes for me, back in the olden days. i haven’t sewed much since then, but natalie chanin’s work inspires me to try again.

  • I learned to sew in 4H. My Mom was always there to help me as well but 4H was and is a great way for kids to learn all kinds of things in an organized way from a kindly expert, and in the presence of other kids.

  • I learned sewing from my mom who was a tailor, I remember sitting at her feet beneath the mechanically pedalled sewing Singer machine as a kid ( I still have the machine!). She always kept the needles Between her lips when doing seems, it frightened me! And I remembered the sound of the machine….

  • I have a vague memory of my Dad showing me how to sew on a button in elementary school. However, it was my Mom that showed me the ways of the sewing machine and using patterns. She was so proud when I sewed in my first zipper!

  • I feel like I always knew how to sew in some form. My mother made most do her clothes-sewing is something that just happened in our house. Formal sewing lessons probably began when I was nine. My mother and Aunt taught me.

  • I Remember learning to sew at school, aged about six. Hand sewing on loosely woven hessian. I enjoyed the making, and was encouraged when my grandmother gave me an embroidery handbook that Christmas and a beautiful box of embroidery thread. I put the sewing away for many years, but now it’s back with a passion 🙂

  • My grandparents worked at a dry cleaners and did laundry and garment repair for the military personnel in our area. We have one of the largest naval installations in the world very close by. I used to sit at their feet and play with the fabric scraps that they dropped. I also loved to play with their button can. I learned to sew, more or less, by watching them.

  • My mother taught me how to sew some of it was actual instruction, and some of it was giving me free reign to piece together bits of scraps into pillows and anything else my imagination could supply. As I got older, we also talked about reading a pattern, laying out the pattern efficiently and adding our own modifications. Her confidence gave me confidence.

  • My mother taught me to sew. I was seven years old. She had taught herself, and made us both the most beautiful couturier dresses for years. Once my own children came along I sewed for them, but then life got busy and for 25 years I put it aside. About a year ago, I got out my sewing machine. I was afraid I had forgotten how to use it, but it all came back to me, and I have been so happy to be making my clothes again. I think of my mom whenever I am at the machine, and I am so grateful to her for giving me this skill.

  • I can’t remember not sewing. Both of my grandmothers always had a needlepoint project going. I started with cross stitch but also “helped” when my mom made my clithes on a machine from the time I was 5 or so. Ih, to have a ” sewing room” again!

  • Classic eighth grade home ec class. Though, as a young child, my grandmother had scraps of satin that I attempted to make Barbie clothes from. I’ve tried a piece to quilt, as well. But none of it has brought me joy, yet. Still hoping.

  • I took group sewing lessons from a nun, Sister DeCarmel, at a convent when I was about ten years old. I learned the basics, but wish I had learned more. She was so patient and created such a wonderful environment in the classroom. Sewing was like meditation with her.

  • I have already signed up for snippets and enjoy reading it. My grandmother taught me to sew on a treadle machine. She had a small tourist home in Florida where they raised chickens and tended a garden. We would go to the hardware store and I could pick out the feed sack pattern that I liked to sew a skirt or an apron. The cloth feed sacks came free with the chicken feed. Today that fabric is difficult to find and is sometimes available from vendors at a quilt show. I have all four Alabama Chanin books and am currently working on the swing skirt in reverse applique. I love her designs and clothing line.✂️

  • I first learned to sew from my grandmother. I was doing some sort of crewel embroidery art project in elementary school and she showed me how to do a blind hem. So well that people didn’t think I did it! Before that she had bought checked gingham and floss and had me do “cross stitch”. My maker roots run deep!

  • My mom taught me how to sew when I was seven. I came home from my last day of 2nd grade and announced that I wanted to make a dress, so she taught me how to do it by hand. She never learned how to use a sewing machine, so she does everything by hand.

  • Already enjoying Snippets!

    As with many, my mother taught me to sew. I made most of my clothes in high school. My skill level has never reached hers. Her topstitching was so perfect!

    I admire Natalie Cganin for the clothes she creates and how she works.

    • Urghh… “Chanin”

  • I learned to sew in 4H and from my mom, but I’ve never been very good at it. Everything I make turns out a little wonky!

  • My mother would sew dresses for my sister and me when we were small. However, I don’t remember learning to sew until Home Economics class in 7th grade. I was 11. Our Home Ec teacher was also our gym teacher. (It was a small Catholic school, so they had an equally small budget.) Hand sewing letter pillows was the first project I remember. I think I made the letters in my name. Thank you for joggling that little memory! I haven’t thought of that in years!

  • I learned to sew at Girl Scouts and the YWCA

  • My mother taught me to sew when I was about 9. I started with clothes- I would see the straight seams and she would see the others. Until I was about 10 a whole dress without help.

  • I remember learning to sew by making a little sock doll in school. That’s how I learned about seam allowances, and the importance of making small, even stitches. I still only sew by hand, so I have a deep appreciation for what you create at Alabama Chanin. These scarves are so gorgeous!

  • I learned to sew in home ec class in middle school. We actually had a test on how to thread a machine. I got my own machine 15 years ago. As an Alabama native, I need this kit! Thanks for the giveaway

  • My mother and sisters were sewing and I was like “NO WAY! I am a modern woman” (oh the arrogance of youth). But once I had a daughter, I wanted to make her something she would keep and would know I made it out of love for her. So I learned to quilt at 37 and have never looked back. I love every aspect – reading the pattern, cutting, sewing and most of all, BINDING. Because it’s the only time I really sit still and it re-centers my heart and mind.

  • What a wonderful give away! I first learned to see/embroider from my Great Aunt Leona, then from my dear mom.

  • My mother taught me to sew when i was six. I made clothes for my Barbie.

  • My mother taught me to sew when I was about 10’years old. My first project was to use her Singer sewing machine to reattach the elastic on my underpants. She then taught me to make clothing for my dolls using both hand and machine sewing techniques. A few years later the mother of a few Girl Scout member decided we all needed to learn how to do what she called fine hand sewing. She taught us to embroider, how to hem a garment by hand and how to darn a sock. My latest project was completed yesterday. It is a Jedi robe for my 21 week old grandson. He was born on a Thursday. Every Thursday his parents take a photo of him with a small sign stating his age in weeks. This week he will wear his Jedi robe while holding a miniature light saber. Afterall, this Thursday is the annual day of May the Fourth Be With You.

  • I learned how to sew in 7th grade home economics from Mrs. Snyder. My son thinks I’m a hero because I was able to stuff and mend his panda pillow! This would be an Olympic challenge in comparison to the things I’ve seen in the past but it looks like so much fun!

  • Already a Snippets follower! My Mom taught me to sew (and embroider and knit) first by hand and later machine sewing.

  • My mother taught me to sew, starting when I was about 8 years old.

  • Natalie. Love what you’re doing! I’m currently handstitching the seams on my Maggie A-line.

  • My dad, former Air Force, taught me to sew when I was a little girl making little dolls out of rags!

  • I’ve been subscribed to Snippets since the get go! I learned to sew one summer, when I was about 12. Took back-to-back sewing classes at my hometown Singer sewing machine store, and made a long red dress with lace trim in the first class and a pair of overallsin the second. I embroidered a seashell on the front pocket. The overalls won Grand Champion at the county fair!! The dress won a ribbon, too!

  • I learnt to sew as a young child, borrowing books from the library and experimenting with my mother and grandmother’s craft materials but I only started making my clothes when my mother and I started disagreeing vehemently on clothes shopping trips and she very wisely gave me a monthly clothing allowance. I rapidly worked out that making my own clothes was a much more fun, creative and cost effective option. My grandmother, who made most of her clothes and those of her family all her life on her original singer (later fitted with a motor) bought me my first machine for my 21st birthday. My 10 year old daughter now uses it next to me whilst I sew on my new machine. So began my love affair with sewing and 35 years later I am still sewing enthusiastically and continue to learn. I love the Alabama Chanin style and find it very inspiring. I have introduced her to my sewing teacher and my sewing friends.

  • Like many others, my mom taught me to sew on her old Singer machine. I would love to win one of these fine prizes.

  • My mom sewed many of my clothes when I was little, but she was nervous to teach me, so when I was 10 I got sent to sewing camp. Lots of scrunchies and quilting-cotton elastic-waist shorts later, I came away competent and confident enough that we could collaborate on more elaborate projects down the line. I stopped sewing for about 15 years, but once I got back to it, I found that those lessons had stuck!

  • I’m learning now – my mother’s a wonderful seamstress and is passing her knowledge along.

  • I learned to knit when I was about 8, and to sew when I was 10. I soon was making many of my own clothes and I was fearless — lined jackets and pants, a funky jacket made from heavy terry cloth, my very own customized Calvin Klein jeans (yes, you could get a pattern!) rendered in teal blue and customized for my long legs. I miss making my own clothes.

  • Learned to sew making Barbie clothes out of scraps. Official sewing classes in school home ec classes.

  • I learned to sew as a child to make outfits for my “glamour gals.” These dolls were about 3.5-4 inches high and they needed a bigger variety of clothes to lounge about their Lincoln Log homes in style. Teeny, tiny pieces of fabric, I think some of the things (pants, I even made them pants) were more thread in the end then fabric. I had a blast! Oh how my fingers are crossed on this one!!

  • I learned to sew in Girl Scouts with my mom’s help. At the time it was very frustrating for me in my early teens. In my early 20’s I was pregnant with my first child and I loved the quilts my grandma made which inspired me to make one for my child. I have been hooked on sewing ever since. I find it relaxing and very enjoyable to create something of my own.

  • I started sewing with a friend when we wanted to look like hippies, not an easy task in small town Maine in the sixties. We bought cheap unbleached muslin and sewed it into dishikies (sic) and long fringed skirts that we tie dyed with Ritt. We also creatively mended and amended .existing clothes.

    We were the talk of the town, which we loved.

    So, basically self taught with some sewing machine use hints from my mother.

  • My mother taught me and my sister to sew and knit and embroider — lots of things. I still remember using a tracing wheel to mark my patterns onto the fabric. Long long ago!

  • I learned to sew from a 4H volunteer when I was about 9. I toted my mother’s old straight-stitch only Singer sewing machine that I still have to every lesson and just fell in love with making. I have been making things ever since.

  • I read the Chanin sewing book recently and am very intrigued and inspired. Would love to make my own scarf. Thank you for the giveaway!

  • My great grandmother Josephine Cotton Cook was the first person in my family to have the patience to allow me to watch her sew, as she was making me a blue and white, lined, gingham jumpsuit, all the while telling me about the importance of ironing and straight seams. She sewed for five daughters and was a sought after milliner. When she was older, she traveled by train from daughter to daughter sporting her hand made luggage, with hatbox, of course. I have told my children this is my plan for my future.
    I was not fortunate enough to spend much time with her growing up, but her but her example deeply impressed me well into my future. I took up sewing as a teen and have been deleriously making ever since.

  • I can’t recall not sewing. My grandmother’s brother and wife had a ‘schmata’ business in their basement, sewing aprons and housedresses (Philadelphia 1950’s). As a young child, I would be there as much as possible gathering scraps and threads. My aunt took notice and taught me to thread a needle – magical than and magical today, and to sew the fabric into doll clothes.
    My mom taught me to sew with patterns and a sewing machine and while I love it and continue to sew that way, my heart still belongs to hand sewing as I was first taught.

    I am already signed up for snippets.

  • Long-time Snippets subscriber. I decided not to take home ec in high school, but did want to learn to sew. With a friend, went to the Singer sewing classes at their store downtown. (Her mother was a great seamstress, but thought her daughter should learn the Right Way, not her shortcuts.) I made a dress with princess seams, fitted to me. Looked great, but since I was still growing, didn’t fit me long. Other items had a longer life–my sister recently wore one of my creations from that era, an empire-waisted dress made from an Indian bedspread, to a museum opening of a “Hippie Chic” exhibition.

  • Like most of the commenters, I learned to sew from my mother. I’m so grateful to her for that. I have a mile-long independent streak, so when I think back on what motivates me to sew, it is almost always the desire to make something that I am dreaming of but can’t find in stores (or can’t afford). It has given me the satisfaction of being able to say, “Oh, I can make that myself!”

  • My mother tried to teach me to sew. I was an impatient learner. I wanted the new clothes more than I wanted to learn the process. So it wasn’t until years later that I got serious about paying close attention and slowing down. I am in awe of the Alabama Chain process and products. Really good thinking behind all your efforts. The designs, your books, your clothing and the philosophy you described in this article are amazing.

  • I first learned to sew with my mom, she had a black and gold little Singer sewing machine. I think I was about 6. Also she showed me basic needle skills like hem stitch and embroidery stitches. I’ve been sewing my whole life but my machine skills are poor compared to hand stitching and knitting. I love any kind of fiber work, both viewing it and doing it!

  • I learned to sew as a child from my mother. By the time I was in HS, I was making most of my wardrobe! Sadly, I gradually let that go by the wayside. The last things I made for myself were maternity clothes back in the 80s. I did however maintain ‘Mad Halloween Costume Skills’! My creative juices have begun to stir lately and I’m becoming inspired again!

  • I learned to sew in high school. My Mom used to make all my clothes. (I was so ashamed–and foolish). I remember making halter tops. Again-foolish. I already receive snippets. Not foolish.

  • mom taught me how to sew. She sewed our clothes when we were little. My first bad dream was her measuring me which involved sticking pins into me.

  • I adore everything AC – have a few projects on the go. I learned to sew here and there and I suppose as a child from my mother.

  • I, too, like many others learned to sew from my mother. Growing up in a large family, my mother made our clothes and my most favorites were the Easter outfits. Each girl (there are four) had matching coats, hats and gloves. She would love that I continue her legacy by sewing and knitting. Each time I sit in front of my sewing machine I think of her and wonder if she watching me from above. I hope so!

  • I learned to sew in junior high school. At that time, it was a required class.

  • Home Ec was the first time I put my foot to the pedal of a sewing machine, but my real lessons happened in Florence, Alabama with a very patient friend (shout out to Rachel!). She made it all look easy, but it was a humbling experience for me!

  • Already a Snippets subscriber. 🙂 My great grandmother taught me to hand-sew and embroider when I was 5 (and I promptly sewed my sampler to my best Sunday skirt as I stitched it in my lap. . . ). I quickly launched into my first fruitful career as Barbie-doll-sewist-extraordinaire — all by hand, because I didn’t get to touch a sewing machine until I was in 6th grade. I am an absolute fanatic for all things Alabama Chanin, and I totally blame my great grandmother! XO

  • I first learned to make clothes for my dolls, from my mother and grandmother. In highschool, I took home economics and learned to make clothes for myself.

  • I learned to sew from a neighbor. All the kids hung out at her house where her sewing machine had pride of place in her kitchen. I was so envious of the clothes she made for her daughters so I was thrilled when she offered to teach me along with her oldest daughter (my best friend).

  • A friend taught me to sew a few years ago

  • I was born and grew up in Holland, in a Catholic family, and all of us went to Catholic schools. Needle work class one afternoon a week, where we learned to knit, crochet, embroider and sew. The nun who taught this was a kind lady, and often helped the pupils with finishing their projects. We learned to sew by making a night shirt for ourselves. I remember the fabric very well: yellow flannelette with yellow roses all over. The whole thing was sewn by hand: French seams, cuffs with lacy frills, stand up collar, also frilled, placket, buttonholes…I loved needle work class but even I got thoroughly fed up with that nightie and when it was finished (with help) after what seemed like years, I didn’t want to wear it. Needless to say I did no sewing for many years (only crochet and knitting), and only took it up again when my daughter was born (in the UK) and I started making clothes for her. I learned as I went along, and remembered the lessons that Sister Hyacintha had taught, and her patience and gentleness. I also sewed clothes for myself. It became harder to find fabrics, shops closed due to the competition of cheap clothing that came in from abroad. Sewing your own clothes became too expensive. I am so glad to see that the tide has turned and that making clothes, knitting and crochet are popular again. I would like to start sewing again, and am looking around for a good project that will get me going again. I am seriously getting into sustainable, ethical clothing and am glad to see this post on MDK – will definitely have a good look at Alabama’s website. It’s great to find out about enterprises like that- thank you for bringing it to my attention 🙂

  • I am signed up for snippets, and I enjoy that newsletter a great deal. My daughters and I are very interested in making our own clothes. My daughter buys handmade leather shoes in a factory outlet store for Auburn shoe store and I am planning a trip there, too. …. I like Cal Patch’s look and Jill draper always looks very stylish in her handmade clothing. It is time to fight back against the “more is better “and have less clothes, but clothing that is hand crafted and made well. What better than when you make it yourself?

    • I see I was supposed to say how I learned to sew…. I have never used a machine, I sew by hand and I learned when a teenage how to modify clothes. I taught myself embroidery so that I could decorate my modified shirts and pants. I hope that counts. Some people think you can’t sew if you don’t use a machine. My husband has sewn leather and I think that sewing of any kind is a skill. Many people today can’t even sew a seam.

  • I am already signed up for the newsletter. I learned sewing from Mom and my Home Ec teacher. My first projects were a gathered skirt and an apron. I made my junior and senior prom dresses. Current sewing is mostly stitching bindings on quilts for Lutheran World Relief. I would so love to complete a Chanin project.

  • My mother taught both my sister and me to sew when we little girls. Starting with small, simple things, we took to it quickly and ran with it on our own. I still have a couple of my early efforts-such fun to come across from time to time.

  • I first learned to sew in high school home economics class (a disaster), but I honed my skills and learned to love sewing when I made a quilt for my first baby. Shortly after that we had matching outfits, and I was hooked! I went on to minor in textiles in college. I now spend my free time sewing and knitting. I love to do handwork!

  • Oh what a dream come true. Thank you all for such inspiration and creativity.

  • My grandma taught me to sew, and bought me my first sewing machine when I was 9, which I am still using 15 years later 🙂

  • Although my mother and grandmother both taught me to sew and knit from the age of five, it was my second grade art teacher, Mrs Hood, that sparked my lifelong love of fibers when we created a 4′ x 6′ embroidered panel of the animal kingdom. Learning different stiches and all the beautiful colors led to many trips to the five and dime holding my fifty cent allowance in hand choosing colored floss from the DMC display.

  • I learned to sew in Home Ec, although I had hand sewed a bit before that – mostly little clothes for my troll dolls. I just this winter pulled out my sewing machine again, I’m hoping to develop my skills and join the Slow Fashion movement. Although ‘fashion’ is used pretty loosely where I’m concerned….

  • Mrs Hanson was the stern and sour home ec. teacher I had in 7th grade. She had us all make the same thing (there were no boys in the class). The pattern was for an unattractive pullover, sleeveless blouse. She embarrassed me in class by announcing that my my pins were like crow bars and I was in too much of a hurry. Both were true. After that I cranked out A-line skirts almost weekly. The zippers were a challenge but I thought the skirts were perfect for school. Just the right thing to wear with my weejuns and tights. I just made a dress for my daughter’s wedding and I could still hear her voice in my head. “Do clean sewing, trim as you go.” Thanks Mrs. Hanson.

  • I learned to sew with my grandmother, who made us scrap quilts with all the leftovers from my mother’s sewing. My mother was my biggest inspiration in sewing. She made all my clothes for many years.

  • My first sewn garment was a simple a-line skirt made in home economics class. I still remember the blue, flowered cotton purchased from Julia Maney’s dry goods store. It closed many years ago, but I still have a thread box from the store and sew many of my own clothes. Perfect start for Me Made May!

  • Sorry, didn’t answer the question in my comment. My mother taught me to sew on our treadle machine when I was ten. Again, many thanks to all of you!

  • I learned to sew in 7th grade home ec. The first thing we made was slippers made from 2 washcloths. (Who did they fit?!) We moved on to an apron and then an A-line skirt from a pattern. I felt like a magician!!

  • I taught myself how to sew after my grandma passed and left me her sewing machine. I regret not sewing with her but we lived too far away. I did inherit some of her UFOs, I may finally be able to complete them soon!

  • My mother taught me to sew- I can’t remember my first project. My memory is of always knowing how! I took to hand stitching, she does beautiful work with a machine, so when we lived closer we made a good team. My grandmother came to the US from Italy at age 13 and was not allowed to go to school because the family needed her to work. She sewed in the shirt factory until she married. Any special garment with buttons went to her to finish because she made the most beautiful hand-stitched buttonholes. I think of her and all the opportunities I’ve had when I sew.

  • I first learned how to sew when I was 13 years old. Friends and I took a week long course one summer at the Singer store at the mall. I spent the week making a sundress and drinking vanilla cokes at Brigham’s during our lunch breaks.

  • My grandmother was a master seamstress, and her genetic material seems to have come straight down to me. As soon as I could hold a needle I was sewing and embroidering, for my dolls at first, and later for myself. Today I still do creative things with my hands, both during my free time and also at work with my students. And I think of my grandmother, long deceased, every day, too.

  • My (Alabaman) grandmother taught me to sew. She was a consummate craftswoman … could make anything. From hats to couture level garments, all of it was beautiful and distinctive to her unique way with color. I spent weekends with her and every one of them involved making.

  • Both of my grandmothers taught me to sew. But my mother’s mother taught me the most. My mother never sewed but I sewed for her. My grandmother was magic — she could look at a picture and make that same dress from scratch!

  • Every summer from the time I was 7 until I was 14, I spent with my grandparents and aunts and uncles in the Midwest. My maternal grandmother taught me how to sew doll clothes, my paternal grandmother taught me to embroider, and my both my aunts are spinners, knitters and dyers. Later, my mom taught me to use a sewing machine. All these women showed me that any craft was possible with patience and imagination.

  • Yes please. While my mother sewed clothes for herself and for us when we were young and taught a neighbor to sew*, she did not teach me (except for how to sew on a button). I learned to sew in Home Ec!

    *In return, the neighbor taught my mom to knit… and Mom taught me!

  • I already enjoy Snippets. My Mom taught me sewing (and cooking and knitting) and I believe she was largely self taught. By the time home ec came around there wasn’t much to learn except having four girls working together to bake muffins only increased the likelihood that a mistake would be made. Also learned that not all sewing machines are created equal. It was almost impossible to sew a straight seam in class. I also became a champion seam ripper for my mom. She favored sewing with tiny stitches and I now appreciate how younger eyes would make that job easier. I also remember the day she got a new sewing machine that actually stitched backwards and it even had a zigzag stitch.

  • My mother taught me to sew, cross stich & needlepoint when I was a preteen; I was in my 40s when she taught me to knit. I also took a “clothing” class (versus “cooking” class) at my all-girls high school that was taught by Lithuanian nuns (also my nationality) where I made a bright yellow shorts “onesie” – I wasn’t very good at making clothes and was informally named the “ripper queen” by my classmates. I fondly remember going to fabric stores with my mom & paging through the pattern books for prom dresses & other outfits (she even made my dad & brothers leisure suits in the ’70s!). I loved the McCall’s and Simplicity models on the pattern envelopes with neatly folded beige tissue paper inside. An Alabama Chanin sewing kit would be a great Mother’s Day gift!

  • Hmmm. I am already signed up for Snippets. Do I need to sign up again? What a wonderful giveaway!

  • Hi! Alabama Chanin I adore you! I learned to see in my middle school home ec class and it was my favorite thing ever! I made teddy bears and sweatpants in that first class 🙂 But I truly loved the art of seeing long before that <3

  • I first learned to hand sew when I was five, sitting on the flagstone porch at my Nanny’s house. She started me on gingham cloth so my stitches would be even. In fourth grade I started using a sewing machine, being mentored by my best friend’s father who was a physician by trade but also an accomplished chef, opera singer, & pianist. But most impressive of all were the beautiful fine outfits, dresses and jackets he could see. He inspired and motivated me.

  • Learned to sew 50 years ago taught by my mother who was a wonderful seamstress

  • I learned to sew in shop class in middle school, but it really stuck when my grandmother helped me continue, with patience and her treadle machine. I’m looking forward to trying Alabama Chanin ideas and methods.

  • I was taught to sea by my mother and my first project was an apron. I still use it!

  • I learned to sew from my Mom who sewed all our clothes. when Mom ran out of children to sew clothes for she started working on quilts.
    my kids are grown now and I have run out of children to sew for but everyone needs a warm quilt to cuddle in ; )

  • I learned to sew with my Granny. She made rag dolls and occasionally sold them. She would let me help her stitch them and embroider the faces.

  • HUGE Natalie fan! Visited Florence last year and had the pimento cheese and purchased a few DIY kits. Working on my sustainable fashion thesis. I learned to sew with my Grandma, by making doll clothes. The sewing continued with spending more time making clothes than taking care of homework. 🙂 Studied textiles at the University of Kentucky, where I continued to make clothes, this time for homework!

  • My mom taught me to sew. I loved going to the fabric store and day dreaming my way through the pattern books. The endless possibilities!!!!

  • I learned to sew in my 8th grade home ec class.

  • One of my earliest memories is sitting on my grandmother Helen’s lap as she taught me to sew on a button. I treasure that memory as she passed before I was fully grown. I would love to win! Thank you for the opportunity!

  • I’m already subscribed. I learned to sew on an old Singer treadle machine in the basement of my childhood home. I don’t remember anybody teaching me–my sisters and I just goofed around with it until we got it going. Not too hard to do with a treadle machine. You couldn’t get going too fast before the treadle slipped off and you had to reach down and put it back on again. I have to admit, I was thrilled when my parents bought an electric machine, but I wish I had that old treadle today!

  • I learned to sew in 4H. My mom didn’t really sew but she always encouraged my interest–got a sewing machine when I begged for one, found a place for me to learn, and let me stay up late finishing outfits for the next day.

  • I learned to sew in home economics class – everyone in our small town sewed, but not my mother who had grown up in home made clothes and wanted nothing to do with them as an adult. I don’t regularly sew but Natalie Chanin makes me want to!

  • I’m still very much in the process of learning to sew. I originally learned back in junior high during Home Ec class. I found I really enjoyed it but fought too much with the sewing machine at home. I’m starting to get more into it with basic exercises and beginner projects.

  • I am already a Snippets subscriber. My Mother taught me to sew and I remember practicing my hand sewing by attaching Boy Scout Merit Badges to my brothers uniforms!

  • I first learned to sew by picking up a needle and thread and stabbing a piece of fabric half to death. 🙂 I’m largely self-taught and still not very good at it, but I give it a go now and then!

    My mom taught me to cross-stitch and embroider, and I love them, so I’m rather good at decorative sewing.

  • I remember using my grandmother’s Singer to make a Barbie skirt when I was quite young. My grandmother also taught me hand sewing, embroidery and knitting.

  • My grandmothers both taught me to sew back in third grade. I made dolls out of my grandmothers’ clothes pins. It was the same time that I learned to crochet.

  • Heartening to see my own story replicated in many comments! My mother taught me to sew, both on a machine and by hand. She was taught by her mother, who worked in a garment factory back when places like Mississippi still had those. Very grateful to Natalie Chanin for re-starting the industry in Alabama and for open-sourcing her products as inspiration to others.

  • I first learned to sew when I was very young from my grandmother. She worked in the Hickey Freeman factory producing men’s suits and she could sew anything!

  • My mother was an amazing sewist and made most of our clothes (which I didn’t appreciate at the time). However, I always loved working with my hands and after watching her sew for so many years I asked her to teach me to sew. I was probably about 8 or 9 and she helped me sew my first project which was an apron. Not a simple square apron but a curved one with a ruffle. Although I knit more than I sew now, every year I get an urge to sew and will crank out a few things.

  • I first learned to sew on my Mom’s gorgeous old Singer sewing machine. It was a project for a Brownie’s badge and I remember feeling utterly confused at how to thread the machine despite my Mom’s patient teachings. I never suspected that I would grow up to love sewing and knitting. Now I love to make things that I give to my Mom in thanks for the many things she has taught me, by rote and example.

  • I learned to sew in college. I took adult education sewing classes that coincidentally happened to be held at my high school! I’ve stepped in & out of sewing since then, as available time & other obligations have come & gone, but I’ve never stopped knitting since I learned to do that 16 years ago.

    My mom knitted & sewed long before I came along, but I’ve never seen her do either since I came along.

  • My great aunt was a seamstress, and she taught me on a foot-treadle machine so I wouldn’t sew through my thumb (apparently a huge fear of hers).

  • My grandmother taught me how to sew while she baby sat me as a child. My first project was a pillow and blanket set for my doll.

  • My father’s mother taught me to sew and gave me her treadle Singer. At age 4 I was hand-sewing doll clothes thanks to my mother who hated to sew and encouraged me to do my own.

  • I first learned how to sew in home-ec classes in junior high. I learned so many useful daily life skills in home-ec. It’s a shame it is no longer taught in our public schools.

  • My Grandma taught me to sew when I was in grade school. She was any excellent seamstress. Thanks for the great give a way would love to win.

  • The Chanin way is just the greatest! I’m a fan from way back! The elegant yet sophisticated juxtaposition makes me all swoony inside. I leaned to sew as a very young child. My mom was a single parent for a while, and I stayed with my great grandmother who lived just up the street after school instead of heading home to an empty house. And when you stay with Mammy, you learned to do what she was doing: Sewing, knitting, tatting, crocheting, cooking, and the fine art of enjoying a trashy soap opera. The Alabama Chanin style reminds me of those super simple stitches, but with souped up elegance. Can you tell I’m a huge fan???

  • One Christmas when I was little my mother gave me a doll with a wardrobe made by a friend who was a professional seamstress. Beautifully made from leftover scraps from client’s dresses I saw not only what she could do, but what I might try for my other dolls. That is when I started with my mother’s sewing scraps and needle and thread. By about age 12 my mother bought me my very own sewing machine and I took my first classes at the Singer store in the local shopping center.

  • I learned to sew from my mother and to knit from our left handed neighbor (I am a leftie, Sunny also had to teach me how to tie my shoelaces).

  • My mother taught me to sew when I was a teenager. I vividly recall sewing together a sleeveless dress for myself and having my mother have to fix the twisted strap. I’ve never been good at following directions, although that has never stopped me from doing whatever craft I wanted!

  • My mother taught me to sew when I was a child, and I made myself all sorts of clothes when I was in high school. Once I learned how to knit though, sewing mostly fell by the wayside.

  • I learned to sew in home economics class but grew up watching my mother make clothes. Now that my children are all older I’d love to start making my own clothes again.

  • I officially began learning to sew in junior high Home Economics class with Mrs. Council. I know that I had made many attempts on my own prior to that.

  • My mother taught my blanket stitch, which is still my favorite embellishment in a contrast thread.

  • Already subscribe to Snippets. First time seeing was Middle school home ec class like many others. We made down vests and stuffed them with feathers! Very cool. Then took a quilt making class where I discovered that choosing fabrics/colors to complement each other is as tricky as sewing! Love Alabama Chanins beautiful monochromatic textured scarf design!

  • Already signed up for Snippets. I learned how to sew from my Aunt Harriet, at about 6 or 7. My mom is domestically challenged. By the time I was 10 or 11, I was sewing clothing with very little assistance from her. Then, on to Home Ec, where they acted like I had never seen a sewing machine before. Hahaha… I bought a sewing machine of my own when I a teenager and haven’t looked back.

  • LIke so many others, my mom. She was an amazing seamstress who could sew lingerie to men’s suit coats to sofa slip covers. I drool over Alabama Chanin’s beautiful clothing; currently working on a coat. I have to admit that I enjoy stitching as much as knitting.

  • All of my aunts and uncles were tailors and seamstresses from Ireland, so I don’t have a memory of the 1st thing I made. It feels like I always knew the feel of fabric, how to cut and put things together, to fit it, to decorate it. And in my 64th year, “making” is what I do each day.

  • My mother first taught me to sew, then, because the school I went to didn’t offer Home Economics classes, I took a class after school. When my son was little, I made lots of his clothes, until it became “Not Cool” to wear such things. I don’t sew very much anymore. Winning this contest would most definitely get me back to sitting at my sewing machine and making myself lovely things. Thank you for the opportunity.

  • Although my mom sewed, I basically taught myself. I remember sewing a scrap of elastic to a scrap of woven cotton, and the disappointment of finding that it did not make it stretchy- huh! Trial-and-error learner. I am already a snippets recipient.

  • I have an awful, truly embarrassing, mortifing confession to make: My name is Jennifer, I am 31 years, I own a beautiful sewing machine, and I have almost no clue how to use it. But I would like to. I begged, bribed, and bartered for my machine hoping that some how the magic of the machine, the smell of cotton thread, and the feel of fabrics would somehow transform me from bumbling sewing idiot to one of those brilliant people whose every article is hand made. That transformation has yet to happen. And I’m still trudging through Manuela, how to videos, and craftsy classes feeling like that dorky kid again who couldn’t get math while everyone else zoomed along.

    So with a very hopeful heart, I’m crossing my fingers that maybe possibly by a miracle I’d win one of them and by going through the process of making them I could finally understand the art of sewing sorta like how a combination of algebra and knitting made previously incomprehensible math a delight and a wonder.

    *crossing fingers*

    PS: even if I don’t win, I’ve been seriously considering getting one of these diy kits for awhile. Only a combination of fear and budget has held me back. Fear is a strong preventive.

  • My mom taught be the basics and bought me my first (child sized) sewing machine. I loved making Barbie clothes! Designed by me, of course…

  • When we were very young, my mother taught my sister and me to sew, and we hemmed endless tea towels to give to our grandmother and aunts as gifts. When I married, one aunt gave me a tea towel, never used, which I recognized as my work. The tiny stitches! I was in awe of my 7-year-old self, and it was much later when i remembered how arduous it had actually been.

  • My mother taught me to sew as a kid – starting with the time honored tradition of buttons for eyes on sock puppets. Then Halloween costumes, and an unfortunate black quilt that went off with my angsty self to college.

  • My first serious sewing was in home ec class in seventh grade. Prior to that I believe my Mom showed us how to sew a patch or a button — but she didn’t have much time or patience for teaching. Maybe because I was one of three kids at home and she was a working Mom. That and because I did things like tell her the night before a choral show I needed a green skirt. SORRY MOM!!

  • My mom and grandma taught me to sew when I was very young – and seeing the beautiful work my great- grandmother made inspired me!

  • I learned to sew by hand making little outfits for my dolls – from leftovers from my mom and grandmothers sewing. I fooled around a bit with it as I got older, then learned how to use a sewing machine in a home economics class in 7th grade. I started making some of my own clothes (out of necessity – I was not a standard clothing size). My parents gave me a sewing machine for my high school graduation. That was a true gift of power and independence.

  • My mother taught me to sew.

  • I took my first sewing class at the local fabric store when I was 11.

  • I started sewing to have things (first for my bedroom at 12) and then to have new clothes that were affordable. There really was a time when the most affordable clothes were made at home, by hand. 7th grade home ec was just enough in the early 1960’s to send me on my way!

  • When I was 7 or 8, my mother took a few minutes off from the record store my parents owned and ran to walk me down to the 5 and dime. She bought a pattern and a stack of small felt sheets in various colors and we made clothing for my troll doll collection in the record store! That was the first time I used a needle and thread. When I was maybe 14, we worked on some tops and dresses for me using my great-grandmother’s Singer treadle sewing machine. I don’t know–to this day I can’t use an electric sewing machine. They scare me!

  • I already enjoy snippets! I learned to sew at Montgomery Wards, a long departed department store in Livonia Michigan. I was just entering high school, too young to get a summer job other than babysitting but old enough to walk alone the mile or so to the store. The highlight was learning to fit a sheath dress, and inserting the new invisible zipper.

  • My mother taught me to sew when I was about 7 or 8. She and her sisters made many of their outfits, as was the custom when they were growing up. When my mother taught me she was working in a garment factory and we used scraps from her work in my play.

  • I learned to sew in 4-H. My mom was my leader, and it must all have started in 3rd grade, since I remember having to wait to start while everyone else did Brownies and Bluebirds. My mom was our sewing leader, and we started with pin cushions and pop-over skirts.

  • I learned to sew in Home Economics class in 7th grade. My first project was an A-line skirt with a waistband and zipper closure.

  • My mother taught me a little bit and a sewing class in High School taught me a little bit more and then I took it from there – I love to sew and love Alabama Chanin. My swing skirt is one of my all time favorite things to wear!

  • My mom taught me to sew when I was young, probably working away on Halloween costumes or first day of school outfits.

  • My grandma taught me to sew when I was about 8 by having me make a 9 patch block.

  • My mother was my first and best sewing teacher. We didn’t have a lot of money when I was little (single mom trying to raise a kid that wasn’t a latchkey kid meant not as much money around) and I had a family of 18″ dolls that I desperately wanted new clothes for, so my mom took me to Joann Fabrics and we picked out a couple of patterns (hooray for coupons!) and some fabric and I learned to sew on those tiny clothes. I think it was a great sewing education, because tailoring a tiny garment was so much fussier than tailoring a human size garment, and by the time I was finished with a little jacket or dress, I knew exactly how it had gone together. And the memories of learning how to work the machine with my mom’s help are some of my favorite childhood moments.

  • I’m already signed up for Snippets. I learned to sew from my Mother but I seemed to rip more than I actually sewed so she gave up on me. A couple of summers ago, I’ve been learning to sew at my LYS. At first, I was using my Mother’s old portable sewing machine but it was too complicated for me so I bought a more user friendly machine and am actually enjoying making some simple projects.

    As a side note, I live in middle Alabama and have been following Alabama Chanin for years. I am planning to drive up one day this summer for a tour and lunch at the Café.

  • I learned to sew garments in seventh grade home economics class and still remember the green mushroom printed fabric I proudly chose for my first blouse. At age eight, I received a functional toy Singer sewing machine so I could sew like my mom and grandma. Grandma taught me how to cut and sew quilt squares together by hand sometime around first grade I think. Now many decades later I sew with a 1937 Singer Featherweight inherited from my great aunt who could copy the latest fashions shown in Philadelphia newspaper advertisements. Thanks for the chance to participate in this wonderful drawing. I’ve long been a fan!

  • I learned to sew from my grandmother. She sewed, quilted and tatted.

  • The story of how I learned to sew collides with Ann’s Insomnia Real Estate post from yesterday. While surfing for properties in the wee hours one night, I happened upon the listing for my grandparents’ house in Kalamazoo. Right there in front of me were photos of the small room where Grammie sat me down with her Singer.over fifty years ago. I’ve been winding bobbins ever since.

  • My mother taught me. Home ec teachers trid to make it no fun, but ultimately failed.

  • My mom taught me to sew. I was very young and I also had help from my grandmother and older sister. I still sew today and really enjoy it.

  • I first learned to sew by taking a class at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston IL with my aunt. It was fun to learn and my 9-yr old daughter is now taking sewing classes with a friend- i’m happy to have passed the traditional along.

  • I learned to sew from my Mom who learned from my Grandmother. They both made a lot of our clothing growing up. I also learned in my school’s home ec class and my first project was a set of stuffed letter pillows in my initials in a pink, green and blue flower print. I just got AC’s Studio Book of Sewing Patterns and am dreaming of beautiful tanks, Ts, skirts and especially that A-line dress! I am still nervous about sewing garments. I just need to take the plunge and practice. A scarf might be a good place to start…
    Thank you for the fun posts everyday!

  • My grandmother and mother both taught me my first sewing skills. Later, as 6th graders, my girlfriends and I took sewing lessons at the Singer Sewing Center in Quincy, Mass. And though our first projects were seriously flawed, we learned a lot and I have continued sewing throughout my 70 years. Just recently took a machine quilting class and a new obsession was born. For inspiration in my sewing room, there hangs a framed sampler, stitched by my great-great grandmother at the age of 10 in the early 1800’s. It is one of my most prized possessions.

  • Mom taught me but my skills were truly honed in middle school girl scouts. It was the Fashion, Fitness, and Makeup badge. I made an awful halter top. It was the late 80s.

  • My grandmother taught me to hand-sew, and I learned to machine sew from a friend when I was nine. A couple years later, my mother sent me to sewing classes at a local department store so I’d have something to do in the summer while she was at work.

  • My grandmother taught me to sew in the sunny alcove that contained her sewing machine, tins full of buttons, and a bookshelf filled with violets. If I close my eyes, I can still see that little corner.

  • I first learnt how to sew when I was in the Brownies at a very young age. I then went on to my own DIY sewing projects, followed by sewing classes in school. It’s been a never ending love since then.

  • Already signed up for Snippets. My mother used to sew for both of us and then just me. I was allowed to use the sewing machine at about age 7 and constructed imaginary doll clothes. After that, I helped my mother with simple stuff. Had to take sewing class in 7th grade and the rest is history. I keep improving my fit and techniques as I go along through life.

  • I began to sew by cutting fabric shapes and “sewing” them together by hand to make clothes for my Ginny dolls. Home Ec in school was my first formal experience – gathered skirt with placket! Sewing has continued to give me joy – so many special memories and people connected wth all the garments I’ve sewn. I love my friends I’ve met through sewing ( and that’s another story)!

  • I’m already a Snippets subscriber because I love the zen of knitting. As to sewing, it has always been there. My earliest memories include one grandmother on her old Singer and my other grandmother who did production sewing for her five granddaughters. She would see something she liked, and, without a pattern, would fabricate five dresses, often with their own petticoats and always with hair ribbons to match. My mother used patterns and a more modern machine, but my sister and I always had truly homemade outfits, including formals and wedding dresses. My first training was at a summer class at Cain Sloan department store in Nashville where I grew up. I did a lot of sewing myself until two boys and work started taking up most of my life. I am truly inspired by what you are doing and hope to make sewing part of my life again.

  • I learned by myself. Nobody in the family was willing to teach me so I got my grandmother’s Encyclopedia of Women crafts or something like that and started to study how to do it. I think I was 5 years old. I was fascinating by sewing and was even able to whip up some dresses for my Barbie. Recently I got a sewing machine and this time too I learned by myself following a zillion of videos on Youtube.

  • Mom signed me up for a sewing class the summer after 7th grade to make sure I’d know how to hem my own pants and sew on a button. This launched several years of making simple clothes on the Singer at home, especially over long summer vacations. Haven’t made much of anything in decades but the hand sewn Alabama Chanin clothing is enticing – worked up a little book cover but have yet to cut out my first article of clothing.

  • My mum was a professional seamstress before she married and stayed home to raise us kids, as you did back in the late fifties. I have some memories of her sewing on the Singer, which was in a built-in table and the motor operated by pushing a lever with your knee. So I’m sure I absorbed some sewing skills from her, but she passed away when I was only seven, My real sewing education was from Mrs Gillon, for half a day each fortnight for four years at a Catholic high school in the early seventies. I can still hear her saying to the class “Now girls, gather round the table while I show you …….”
    Our first project was a bag with our name embroided in chain stitch on it, to keep our sewing projects in. Four years later my last school project was a tailored jacket and trousers.
    Kept sewing skirts and tops through to the early 80s, but for the last 25 years pretty much just used the machine for hemming and mending. However I do have a fabric stash (not as big as the yarn stash) and I did buy the pattern a few months back for the Stowe Bag, so I think my inner sewing mojo is beginning to re-emerge. And it is certainly helped along by reading great articles like this one brought to us by MDK.

  • I’m already signed up for Snippets – love it! My mother taught me to sew at about age 12 and I sewed most of my clothes for years.

  • My mother was not a maker. But when I wanted to learn to sew she enrolled me in a course at the local Singer sewing machine store. After that there were textile/sewing classes in high school. Before all that I have memories of making Barbie doll gowns out of the legs of my knee high socks, so it seems I have always sewn.

  • My mom worked in a meat packing plant, and my dad was a construction worker. He was laid off allot, so he was Mr. Mom. He taught me how to run my mom’s sewing machine and used it to keep me occupied. My Chrissy doll had some very Alabama Chanin-looking clothes, but back in the day, it was all unintentional.

  • My mother taught me the basics and then went on a vacation without me! While she was gone a “needed” a new pair of shorts and with her basic instructions I was able to create my shorts. I spent my teenage years sewing outfits for myself. My early years of work required a uniform and I saved money by making my own. I’ve made suits, my wedding dress and many baby clothes. Of course quilting was a natural craft to take up. Now my sewing is limited to finishing knitted garments and using my skills to finish hand woven fabrics. Thanks mom for starting me on a fulfilling lifetime of fiber fun! Love the Snippets in my Saturday morning inbox.

  • I already get Snippets and enjoy it. I learned to sew in 6th grade school, plus my next door neighbor helped me a lot. I’ve been sewing for about 45 years now!

  • I first learned to sew in Camp Fire Girls in 6th grade. Two of the moms took on a group of struggling girls and we made our own skirts. What an accomplishment. I will be forever grateful to Mrs Lands and Mrs Neher, 57 years later!

  • My mom taught me to sew when I was seven. I made a very 60’s peasant dress with a casing all around the neckline. I still have it, the little bitty thing! I love Alabama Chanin work. I am slowly making a corset tshirt from a DIY kit. Would love another kit with a new stencil! Already get the snippets!

  • My mother taught me to sew, but I really didn’t do much until I needed brown pants for a uniform, at a time when there was NOTHING brown in the clothing stores. So I rolled up my sleeves and made three pair of brown culottes (trust me, they were in style then). When they didn’t fall apart even after three years of wear, I knew that I could sew!

  • I learned to sew as a young child, with my mother and aunt. I made clothes for dolls, then myself and my younger sister. I still have the old Singer I learned on. Already receive Snippets.

  • Learned to sew from my wonderful mother, who–at 96.5–is still sewing clothes for my youngest sister, for whom she is still a 24/7 mother! I already subscribe to Snippets, too. Love the 7-day a week MDK website!!!

  • I was in High School and my home room was the home ec. classroom. I never took a home ec class but on several days after school I asked my home room teacher if I could stay late and use the sewing machines. She agreed and slowly I taught my self. I have made many garments for myself and my family since. Including my wedding dress!

  • I learned to sew in junior high, and would stay up all night to finish a project so I could wear it to school the next day. The sad day was when I sewed a halter top, was so excited to wear it, and was sent home to change blouses. And my Mother never said it was not appropriate to wear to school! I have sewn Alabama Chanin t-shirts for my three grown daughters after a class I was in with Natalie in Birmingham at the knit shop In the Making. I was hooked!
    ps. I have signed up for emails, but have never received one. I see the notices on Facebook.
    Sara Denbo

  • I was taught to sew by my mother and grandmothers who apparently tired of my dolls’ needs for new outfits.

  • I’ve already signed up for snippets, and love getting them. I learned to sew in college – my thesis and research project double-stress bonanza became so much that I started a quilt during Spring Break. Upon graduating and starting my big girl job, I learned that It’s really hard to find business casual attire in my size, so I began sewing clothes in earnest, using the internet and library books for instruction.

  • My mom taught me a bit of hand sewing when I was little. My interest was no doubt from the Laura Ingalks Wilder books and trying to figure out whether I would like it more than she. I learned machine sewing in my early teens in a high school class. After many years of only occasional sewing but growing interest in sustainable food and textiles, I recently took a workshop called Modern Mending. I am eager to learn to make more of my wardrobe

  • Both my mom and grandma have helped me learn to sew. My grandma was the more patient one, and would let me pick out whatever patterns I wanted to sew and help me through the process. Depending if I picked something above my difficulty level, she would end up doing most of the sewing–she would never have told me I couldn’t do something or that it was too hard! Together we’ve made pajama pants, dresses, clothes for my dolls, and lots of other stuff. Currently I am mostly a knitter but I have finally acquired my first sewing machine of my own and am looking forward to being able to start making more of my own garments.

  • My grandmother taught me to sew on a Singer treadle when I was ten. I still remember arriving for a stay at her house and finding little stacks of patterns and the fabric for several outfits covering the dining room table. The thrill! We worked every day in a big room upstairs in the old farmhouse. I see those dresses in my mind’s eye like it was yesterday. Believe me…it was not yesterday!

  • My mom taught me when I was too small to reach the sewing machine pedal sitting, so I did it standing up. Lots of doll clothes!

  • My mother taught me to sew. My first project was a dress I made for myself when I was 10.

  • already signed up for snippets and enjoy it! I learned to sew from my mom, who made a lot of our clothes when we were little, curtains for the house, my cousin’s wedding gown … so many things. I also had sewing classes at a local recreation center, and in junior high. I don’t think of myself as a great sewer – but am so surprised at how many people CAN’T sew, and are amazed that I can – I use my machine now to make curtains, fix things, and am endlessly sewing patches onto my son’s scout uniform.

  • I am already receiving the Snippets! I learned to sew in middle school by making a navy blue necktie!

  • I learned to sew from my great aunt, who was a seamstress and did alterations and dressmaking on a Singer treadle machine. First projects were doll clothes and small things all done by hand, as we got older we were able to use the machine, very carefully and with much supervision.

  • My mother was a sewer and taught me to sew Barbie clothes. I love the sense of completion and pride in wearing your own hand-made project!

  • I remember my mom teaching me to sew, although there is evidence that Grandma let me stitch quilt blocks together with needle and thread long before I could remember doing so. I sewed clothes for 4-H, including a Gunny Sax-style floral dress with big shoulders and an even bigger lace collar. I have not sewn with lace since.

  • I learned to sew from my mother. She made most of my clothes when I was growing up. I clearly remember her getting a “new, fancy” sewing machine when I was about 4… was a big deal because funds were limited. Then one day while I was watching her sew, I took a straight pin and very carefully scratched my name into the brand new wooden cabinet that housed the machine. That machine was in use for at least 40 years and was one of a handful of items that came with us when we moved from Minnesota to California in 1959

  • I learned to sew in 4H. Several years later, I had to take home ec in junior high (boy am I dating myself) and had to make a simple elastic band skirt. Only thing I ever made that I never wore – but I did get an A

  • Natalie, the origin story of Alabama Chanin is moving and empowering. I learned to sew from my mother and our housekeeper, Gracie. I have always loved to do things with my hands and feel it is a meditation I need to do daily.

  • I started out hand-sewing doll clothes, taught by mother and grandmother. Later I learned to use the antique Singer machine (converted from treadle to electric with a little motor) that had been my grandmother’s.

  • I learned to sew in 4-H and Home Ec class, but my grandma started me off before those!

  • My mother taught me to sew and made so many great clothes for me. I miss her so!

  • My grandmother taught me how to sew (and knit and crochet). She was a wonderful pianist and craftswoman …. we had a BALL together. I just bought the Alabama Stitch Book because I am so inspired by this clothing – and the whole endeavor. Inspired and longing to get started. Already dedicated to Snippets – and clearly I’m in the right spot. Thank you!

  • Signed up for Snippets already. My Alabama mother taught me to sew. She made almost everything my brother and I wore until we were 8 or so and even then “bought” clothes were the exception. I took Home Ec in high school and learned more about sewing. Don’t make clothing much any more, but still love to sit down at the machine and make something for the house. Or just play with stitches!

  • I learned at my Mama’s knee, and have loved the craft ever since. I am most rewarded by handwork, which attracted me to Alabama Changing!

  • I’m from N Alabama. I learned to hand sew in the brownies in the 70’s, but my mother taught me to use her machine one summer when I was home from the University. We made a beautiful vintage skirt and shell out of black and charcoal glen plaid. She showed me how to use bias tape to finish all the seam allowances and the placket. She told me she always used bias tape and that “facings were for amateurs”. I am a bias tape devotée to this day.

  • My mother taught me to sew, amongst all the other crafts she taught me. I would sometimes help her make curtains for a business she ran with my dad. Sometimes there were late nights but I was so proud I could help my mom. I cherish the skills I learned from my mom.

  • I learned to sew from my mother. Started hand sewing for my doll then graduated to her treadle Singer when my feet could reach. In sixth grade, Girl Scouts offered a Sewing, then Seamstress badges. I was hooked.

  • Sewing was not a talent that ran in my family therefore I learned to sew in grade 9 Home Economics, made an apron, a jumper and then plunged headfirst into a three piece (wide legged pants, long jacket and vest in plaid) set for my older sister. Phew…now that was a challenge…

    I would love to do one of these beautiful kits
    thanks for the opportunity to win one

  • Learned to sew from my grandma. The age I can’t remember, so I must have been young! 🙂

  • I learned to sew from my mother. As I sat on the floor beside the sewing machine, she also unwittingly taught me some pretty salty cuss words, which initially I thought were crucial to the operation of the machine.

  • Jr. High Home Ec class where we made hideous gathered skirts and sleeveless blouses, both with side zippers! But I persevered that summer making Bermudas with a fly front zipper on my mom’s Kenmore, using a Simplicity pattern. Making with fiber and fabric is so enjoyable!

  • I grew up with a great-grandmother, two grandmothers, mom and aunt who sewed everything fabric-related – quilts, clothes, curtains, you name it. I started hand-sewing doll clothes at 5, used a machine at 8, sewed my first skirt with a zipper and waistband at age 10. I’m 53 and still just as obsessed, though the methods and projects change daily. 🙂 Sewing has been the one constant in my life!

  • I learned to sew from my mother. And, still have the machine that she used when she learned to sew from her mother. I miss them both, but I’m so gratefully they passed on their love of creating. The passion, the creativity, the making continues on thru my sister and I.

  • I count my introduction to sewing as a toddler with sewing cards. Then came the stage of embroidery and was finally released onto a real sewing machine at ten – with safety goggles strapped to my head!

  • I learned how to sew in high school sewing class! I made a ridiculous skirt, and poor fitting pants!

  • I love this and the whole concept. My cute story. I grew up an army brat and traveled the world without many relatives. My mom was a Japanese war bride and didn’t do many what I’ll call domestic things. My dad went to Korea and we spent a bit of time with my grandmother. I seemed to be the only one who had an appreciation of what the elders can share with us. She taught me to sew on an old trundle machine ( sorry if wrong name). I was thrilled Barbie clothes galore then on to mini skirts.

    When she passed she left me the machine and yes I still have it. Thanks for asking makes me smile. Ps she also taught me to fish and appreciate picking raspberries

  • I first really learned how to sew when I won the Alabama Chanin DIY give-a-way!!

    I tried to learn as a kid with my grandmothers foot pedal non-electric machine but didn’t get far bec no one encouraged me or helped me get past the pin cushion. Alas.

  • I first learned from my aunt. She made doll clothes for our dolls and I had to try to make some, too.

  • What a wonderful contest!
    My grandmother taught me to sew, crochet, and embroider. Sewing was reinforced in home ec in middle school, and my mom occasionally sewed although not with me. I sewed sometimes with my other grandmther, but she had a machine with a knee-operated motor, and I couldn’t get the hang of that.

  • Already a Snippets subscriber! My mom, who had MS from the time I was very young, taught me to sew by “telling” me rather than showing. I used her Kenmore machine and learned to eventually sew from a pattern. (She also taught me to embroider, hand sew, and knit among other things). I enjoyed being able to express myself through the sewing of my own garments! I remember I won first place in my middle school fashion show (a product of our Home Ec class), where I made a lime green polka dot wrap halter dress! For high school graduation my parents gave me my own Kenmore sewing machine.

  • I learned to sew from my mother. Nothing fancy, just a few stitches. Then she bought a sewing machine. That started me on making doll clothes and later my own clothes. I’m not too good, can barely sew a straight line, but have made things for my house. I already get snippets!

  • My grandmother had a good stash of fabric scraps. She put a needle in my hand, taught me the running stitch and let me play. I covered bottle caps with fabric and sewed them into trivets. I think I was 7 or 8 years old.

  • I learned to sew in a junior high home ec class, where I made a sundress.

  • In grade 3, we made drawstring bags for our gym strips. I remember the teacher commenting how my stitches were even and tiny. I probably learned how to sew from my mom or grandma but I have no previous memory of sewing, just of fabric shopping with them.

  • My mother taught me to sew a little, then as she wasn’t the most patient, she signed me up for lessons. I’m so glad she did, as I still really enjoy it.

  • My middle school’s Home Economics class taught sewing and I ate it up. My sisters and I were given a clothing allowance of $10/month and we quickly learned that sewing helped to stretch the funds. Being junior hippie chicks we used a lot of alternative fabrics such as Indian bedspreads, upholstery fabric, and worn-out blue jeans to make stuff. I still have some of our clothes, and they’re actually pretty fun!

  • Always sewing , or so it seems. My mother’s 1943 singer was always open, and my dad was in the drapery business so I always had fabric. I guess I really started sewing when I figured out the bobbin.

  • My mother was apprenticed as a seamstress and made her living as a seamstress and fitter, right up to her death at 85. She made all my clothes including coats until high school, when some store bought things we’e added in. Her sewing was impeccable, and at a time when homemade clothes were looked down on, I always received compliments. They didn’t realize my clothes were home sewn. That was because they couldn’t see the finishing, which was superior in every way to the purchased items. Fifty years later I am still disappointed at the process you have to pay for things that are so poorly finished. She was a wizard with cloth and color. Once when I was in a high school play, the costumes were borrowed from a nearby University drama department. Their leading man was about three sizes bigger than ours which caused a problem for his three piece suit from the 1890’s were. We couldn’t resize it by cutting away the yards of extra fabric because it had to be returned to the university in the same condition as when we borrowed it. My mother took it apart, laid it out, doubled up the fabric, and sewed it back together. You couldn’t see the alterations at all. At the end if the run she put it back the way it was. She taught me to sew and although I don’t do much of it now, I am eternally grateful and eternally in awe of her skills.

  • I don’t see any place to sign up on the top right corner. I’m already signed up for snippets. Do I have to sign up again?

  • I taught myself all I know about sewing – so I am not as good as I would like to be – I have always admired the Alabama Chanin philosophy – I think clothing that is made by hand has a more personal feel and means a lot more than items purchased on the mass market – thanks for the opportunity to win one of the kits

  • I can’t even reject when I first learned to sew, but I do remember my first a-ha! that’s how you do that moment. It was one of my mom or aunt’s books from when they were little, a printer on How to Learn to Sew and it finally illustrated the backstitch in simple steps and I have enjoyed sewing ever since!

  • My grandmothers both sewed and I learned from them as s small child. We did hand sewing and used their treadle machines.

  • I love the idea of teaching people how to sew again! My first project was done when I was about 4. I got up early, cut out fabric and hand sewed it together to make a dress for my doll. My mother was quite surprised and subsequently taught me how to sew. I’m not sure I had anything store bought until I was in school and probably for several years after.

  • My mother – she sewed the majority of my clothes AND clothes for my Barbie (icluding a beautiful wedding dress!)…..she also quilted and smocked. And crocheted – which she learned from her mother – they didn’t have patterns, but would look at a picture and ‘wing it’. (Must admit that I did not inherit that trait from her – I need a pattern and instructions.)

  • I first learned to sew in a horrible class at a local fabric chain when I was about 12 — too many rules, boring patterns, ugly fabrics, nothing to spark my interest. I almost quit. Luckily, I discovered that there were more interesting options available. I continued sewing all through high school and college, and even sewed my own wedding gown.

  • I’m signed up for Snippets already. I learned to see in Home Ec in 7th grade. My mom did not sew, i think she associated it with something her mother’s generation ‘had’ to do during the depression years that homemakers in the 1950’s were freed from.

  • Learned to sew by watching my mom sew all my clothes as a small child. Also learned to swear that way!!!

  • I was lucky to grow up with a crafty and creative family. My mother, grandmothers, and aunts sewed or crocheted dolls and stuffed animals, afghans, dresses, and sweaters…As a first grandchild, I was certainly spoiled in this regard. Later, when I was seven or eight, there was a camping trip where I was given one of those sewing card sets, and I remember trying to maneuver a plastic needle and fat red yarn through the holes punched in a piece of cardboard (in the car, no less) in order to outline a clown. And later still, I recall my grandma patiently helping me sew a little teddy bear and muddle through a doll dress with coordinating pinafore (which I have kept, with pride).

  • My mother taught me how to sew, first embroidering handkerchiefs and then piecing quilts on her old Singer machine.

  • I can use a machine to sew, but I haven’t moved much beyond straight lines. (There’s a lot that can be done with straight lines. 🙂 ) I also do some hand embroidery. I think I learned as a kid in 4-H and Mini 4-H. I have admired Alabama Chanin clothing online for a long, long time!

  • Like many others, I learned to sew from my mother who learned from her mother (who created many items without a pattern). She made sure that the six of us girls all knew basic sewing skills and garment construction. We spent many years sewing clothing projects for 4-H! As I’ve taught myself to knit, those construction techniques have come back to me and have proved invaluable. Although i don’t do much sewing these days, I still think of my mom whenever I work on a fabric craft.

    I subscribe to the Saturday Snippets and look forward to it each week!

  • I learned to first sew a dish towel and apron in 4H at about the age of 10.

  • My Grandma Carr taught me to sew on her old machine, using flour sack muslin. She let me run the machine to hem them to make dishtowels. My mom had taught me embroidery when I was 5, so after that, I was allowed to embroider the dishtowels. Grandma was so proud that she told my Aunt Fanny Sue about the sewing machine endeavor, and the word spread.

    When I got on the school bus, a few days later, my cousin Gary yelled out “Hey Kimmy, how’s your dishtowels?!”

  • So lovely, I’ve always wanted to make an Alabama Changing garment. Thanks for doing this giveaway!

  • Probably far too many air miles to enter this glorious giveaway as I’m in England. I was taught to sew by my Nanna and her older sister, Auntie Ada when I was about five years old. Both ladies had been taught very fine sewing as small children in the late 19th century which stood them in good stead when both were put to work as weavers. Theythen passed on this knowledge to me, although at the time being endlessly scrutinised for the neatness and tinyness of my hem stitching on silk hankies (20 stitches to the inch!) seemed an impossible task, but, as with all things handmade, I began a long and happy journey of colour, texture, form and function and at 60’years old I still seek to remake and reuse to create my own style and my own shape.

  • I was exposed to sewing by my mother and in 7th grade home ec. but really taught myself in college. I’ve gone through many phases–sewing for myself and for my daughters, making curtains and other house items, and quilting–but always find it satisfying and exasperating.

  • Already signed up for Snippets, too. I learned as a young child from my mom. She used to make many of her own and my sisters’ and my clothes, including full Easter outfits with hats and coats!

  • I first learned to sew in 6th grade, when my neighbor (same age) and I wanted to make simple tops to wear with shorts. We used the same pattern and came up with large initials to sew onto the very simple tops. My mother was the teacher and our sewing machine was her straight-stitch Singer. Learning to thread the machine was daunting, but so was the sewing and I took out most seams several times (as I still do, when I do machine sewing).
    I remember that the top was thrown into the corner in a heap, and I don’t really remember wearing the top. I know that I did wear it, but not how it got from the heap onto my body. I suspect that my mother did the miracle that probably saved my enthusiasm for making things.
    I already at that time knew how to knit, at least how to do the stitches, and in my making “career” I have done a lot of knitting as well as French hand sewing, English smocking, crochet, needlepoint (culminating in a rug), embroidery and other handwork.

  • My grandmother taught me to sew when I was about 10 or 11, I think–my next birthday, my parents bought me a sewing machine (which I still have).

  • I think I was about 10 or 11 years old when my sister taught me how to sew. She learned from our grandmother. I learned how to hem and mend, in order to take care of my own clothes, which were usually hand-me-downs. Then my sister taught me how to use a sewing machine and I began making my own clothes.

  • I learned to sew as a small child–my mother was a seamstress and taught both my sister and I. I sewed a doll I colored with fabric crayons, and endless cross-stitch samplers. I also did 4-H sewing with my mother, and now that she is gone I work to do simple projects, missing her deft hand with a complicated pattern.

  • I learned to sew in home economics in school! Doesn’t that just date me! then a neighbor and mother of my best friend helped me fine tune my skills. Which still need a lot of fine tuning.

  • I learned to sew from my mother. She made all my clothes and all my doll’s clothes — and taught my girl scout group to saw — and taught generations to sew as a home economics teacher. She is 90 and still does some simple sewing as she feels up to it. It’s a life skill I continue to cherish.

  • My mom taught me to sew when I was little. One of my first projects was an embroidered cat. I still have it in the frame! I hand-stitched doll clothes growing up before I learned how to use a machine.

  • Several of my aunts sew, and I did cross-stitch pretty young, but the first thing I remember making was a pair of shorts at a Girl Scouts sewing workshop.
    Also, I love Alabama Chanin.

  • My mom taught me by showing me how to sew on buttons, which I of course immediately practiced on all the washcloths in the house!

  • I had a collection of stuffed animals and a collection of soft fabric scraps when I was a kid and was making “clothes” for them by safety-pinning them on. My mom saw and pretty much immediately signed me up for sewing lessons. My teacher was this tremendous Lutheran lady from North Dakota who taught me the basics of everything from fashion sewing to quilting. I’m very grateful that I learned!

  • My mom taught me to sew, I think when I was a teenager. She had received a Singer sewing machine as an engagement gift from my dad in the 50’s!!! (she said later that she should have run for her life when she got that instead of a ring!!!) Later when I was pregnant with my first child in my early 20’s, she bought me a sewing machine, and I sewed almost all of my maternity clothes!!!

  • I’m already signed up for snippets and first learned to sew when

    • Oops, 2nd attempt (pressed send too early) So, I’m already a snippets subscriber and I learned to sew in my first high school year, as a shy and quiet 12 year old, hundreds of miles from my old home and friends, after my family relocated due to my dad’s work. That class soon became my very favourite, where I could forget my circumstances and make sewing my best friend for life.

  • I first learned to sew in a 4-H club. My best friend wanted to join 4-H and my mother, who was an accomplished seamstress thought it was a good idea. Many tears later, I had sewed my first dress. I hated sewing and quit 4-H. But many years later, I began sewing again, including learning to tailor men’s suits! My mother would have been proud.

  • I was always watching my mother sew clothes and curtains. She showed me how to make a simple draw string bag. My mother learned from her mother and also her aunt who was a wedding dress maker.

  • I first learned to sew in school (believe it or not!). When I was in middle school and high school (in the 1990s) we had mandatory home ec classes that included units on both hand sewing and machine sewing. I’ve been dabbling in it ever since.

  • My mother first taught me to sew, then Home Ec. class. My first project was a giant handsewn and embroidered pincushion from a magazine when I was about 8. I rarely sew anything to wear but I like the kits!

  • I first learned to sew from my mom who taught me on her classic Singer sewing machine. She made me Barbie clothes and Halloween costumes. Fond memories of helping her pin and cut the fabric from the paper patterns.

  • I learned how to sew at a girl’s school in Burgos, Spain. All the girls were taught sewing starting in first grade, so when started in third grade, I was way behind. Later, I used those skills to help my mom sew from store bought patterns – mostly translating instructions from Spanish into English. Now I go crazy if I’m not sewing or knitting something.

  • I’m already signed up for Snippets.

    My mom taught me to sew when I was little.

  • I suspect I learned to sew from my mom but I come from a long line of hand sewists. My grandmother made my doll clothes and bedding. My mom made clothes for me and my siblings using her black Singer machine. What a classic! I did hand sewing, embroidery, needlepoint, and other crafts during my growing years, which promptly were forgotten once i started college and my career. My daughter is away at college now and I have fallen back into crafting with a vengeance. I am completing my first AC quilted and embroidered top. I can’t wait to do more.

  • After years of knitting, I decided that sewing was a logical next step. I took a course at the Workroom, a lovely space in Toronto. It started me on my journey.

  • Mom sewed, grandma sewed, and I just followed along. I started with doll clothes, but they were too easy. My first garment, made when I was 11, was a sailor dress. Side in-seam zipper, fitted waist, set-in sleeves, collar with soutache braid trim. It wasn’t hard with Mom showing each technique as it was needed. After that, nothing was too hard to do, if I took my time and asked if I needed help.
    I am already subscribed to Snippets.

  • Oh, that blue wrap is gorgeous! My mom taught me to sew, but I actively resisted and have only come back to it in my 40’s. I’m now trying to learn/relearn.

  • My grandmother taught me embroidery in late elementary school. I learned to sew clothes one summer as a teenager. A friend, whose mother taught her to sew, taught me the basics.

  • Already get Snippets!

    I first learned to sew in 7th grade Home Ec…icky powder blue polyester velour bathrobe.

    Miraculously it didn’t scare me off!

  • I decided while in college that I wanted to learn to sew. My mother had a sewing machine, though I don’t remember her doing a lot of sewing. So, she really couldn’t teach me but could show me the basics (very basic – here’s the foot pedal that runs the machine, here’s how you stitch forward, here’s how you stitch backward). Because I’ve always, naively, assumed that if I can read and follow directions I can do whatever IT is I started with very simple patterns and went from there. I used to sew a lot but have had limited time lately. I miss it.

  • Oh, me and sewing! My mom and grandma both sewed a lot, and Mom tried to teach me several times. I’m also pretty sure I was the first girl in my high school to not take even one year of home ec. Sewing just didn’t take, especially with that scary machine, although I did sew several things by hand over the years. Then, a combination knitting and sewing shop, Home Ec Workshop, opened up here. After a few years of being a loyal yarn customer, I signed up for a sewing class and discovered that modern machines are easier to handle than the ca 1955 Singer my mom had. I still find sewing much more stressful than knitting, but I’m starting to get the hang of it, and even made several little project bags as Christmas gifts this year. (But the worst part is the cutting – it’s so final!)

  • I’m already a Snippets subscriber. I learned how to sew by hand when I was 6, and with a machine soon after. My mom and grandmother both taught me. I made pincushions, book covers, little stuffed animals, and aprons and matching potholders. I sewed the buttons on clothes my mom made for me. I also sewed outfits for my one Barbie doll, who needed practical things she could wear while she solved international crimes and smashed the patriarchy. I started sewing some of my own clothes in middle school. I should sew more now, really. It’s rarely cold enough for my handknit sweaters, and I’m still tall and hard to fit.

  • My mother taught me to sew. She’s always sewing away, making baby items or hemming pants. I’m still learning and practicing (since knitting is my preferred craft medium).

  • I think I first learned to sew when my Mom taught me a basic stitch so I could add fabrics to make a scene and she would then use the sewing machine to make a pillow for me. I could stitch away while she watched my little sister or squeezed in a 15 minute nap (parenting is exhausting and I resent no parent for their naps!). I have always had a hard time with sewing and hand sewing is so fun and rewarding I would like to do it more.

  • I learned to sew in 7th grade Home Economics, not a happy experience, sadly. But I persevered over the years, sewed clothes for myself and my children, made curtains and pillows, and now doll clothes for my granddaughter. I’m about to retire and I’m hoping to use my new sewing machine to create the kind of clothes I love to wear.

  • My mother always did a little sewing, I’d crawl around on the floor picking pins out of the carpet, proud about how much I was “helping.” But the first project I remember sewing was when I was sleeping over at my grandparents’ house and we made a little stuffed dog. My grandmother showed me how to trace around pattern pieces and then I slooowly and carefully cut them out of this white fabric with a green and peach large floral print. She sewed most of the seams together, with me looking over her shoulder, and then let me use the machine! I was probably around 6 or 7. I don’t think I touched a sewing machine again for maybe 10 years, when I took Home Ec and made a pair of flannel boxers with pretty little butterflies all over them.

  • My mother instructed me to rip out the seams of a dress to use the material for my first sewing project. I was never afraid of a seam after that. I knew I was the boss of my seam and could direct it as needed.

  • I first learned to sew on a treadle sewing machine–my bother was a seamstress, so the rule was we had to be able to sew a straight line on the treadle before we could move on to the electric machine. When I was old enough to make my own things, my mother knew enough about her way of teaching to have me learn from someone else. I took lessons with another girl. I made a few things into college, then dropped sewing in favor of counted cross stitch and knitting. I still have a sewing machine I move from house to house to house, though. 🙂

  • I was in college when I first learned to sew. As a sophomore I changed my major to Home Economics as it was called in the last century. I continued to sew off and on over the years but as I have more time and have gotten pickier about how things fit, I have become more interested in sewing once again.

  • I learned to sew in girl scouts. Made all my clothes through college as I am tall and could find nothing to fit. My one and only sewing maching is still my mother’s little black Singer portable, bought when she got married.

  • I would say I still don’t really know how to sew. I’ve seen the beautiful Alabama Chanin books and seen the amazing garments in person – one day I would love to make a garment from this collection!

  • It was such a gradual process that it’s hard to say. My mom taught me a little- until I broke her sewing machine. I read books on sewing. I took a class in college. I am still learning.

  • I learned to sew in Home Economics class in 8th grade.

  • Like others, I learned from my mom. As one of 10 children, she taught herself at a young age in order to make her dresses different from those of her four sisters. Her mother bought cloth by the bolt and made all dresses and the boys’ shirts alike (different bolts)! Mom could make changes.

    She made all my clothes, and I remember looking at patterns with her at the “yardage” store. I would tell her I wanted a specific dress but with different sleeves or trim or collar or skirt, we chose fabric, and she made exactly what I wanted. She also taught me to fit and tailor. My grandmothers, aunts, and cousins all were makers, and I learned much from them too.

    I would love an Alabama Chanin kit.

  • My mom was a great sewist who made suits, silk blouses etc in the 60’s. she would not teach me so I signed up for summer school at my high school. When she saw what they taught me, she corrected everything they said!

  • I learned how to sew in my 9th grade home ec class. While I still avoid zippers i can quilt well enough to make something pretty.

  • I learned to sew in home ec in the seventh grade.

  • Hmm, I think I learned to sew in Home Economics in middle school. Mom also sewed a lot for us. But that is all machine sewing. I learned some hand sewing around that same time because I wanted to hand piece a quilt made of 1″ squares. Never happened, although many other stitchery projects have.

  • I’m already receiving Snippets and love sewing. I learned in school: 60 years ago!

  • Hand sewing clothes for my little rag doll with my mother and grandmother’s advice…

  • My mother taught me to sew, probably when I was about 8 or so, for my first 4-H project. I made most of my clothes until aftet college. Have done very little sewing in the last few years.

  • My mother taught me to sew on a treadle machine. Rather tricky keeping the treadle moving, guiding the fabric and paying attention to keep my fingers out of the needle! I was about 8 years old and have been sewing ever since, although now it is on a much newer machine.

  • I learned to sew in junior high school home ec. Probably the only thing I learned that year. ( Already subscribed to Snippets.)

  • I come from a family of women who made their own clothes and mine too. I began sewing along with them, making clothes for my Barbies and Trolls. Now I teach smocking and embroidery, sewing, and knitting to others. I too love hand sewing and passing those skills along!

  • My Mom taught me how to sew and when I became more advanced sent me to sewing lessons at the local Singer Sewing Center.

  • My mother taught me how to sew. I made a crazy circle skirt in middle school and have never made a garment since!

  • My mother taught me to sew when I was about 10, probably. She learned from her mother, who was a professional seamstress in Florida, sewing garments for the snowbirds who wintered down there. Now I knit much more than I sew, but want to get back in that groove.

  • I learned to sew by following a pattern for a baby kimono, on my mother-in-law’s on Singer machine. No light, no reverse, no real understanding of what biased tape was for 😀 I’ve recently bought a beautiful new machine, & I really do sew better on it!

  • I learned how to sew in Home Ec in middle school. Made a little blue frog filled with beans.

  • My mom taught me to sew when I was a child – I really wanted to make pyjama pants. I made a couple pairs with thick fleece and elastic waistband haha (one pair had M&Ms printed on them). I hadn’t done anymore sewing until 6 months ago, when I asked my mom to reteach me how to use the machine. I was knitting my own clothes, but also wanted to be able to sew more wardrobe staples like tshirts.

  • I learned to sew when I was about 8 or 9 from my Grampa. He learned when darning his clothes in the war.

  • I learned how to sew in grade school in a 4-H club. I made a very small quilted doll blanket, and have sewn ever since. As a mom I have sewn clothing for my three children, and Halloween costumes, of course. Now as a Nana to twin girls, I can create even Moreau!

  • My grandmother and mother were both excellent seamstresses, however my mother didn’t have the patience to teach so I learned from my grandmother. We made matching aprons as our first project together.

  • I used to sit on my grandmother’s lap as she made clothes for my dolls. I was comforted by the feel of the treadle motion and was fascinated with how her hands moved. (My grandmother was deaf and being with her and doing something significant was really special; the task felt like we were communicating in our own way.) First learned to sew for myself in junior high and loved it from the start – which is good because my family was tight on money and I ended up making most of my wardrobe from then on. Favorite challenges were redoing old formals to wear to my own proms, a not-to-be forgotten graduation dress that I wish I still had, my first three piece suit (I crazily chose a plaid!), and a variety of maternity clothes (didn’t just want to wear a tent, as was the style in those days). Sewing less clothing now, though I do still love repurposing things I find in thrift stores. Have branched off into art quilts and art-type accessories – including some Alabama Chanin inspired scarves. Oh – In high school I had a job in a coat factory. I used one of those big double needle machines to do hems and lapels. Trivia: Richard Nixon wore an overcoat the factory made on his historic trip to China. That was my hem!

  • Right now my table is full of pieces of fabric and ideas are swirling around. It is a pleasure to let the fabric decide what it wants to be!
    My mother sewed a lot, but i learned to sew at school – in elementary school by hand, later on the machine.

  • I’m already a snippets subscriber! My mother was sewing as far back as I can remember. She always made my dresses for school and she even made my dollclothes. I actually didn’t learn to sew from her, but at school in my 7th grade home economics class. I made a dress, scarf and an apron. I made many of those aprons over the years for family members and friends. After more than fifty years later and I still remember how to sew those aprons from one yard of fabric. After that I continued to sew, making things for myself, my home and family.

  • My mother did now sew at all, but our next door neighbor was an incredible seamstress. I learned from her and in Girl Scouts.

  • My mother sent me to the local Singer Sewing Store to learn to sew. My first project was a wrap dress with 3 arm holes- cut it out, sew three shoulder seams and sew bias tape around all the edges, and voila! A dress is completed!

  • My wonderful mother taught me to sew (and knit!).

  • I first learned to sew doll clothes on a treadle sewing machine that belonged to my grandmother.

  • My mom taught me how to sew so I could make my dolls’ clothes by hand and my own clothes by machine, than I learned to crochet and just a few years back to knit too. I love all of it and use my skills often!

  • I learned to sew from my Mother but also women of a “certain age” were subjected to HOME EC classes all through High School. Thus, I honed more of the sewing skills as a required credit. I sewed for my 2 daughters and for their children. I still sew today not as much but love to get my hands on fabric. My fabric stash is as “bad” as my yarn stash!! 🙂
    I already receive the snippets email each Saturday and read MDK every day!!

  • I learned some embroidery stitches in art class in third grade and it was also around this time that my Mom taught me to use her sewing machine. I practiced making straight lines using lined paper and then she helped me follow a pattern and sew a dress when I was 10.

  • I already signed up for snippets 🙂 My best friend Karen and I were signed up for sewing classes together when we were 12 years old by our mothers, who didn’t know what they were starting! In the 1970s, we loved sewing much of our wardrobes. Matching vests and gaucho pants, prom dresses in “disco satin”, high-waisted pants in bright-colored gabardine. I sewed my wedding dress in 1985, based on a Vogue pattern, and sewed and smocked clothes for children, and made curtains, pillows, etc. for the home, all while working full-time and caring for children and aging parents. Creating things and making them with one’s own two hands somehow makes life richer and more satisfying.

  • My mother taught me to sew…She made a good portion of my clothes growing up. She would have loved Alabama Chanin, had she known of it’

  • I learned to sew and knit from my mother. Oh how I wish she were still here to see how I’ve come full circle to embrace the fiber arts that she loved.

  • I’ve never been taught to sew. But mom let me play with her sewing machine. And my mom’s super-creative friend taught me embroidery and cross stitch. Those scarf kits look gorgeous!

  • My Mom made me learn to sew the summer I was 12. I spent a lot of time with a seam ripper, ripping stuff out because I was 12. It was also the summer that I got hooked on soap operas. It was an interesting summer.

  • I was taught to sew by my much older cousin, sewing doll’s clothes. Then there was a class at Sears, and a good Home Ec teacher. The peak of my clothing construction was the bound button holes on a successful plaid wool vest, in Jr High. I’m finally now returning to clothing construction! Meanwhile, I’ve been a studio quilter for many years, machine piecing and machine quilting scores of quilts, and have (more than) a couple machines.
    This is more than you asked for but it got me thinking. It’s a shame they stopped teaching Home Ec in the schools. And it should be taught to both boys and girls! So should Shop Class! Boy, I missed not having had Shop…

    Love Natalie Chanin’s work, too, BTW!

  • I learned to sew in home-ec in middle school and I learned crochet, needlepoint,and counted cross stitch from my grandmother as a kid. I learned how to knit (finally) 12 years ago in New Orleans!

  • I’m already signed up and receive Snippets. I am a self-taught sewer; I flunked home-economics (revealing my age here)! A few years back, I was lucky enough to attend one of Natalie’s classes and realized how much I was missing by not knowing how to make hand sewn garments. I’m still not very experienced, but oh, how I enjoy the process! Thank you for this, Natalie!

  • My mom taught me to make Barbie clothes, basically a hemmed square piece of cloth that I secured around her curves with a safety pin. Barbie was a gateway toy: she was my impetus to learn to knit as well.

  • My mother taught me the very basics as a child, I picked up a little more in 7th grade Home Ec and the summer after 7th grade I took a class with a friend and made actual garments. (I think the class was at a Singer store!) Sewing gave way to knitting years ago, but Alabama Chanin makes me want to sew again.

  • I learned to sew (and a lot of other things) through the 4-H program.

    • Me too (see post way below)!

  • My first sewing teacher was a home economics teacher in high school. I made a skirt for the class, but received lots of help from my grandmother. She put in the zipper at home before my project was due at school. My second attempt at learning to sew was in an adult night class at an L.A. college. Didn’t finish this because my mother (who was an excellent seamstress and tailor) knew the teacher and did not give her good marks. Therefore, I am mostly self-taught. I watched a lot of TV sewing shows and bought a lot of books. My mother helped me, too.

  • My mom taught me to sew. She was a prolific maker. I learned how to embroider when I was 8 or so and she let me use her sewing machine when I was 10 the summer before 6th grade. As a perfectionist it was hard for her to let me touch her machine.

  • I already enjoy getting Snippets. I first learned to sew in high school home economics class under the teaching of Mrs. Wilson, a wonderful lady who was also my English teacher. Later I took another class with a woman from my church. My knitting skills are better than my sewing skills but I am a lifelong learner so I’m not finished yet!

  • I learned to sew in junior high (not middle school, a concept that came way after I left school) in home economics. All girls had to take this class but not boys(!?). I had never used a sewing machine before but most of my friends had mothers who sewed and I didn’t. They were bored and I was thrilled. That year I was awarded a letter in home economics to put on my letterman sweater. Bet you never heard of lettering in home economics.

  • My mom taught me to sew. I made quilts, pillows and pillowcases for my dolls.

  • I was taught by one of my aunts and by my grandmother. When I was young, I made almost all of my wardrobe, including winter coat. Later, other things prevailed upon what little of free time there was. But, now I’m ready to return to sewing. First with linen shirts for both me and my husband (already prepared yards and yards of nice linen). I have all 4 Alabama Chaning books and think about them as worthy inspiration.

  • I learned to sew originally in Girl Scouts as a girl and then did more sewing in high school and college. I made or modified a good portion of my clothes in high school and college, including camping and climbing equipment. (I found an old treadle sewing machine that could sew harnesses). Knitting has enabled me to make more of my clothes and do my own modifications, plus learn to spin and dye my own yarn

  • Ah, how I first learned to sew! We were pioneer missionaries in the far north of Laos and my mom, an inveterate seamstress who sewed all our clothes (3 of us kids!) told me if I wanted doll clothes, to make my own. So when my legs were long enough to reach the treadle (I think I was 5-6), she showed me how to use the old treadle machine (we did not have electricity) and how to make my own doll clothes out of scraps of our clothes. I was so proud of my production! (She also taught me to crochet about that time).

  • I’ve got Snippets! And my mom was my first sewing teacher. 🙂

  • I first learned to sew from my mother. She helped me piece a small doll quilt made from rectangular scraps on her Singer sewing machine. This was in the late 50’s.

  • First learned to sew? Well, let’s say it’s a work in progress. I’m sure my mom taught me how to mend a seam or sew a button back on, but I don’t really remember that. I bought myself a sewing machine while in law school and made a few quilts. I’ve tried to learn as I go. Made a shirt and am mid-project on a basic linen dress and an AC skirt! Love all things Alabama Chanin (and MDK, of course!). Would love to make this scarf!

  • My mom and my grandma taught me to sew (also though I also have a vague memory of sewing cards), and grade 9 home ec filled in the gaps.

  • I am currently, slowly, teaching myself to sew. I’m sure it would be faster with a teacher!

  • Like many here, I learned to sew from my mother, an excellent self-taught seamstress. My grandmother did a bit of hand sewing but was not drawn to handwork, so my mum began sewing clothes for her dolls, and eventually graduated to clothes of all sorts, including I don’t know how many wedding dresses for friends and family. I must have done a bit of sewing as a child, amongst the other handwork she taught me and my sisters, but began sewing garments for real as a early teenager. Home economics class played a part too, but by then having watched my mum sew so much growing up it just seemed to come naturally.

  • digging back in time……I remember learning how to make a knot with the end of the thread, mom or and grandma. both were seamstresses, my dolls had tailor made outfits, I found them ,still, all intact dresses and all. High schools had home economics , and the good ole girl scouts!,I am still learning these days.

  • I learned to sew in Home Ec! My grandmother sewed clothes by hand and my mom didn’t want to learn, so that was it. I’m not very good at it though……

  • My mother and grandmother were instrumental in my learning to sew and knit, both by example and instruction. They were amazing individuals and I constantly strive to meet their standards.
    (And I already receive ‘Snippets’ and it is fabulous)

  • I learned to sew in school with a 9 week sewing course in 7th grade. I remember the first fabric purchase I made on my own. It was a red and white striped woven and I made cropped pants and a bag out of that fabric.

    I never looked back. That course led to a lifetime of making. Now I knit, weave, sew, cook, preserve and scrounge. My favorite projects always involve recycling and handwork and I love the AC aesthetic.

  • I first learned to sew from my mom and grandma, when I was in about fourth grade, because I wanted to make clothes for my doll. They taught me basic hand sewing, and then turned me loose with a bag of remnants and my mother’s machine.

  • I learned to sew in Home Economics in junior high school. I learned quite a bit in junior high school and high school by sewing with my best friend who was much more accomplished with sewing than I was. I think she learned from a cousin. I never forget showing my junior high teacher a skirt than I had made after my home economics class days. She said that it was good, but of course she noticed some mistakes.

  • I first learned to sew from my mother. She taught me to make my first quilt (doll-size), and I then graduated to sewing doll clothes that were period-specific for my American Girl doll.

  • I’m already receiving Snippets. I learned to sew through various means – watching my mum (who learnt to sew when she was at primary school, and is still an expert sewer), school-based sewing classes (not fun) and finally via books and just picking stuff up and having a go. So far, I’ve made two dresses for summer and winter (with fitting assistance from my mum) and a couple of tops. The Grainline Hemlock T is next in the queue, to be made in merino knit as we are going into winter down here in the Southern Hemisphere. Also a keen knitter now, largely self-taught (was never that keen when I was younger).

  • When I was 16 my parents decided to teach me budgeting. On New Years Day they gave me a check for my funding for the whole year. This is it, they said, a year’s worth of clothes, makeup, movies, novels, tennis balls, gas money, food at the drive-in. I blew it all on a FABULOUS dress for the Valentine dance; shoes to match.

    Whatcha gonna do now? they asked. They didn’t blink.

    So I ramped up my babysitting business and my grandmother taught me to knit and sew. PIty she didn’t have cobbler skills.

  • First learned to sew in 4-H and showed my earliest efforts–a hemmed tea towel and sleeveless blouse requiring no buttons or zippers–at the Franklin County Fair in Ohio. Have been knitting obsessively of late, but am gravitating back to sewing after quite a hiatus.

  • I’m already a snippets receiver. My mom taught me to sew at an early age, almost all over of my clothes were homemade. By the time I was 11 or 12 I was regularly sewing a new outfit to wear to school. Love Alabama Chanin designs.

  • I don’t remember when I started sewing… My mother knew how to sew, but rarely did. My grandmother was a very good seamstress, but we lived on the opposite coast (or farther) all my childhood… though I know she taught me to knit on one of our visits.
    I remember making doll clothes and stuffed dolls around age 8. I had home ec about age 12, which is when I learned to sew with more accuracy (I remember I made Pucci-style print palazzo pants). As a senior in high school I decided to make a Ralph Lauren designer vogue jacket… and left out the under collar piece. It was still wearable (it actually looked good I’m told), but I knew something was wrong… took me until about ten years ago to figure it out.
    Now I rarely sew for myself, because I spend all day sewing, pattern making and teaching the same to college students. I’m lucky that I love my job, but extending my job into a pleasurable hobby as well… not so much. I resist the idea of knitting or spinning for money for that reason. I think something like this kit… that might be different enough, challenging, fun and exciting… to bring that fun back into my personal sewing.

  • My mother went to university for “home economics” in the 1960s and majored in textiles and fashion design. She taught me to sew and bought me a sewing machine when I was 12. She worked as a seamstress and as a teacher for years, made clothing for herself and others from simple skirts to elaborate wedding dresses. I get my love for all things handmade, and well made, from her. I’m already signed up for Snippets.

  • My father was a tailor and my grandmother a seamstress. They taught me how to sew along with the classes I was sent to at a Singer store in our local shopping mall.

  • I already receive the Snippets newsletter. My mom taught me the basics of sewing, but I used to walk to the Girl’s Club after school for Sewing Class. I’m happy to say that there Is still a Girl’s Club in my hometown, but I don’t know if there are stil sewing lessons offered.

  • Already a snippets subscriber! My mother introduced me to sewing with her pea green singer sewing machine.

  • I taught myself to sew when I was about 12. I am petite and had problems finding clothes that fit properly, unlike now when smaller sizes are easier to find. I began by hemming and tailoring clothes I purchased, then began making some of my own.

  • Like many, my mother taught me, she is an avid sewer. She made my prom dress for my junior prom and has made countless quilts and other household items. I hope, one day to be as good as her. For now I sew curtains and little satchels as I need them…

  • I could be the envy of my sewing group!

    and it would be the perfect incentive to try out an Alabama Chanin design!

    • Hit reply too quickly. My mother encouraged me to sew, though she was more of an instinctive knitter than sewist … once my sewing took off at age 12 my father declared the Singer 401 mine, and I have sewn on it ever since. My aunt, who worked in a fancy lady’s dress shop, always thought that my sewing abilities came from my grandfather, who was a originally a tailor, and until the depression worked on 7th Ave making sample garments. He later worked for a furrier, and I have the persian lamb coat he made my grandmother. Genetics? maybe. But sewing has always been a part of my life, professionally and personally.

  • I remember to sew on buttons on my dad’s shirts. My mom had taught me how to do it. My favorite part was (and still is) when you wrap the thread around the little stem between button and fabric to add stability. I was probably 5 or 6 years old. Sweet memories.

  • I learned to sew as a young girl of about eight. My mother taught me and my 5 sisters! I wanted to sew because I loved clothes and I continue for the same reason–I also enjoy creating things. I am receiving Snippets.

  • I learned to sew at my Mother’s feet (literally) when I was about four. She’d thread my needle and cut little skirts for my dollies which I sewed up. Sweet memory.

  • I learned to sew in a Home Ec class I took in 9th grade. After that, my grandmother helped me along. I moved from simple clothes to quilts which I still occasionally make…but they get in the way of my knitting!

  • My mother always sewed some of our clothes, so she taught me the basics, and I had home ec in 7th grade where we made an apron. I still have that apron, almost 40 years later!

  • I first learned to sew in order to make clothes for my Barbie! I was motivated. 🙂

  • The summer I turned 12, my mother and I took sewing lessons together at a local shop. It didn’t take with Mom but I’ve never looked back.

  • My mother was lovely but she didn’t sew. When I was fifteen I really wanted to learn as I was inspired by a friend who made all her own dresses(it was the late sixties) and she played field hockey too. So I begged my parents for a sewing machine(Sears and Roebuck variety) and essentially taught myself. Much trial and error was involved but my parents cheered me on and I got lots of help from my friend and her mother. I later married the eldest son of the family so that I would always have that sewing expertise in the family. It really helped. MIL and SIL were incredible stitchers!

  • My mother taught me to sew when I was around 10. I remember making … I kid you not … orange suspenders hot pants as one of my first projects! 1970 was a bad time for fashion! But I’ve sewn off and on over the years, nothing quite so garish since then. Curtains from outlet store sheets as a student. Halloween costumes for my kids. And more recently some simple clothing for myself, including a number of basic Alabama Chanin designs.

  • My grandmother taught me.

  • Growing up, I spent many hours with my mother in fabric stores as she choose patterns and materials for our clothes, but it wasn’t until I took home ec in 7th grade that she really taught me how to sew properly.

  • Already get Snippets and love it! I learned to sew in junior high in Home Ec–made a weird little cap-sleeved top with a button/loop closure at the back of the neck. I was hooked and went on to make all my clothes throughout junior high, high school, college and beyond. Still sew on my 1960’s White sewing machine.

  • What a great initiative and such an innovative idea! I love the reduction of plastic in your packaging – I think we all would be better off if plastic had never been invented. That peacock color is amazing and I’d love the opportunity to play with it! I’m already a happy subscriber to Snippets, as well as just about anything Kay and Ann get up to. Such enablers LOL!!!! Thanks for the chance to learn about Alabama Chanin and perhaps win that delightful prize!

  • My Nana taught me to sew and the very first thing I made was a pin cushion, which I still use today!

  • Duh! I forgot to tell you how I learned to sew! My grandmother lived Baltimore and drove 500 miles each summer to pick me up in North Carolina and take me back with her for two weeks. The summer I was 12, she took me to purchase two beautiful pieces of tiny floral seersucker and a pattern to make my first sewn garments – “baby doll” pajamas. I was so proud of those those pjs and wore them until they were rags! As soon as I got back home, I pulled out my mom’s sewing machine, bought a few patterns and some remnants at the bargain basement of our local store and started sewing. It was the beginning of a whole new world for me! My grandmother eventually taught me how to sew, quilt, embroider, knit, crochet and play a mean hand of 500 rummy. God I miss her!!!!

  • I remember my mother teaching me to sew buttons. Her promises to teach me to use her sewing machine were accompanied by stories of the time my sister sewed through her finger, and I was always too intimidated to try. (It’s on my list, though – one of these days we’ll make the time for some lessons.) I also learned embroidery and cross-stitch in Cloverbuds.

  • My first sewing (I was in junior high) was making Barbie Doll clothes. I bought a pattern and found some fabric, and sewing by hand, I made Barbie a suit. The jacket was double breasted. It was later that I found out that using a sewing machine was an even better way to make clothes. PS–I’m already signed up for Snippets.

  • My mother, a former home ec teacher, taught me to sew and I loved it. I made clothes for myself and even for a friend of my mom’s. She also taught me to knit, but I didn’t enjoy it as much, and gradually both fell by the wayside. My first grandson turned my knitting gene back on 6 years ago, and now sewing has come roaring back into my life and I couldn’t be happier!

  • My mom taught me how to sew when I was about 14 and I made handful of a-line skirts. Apparently true sewing talent skips two generations in my family as my mom and I are both mediocre sewers but my daughter seems to have inherited her great-grandmother’s skill and ingenuity with both creating and sewing!

  • My mother taught me to sew, and I loved sewing class in high school. I can still see the first dress I sewed for myself. Then when I moved out on my own, I didn’t even own a sewing machine. I recently bought one and have played with piecework.

  • I learned to sew from my mother, who sewed many of our clothes in the 70s, on her beautiful old straight-stitch-only Singer.

  • My mother tried to teach me to sew, but I was a stubborn kid and refused to be taught! It wasn’t until I had my own children that I really began to teach myself. And now, I teach young children to sew at my sewing summer camps. That’s the circle of life, I guess! I have most of the Alabama Chanin books and really enjoy their beautiful work. Thank you for the contest!

  • I remember being about 6 or 7 and sitting beside my grandmother while she made dresses for me and explained the process, and also being taught handwork by my mom, who used to love cross stitch and embroidery. Mom also sewed and tells me about the clothes she made when I was very little, that I don’t remember. I still have a fancy dress my grandmother made for me in elementary school from pieced 4in wide bands of fabric edged lace.

  • I learned to sew from my mother, who made everything from clothing to drapery. But she never oiled her machine, and I taught her how to do that, after she thought her machine was broken!

  • My mother and Home Ech in High school Way back then plus sizes were not available, so my clothes had to be made. My mom would have me help her, so I learned to sew by helping her.

  • I’m signed up for Snippets already, thanks. My mom taught me and my sisters to sew early. We all sewed many dirndl skirts and peasant blouses, and made clothes all through jr. high and high school. It was a pleasure to turn the tables and teach my mother how to sew quilts when she was in her 70’s. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • My mother was convent trained in handwork as well as sewing which she didn’t like quite as well as the handwork. She did teach me the basics of sewing but I learned a lot more from classes at my local fabric and machine center

  • I learned from my mother and then from YouTube. This is such an exciting giveaway!

  • I learned to sew in middle school, Home Economics class, back in the day when we had Home Ec! I thought it was dorky then but I’m pretty sure I can credit it with all my maker skills, knitting, sewing, cooking….

  • My mom taught me to sew. She handmade most of my clothes when I was little and she always sewed my Halloween costume. She made elaborate reproductions of period clothing. If she was unfamiliar with a technique she’d practice over and over on scrap fabric until she was confident of her ability. she lives across the continent now and I miss her daily. Sometimes I walk through JoAnn’s while on the phone with her (quietly, I’m not a jerk) as a way to summon up the memories of looking at fabric together while planning our next project.

  • I learned to sew in Home Ec in high school … it was back in the ’80’s, and I sewed a teal blue sweatshirt for myself. Fast forward to the mid 2000’s, I’ve taken several classes since on making pillows, skirts, and a dress, with varying degrees of success. Am passionate about knitting, and that passion has begun to flood into sewing, specifically apparel. I love the look, texture, and embellishments that Alabama Chanin is known for, would have to rise to the occasion to hand sew as beautifully as the professionals she employs!

  • Learned to sew on Mom’s Singer. I was 9. Have been in love with machines (sewing, knitting, spinning) ever since. Also in love with all the quilts, socks, etc.

  • I learned to sew, like so many contemporaries, in Home Ec in middle school. I learned to love to sew when my Grandmother sent me samples of a Double Wedding Ring quilt and scraps of a 1930s sampler. I’ve been pursuing knowledge of sewing, quilting, knitting and all other hand sewn arts since. I believe, with all my being, that I am most fully me when i explore all aspects of myself. Strong business woman, strong maternal self. I sew, knit, quilt and am a fierce business woman as well.

  • I already get the Snippets and enjoy them. I first learned to sew when I was in the 8th grade, and that’s been 68 years ago! I made a dark green, short-sleeved dress and changed the appearance with different scarves around the neck. That enabled me to have a Monday dress, Tuesday dress, etc. It’s good to see that the domestic arts are returning. I have granddaughters and great-granddaughters who have been to my knitting camp, and this summer we’re going to have a Sampler Stitch-Along. I believe it’s so important to give them a foundation in crafts.

  • I learned to sew at age 8. My mom taught me to sew. We didn’t have a machine so I made garments by hand sewing them. I got my first sewing machine in college. I’ve been sewing and quilting since then.

  • I learned to sew in Girl Scouts!

  • All of the women in my family have been seamstresses for the last 4-5 generations. Sadly none of my daughters or daughter-in-laws sew. I have been sewing one way or another since I could hold a needle. I love the concept of this group and hope to see many more patterns from you!

  • I learned to sew in middle school home ec class. Then promptly forgot everything I learned. My dad sewed my mom’s maternity tops, and his mom and sisters sew. Now I’m mostly self-taught via reading and online tutorials. I didn’t try sewing again until I wanted a Pebbles Flintstone costume for work. I found the perfect green furry fabric and managed to sew a tunic dress together. Since then, I’ve mostly sewn costume pieces. You’ll never find a better pirate costume than something you make yourself! My goal is to branch out into everyday wear. My style is more eclectic than the area I live in. I’d like to make items that fit my style using natural fabrics that are hard to find in ready-to-wear.

  • I was in 4-H and had to make an apron for my first project. My mother was quite anxious about this project since she didn’t really sew. She found a friend to help me and eventually an apron of sorts was created. Thanks to 4-H and my mom’s support, I learned to sew and enjoy it!

  • I first learned to sew from my mom, as a very little girl, on a toy sewing machine. By the time I was 8, she move me up to her big sewing machine. Sewing has never been my favorite – until I run across something I *must* have. And then I’m eternally grateful to my mom and grandma, for teaching me the mechanics of sewing, and not just doing it for me. Now my daughters come to me when there’s something they “must have”, and they use the same skills my mom and I taught them when they were little. And together, we’ve created that tulle skirt for a gala, or a wool blanket edged in blanket stitch, or table scarves for their wedding… love love love that time spent making together!

  • My Aunt Joan taught me to sew with a machine and by hand when I was seven. 45 years later she is still teaching me how to sew, but my first real memory of hand sewing was when I was a Blue Bird at the same age. We had felt blue birds we could pin to our uniforms to hold our meeting dues (a quarter) and did a blanket stitch around the edge. I don’t remember what my Blue Bird leader’s name is, but I remember her house! I lived in a farm house outside town, and she lived in a brand new tract house near my school (with shag carpet and everything! – it was 1972). Walking to her house after school was like walking though the Brady Bunch neighborhood. Attending a School of Making week in Florence is tied on my bucket list with going on The West of the West train with Dave Alvin and John Doe. Hoping Rosanne Cash will be the tiebreaker, but I would kinda like to do both with or without Mrs. L.

  • My mom taught all 4 of us kids to sew, and she made all our clothes until we were old enough to sew our own.

  • Thanks! Both are beautiful.

  • I learned to sew by hand from my mother – she needed things to occupy me (and didn’t know that all I needed to be “complete” in life was to learn to knit, which she didn’t do). I sewed some ridiculous looking garments for my SheRa dolls, and many sleeping bags for them also….

  • I learned how to sew in Home Ec classes starting in junior high school. I went on to make many clothes throughout high school using the sewing machine that my dad bought for my mom (who had absolutely no interest in learning how to use the thing).

  • I first learned to sew in school, but the equipment was limited and so was the knowledge imparted. After I married and had a couple of kids, a friend taught me the rudiments and I made matching outfits for them, and then all my maternity clothes for a subsequent pregnancy. I continued to sew until the number of children in my small house prevented me from having any space to set up my machine, and I switched to embroidery for my creative fix! Required much less space!

  • I am already receiving Snippets. I learned to sew from my mom and at school in the Netherlands where it was all done by hand. No machines in the building.

  • My mother taught me to see. She was the leader of my 4-H sewing club. We made drawstring totebags and elastic waist skirts. By the time I finished my 4-H career she had taught me well enough that I got to model a dress I had made at the State Fair. I miss her everyday.

    • She taught me to see not “see”

  • I taught myself how to sew as a kid as a way to keep myself entertained. Later, as an adult, I started taking sewing classes to build the skills I needed to make the things I wanted.

  • I’m already signed up for Snippets. My mom taught me how to sew on her old black Singer hand crank sewing machine. The first thing I ever sewed was a skirt for my doll. We used that old machine until I was a teenager, when she bought a brand new electric machine.

  • My mother, a wonderful seamstress, and my grandmother who did beautiful decorative stitching, taught me to see and inspired my love of handsewn clothing.

  • This competition will probably be for America only but just to say i loved reading this article and i thought the scarf kit in Peacock looks gorgeous.I have sewn as much as i knit and have kept all the clothes i made our daughters.x

  • My grandma was probably the first to teach me about sewing, she made many dresses for me and ones to match for my dolls. My dad’s cousin helped me with my 4H sewing projects. I remember lugging my great-grandmother’s sewing machine to her house every week to learn to sew and work on my projects.

  • My paternal grandfather was a professional tailor, so I grew up surrounded by scraps of fabric and sewing supplies. Sewing was just something that people did… and it seems like making dresses for dolls was just the natural thing to do when I was growing up.

  • I learned to sew from my mother when I was about five or six. She made most of my clothes, as I was very small & had a difficult time finding clothes that fit. I began by making clothes for my trolls – the only dolls my tomboy self considered acceptable.

  • Home ec 7th grade. We had to make a dress. I had outgrown mine by the time we finished the project.

  • My mother taught me to sew when I was small….complete with a slightly harrowing tale about how she once knelt on a needle after dropping it and how you should never kneel down to look for a dropped needle as it may stick into your knee…! Dangerous stuff, DIY.

  • My grandmother sewed alot of our clothes when we were very young. I loved her black and gold oak cased singer machine with all the silvery attachments. It was not electric or treddle but hand turned. I loved the sound of it being turned and I loved the sound of my grandmother cutting out her fabric with her shears on the wood dining table. It was only natural that I took to sewing my own clothes in high school, Home Economics classes (as it was called then).

  • I don’t know how to sew, but I think your pieces are beautiful enough to inspire me to learn!

  • My mother showed me how to make a little quilt for my doll made up of four square pieces of gingham fabric. I still keenly remember the feeling of enlightenment and discovery I had after sewing up the seams when I pushed the fabric through the little hole, turned it all right side out, and could see that it was a real thing I had just made.

  • I learned to sew in 7th grade in Home Economics class. It was a required course for 3 years and then I choose it as an elective. While I was learning to sew in school, my mother was taking the adult sewing courses from the same teacher.

  • I learned to sew at the tender young age of 6, in a class at Michael’s where I made a pillowcase, a drawstring bag, and PJ pants. Due to the timing of the course, I chose tacky Halloween fabrics for all 3 projects, alas. So excited at the chance to win an Alabama Chanin kit! Even the kits are out of my price range, but I’ve been admiring AC from afar for ages. <3

  • My aunt was a clothing designer and she taught me to sew at six years old. I had my own toy sewing machine that actually sewed. My first project was a nightgown.

  • Several people tried to teach me to sew, but it wasn’t till I went to stay with my cousin Kay on her farm in Tasmania when I was 16 that someone finally succeeded. She was/is an amazing teacher and I still remember the pride I felt when I finished my first dress under her instruction – khaki linen, epaulettes, brass buttons, welt pockets – I felt like I could take on the world and sew it into an outfit. That was four decades ago, and I’m still sewing.

  • My best friend’s mother taught me to sew. She took us shopping for floral fabric and showed us how to make gathered skirts. It was brilliant!

  • I’m already a dedicated Snippits reader, so I hope that works. I have no idea when I learned to hand sew and embroider — sometime before 4th grade. That was when I learned to machine sew. I distinctly remember machine hemming a 5″x5″ square of cloth while watching Lassie on TV. (I was an early multi-tasker). And I still have that floral print scrap to prove it. The best advice I remember Mom giving me was “don’t sew over your fingers.”

  • My mother taught me as a very young child to sew on buttons and then to hem. I remember gathering around the table with my older sisters as she taught us to cut out patterns and conserve fabric. I loved the smell of pressing the fabric. And what a thrill when she let me use the machine.

  • I learn to sew watching my mom who made all her own clothes and clothes for my sisters and I. We where in 4H and expected to take over for our selves in junior high. Almost everyone I knew grew up seeing most of their own wardrobe everyone used to practice the slow clothes lifestyle

  • I learned to sew from my mother. I was probably 7 or 8. She has a singer sewing machine that was always cranking. She made herself suits and dresses for me and my sister. She was quite crafty and just one day decided she was done. However, she will not pass her machine on to me.
    I took a class with my friend during high school at Singer Sewing Center. I wish I had taken Home Ec but I figured I knew it all. It is funny but my daughter who is graduating this year had been hoping her school offered Home Ec.

  • Already get Snippets! Learned to hand sew and embroider from my mother. I learned to machine sew from my oldest sister who was 11 years older than I. She got a Singer portable when she graduated from high school in 1955. She later became a weaver and fiber artist and used a more complex machine so I inherited her Singer. It has served me well and even the button hole attachment works after 62 years!

  • I first learned to sew in Home Economics class when I was in the 8th grade (seems like 100 years ago!!)

  • Already signed up for Snippets! I learned to see from a fierce feminist home ec teacher in 7th grade.

  • I learned to sew as a child by my mother and also in school. I would really like to try again!

  • My mom taught me how to sew.

  • I’ve already signed up for Snippets. learned to sew in elementary school. We made pillow cases and then moved on to simple clothes. I moved on to quilting and purse making as a young adult. I’ve drooled over the Alabama Chanin website for years but have yet to take the plunge. Thanks for the chance!

  • My mother taught me to sew when I was very young. She was a maker and passed that interest onto me and my sister..

  • My mother first taught me how to sew (and knit and crochet.) Beautiful kits!! Thanks!

  • I learned to sew from my mother and her mother who was a wonderful seamstress. My first sewing ‘class’ was after school at the Convent, taught by Catholic nuns, when I was in second grade. I progressed quickly from hand sewing to the machine, fashioning my first dress for Easter. Medium blue, round neckline, empire waist and set in short sleeves. I’ve done french handsewing, smocking, and even tailored a man’s jacket with pad-stitched collar. These kits look amazing, thank you for the introduction to Natalie Chanin

  • I first learned to sew in 4-H in Ohio when I was in elementary school. My first project was a drawstring tote bag made out of red, white, and blue canvas-like fabric with anchors and sailor hats all over it. I remember feeling so proud.

  • My Mom taught met to sew. Still love it to this day.

  • I learned how to sew in home economics and I was absolutely horrible at it yet I persevered. I’m still terrible.

  • Home sewing has been a constant on my life. When I was a girl, my mother made many of my clothes and all of my Easter dresses and Halloween costumes. When the time came, she made my wedding dress, all three of my bridesmaids’ dresses’ my rehearsal dinner dress, and my going away outfit for my wedding. We joke often that her sewing machine was the soundtrack of my childhood. I remember the picture on our family television jumping with the speed of her sewing machine motor, but I was never annoyed. I knew even then that her work was important and an act of love.

    Obviously I learned both the skills and the passion for sewing from my mother. I have a closet full of handmade clothing to show for it! I’m currently teaching my mother to knit, and I’m treasuring the opportunity to repay her, in a small way, for the enormous gifts she’s given me over the years.

    Thank you for this generous giveaway! Mom and I are both big fans of Alabama Chanin and have yet to attempt the techniques.

  • I watched my mother sew, but didn’t get hands on until junior high when my friends starting sewing projects in home ec (I had signed up for shop). I was fascinated by their sewing projects so I went and bought the pattern and made it myself. They were letter shaped pillows and I remember making my initials. Haven’t stopped sewing since then.

  • I learned to sew making doll clothes as a tween. I was able to take a sewing class in high school, which taught me a lot more about the right way to do it. I think sewing is one of those tasks where the best way to learn is to have a lot of chances to do it wrong… and then fix it.

  • First thank you for the opportunity to enter this contest! Now, to how I learned to sew–my mom was a prolific and talented sewist. Knowing that she was a perfectionist and her darling daughter was decidedly NOT, she wisely chose to send me to classes. The first thing I made was a skirt. But typical Mom, the teacher didn’t teach me the right way, and I learned by Mom’s exacting standards instead. That first skirt fit me like a glove, with perfect darts, a handpicked zipper, and fully lined to boot. I became an expert in pressing and using all her pressing tools. (Never say “ironing”, although I did plenty of that, just not while sewing.) After that, I handpicked all her zippers, because my stitches were “prettier than hers”.
    I am still not a perfectionist, and I don’t handpick my zippers, but I could, and I will forever be grateful for all the wisdom Mom imparted to me.

  • My mother could sew on a button and that’s about it. Thankfully, along came 7th grade (1963-ish), and along with it Home Economics, and I remember I made an apron, of which I was some proud! I also learned basic cooking. Knitting came from a neighbor at about the same time. Love of gardening from a grandmother. All basic skills for getting along in life, and now, the very same things that bring the most enjoyment!

  • I’m a scaredy cat sewer, and like most things I try to learn, use books (and of course the internet) and a resource. But mostly I just wing it 🙂

  • I learned from asking my mom to teach me to make sleeping bags for my beanie babies on her sewing machine.

  • My mom taught me how to sew on a very old vintage single sewing machine when I was a child. I would give anything to have my mom by my side for some sewing time today. I miss her so very much.

  • I learned to sew very young – from either or both my mother and grandmother. Such an important life skill!

  • I was just looking through the Alabama Stitch Book book last weekend at a small local fabric shop. I was thinking that I’d like to try my hand at upcycling some thrift store t-shirts with beautiful Alabama Chanin designs. I’ve recently been feeling the itch to try my hand at sewing for myself and embrace the slow fashion, me made, creative bug. Natalie and the good peeps at Alabama Chanin are definitely an inspiration. (P.S. I’m already signed up for Snippets – it’s my favorite part of Saturday morning – cuppa joe and a recap of the week on MDK.)

  • Coming from a long line of seamstresses,it was a daily practice of having something in progress. My mother,an unusual and brilliant talent would sew tailored coats and matching pill box very favorite dress was a yellow Leno weave with smocking and a tiny puffed sleeve with a white peter pan collar.we began with embroidery hoops,learning cross stich,then simple mending,darning,then sister today always mentions how she would have mother turn the heels of the socks as it was darn,it was a gift given,this handmedown knowledge of making and repairing.later in early marriage I would work at a cotton and woolen mill taking care of the seeking old looms,and savoring any scrap I was allowed to bring Jesse had a patchwork skirt that I embroidered all the flowers of the fields on.yes,grateful for grandmother’s bargello,trapunto,aunties tatting,and mother’s teaching hands.

  • I’ve been trying to remember how I first learned to sew, but I can’t. It seems like it was always around and I just slowly picked it up. I do remember my first pair of shorts when I was 8 or 9…

  • I already get and love Snippets! Learned how to sew from my Nana…and also self taught!

  • My mother taught me to sew. I have so many memories of standing awkwardly in my underwear next to the sewing machine while she made me try on half-finished garments with pins poking out in all directions. Now when I try on my own half-finished garments I finally understand why she subjected me to such torment!

  • My mom bought me an embroidery kit when I was young–I think 7 or 8 years old–to keep me out of her hair! I was hooked! I still love to embroider and cross stitch today, plus knitting/crocheting. I actually don’t remember who taught me how to use a sewing machine…but I have one and love it!

  • I took a class in high school, just on a whim. But then I LOVED it, and made a sundress that was better than anything I could have found in a store. We had an “I Made It” day, where we all wore stickers on our handmade clothes, and I had never been so proud. That feeling is the best!

  • No one in my family sewed. My Mom was an expert at putting a button that had come off with a safety pin. I had such a strong desire for the making and sewing, when I was in 6th grade I bought my first sewing machine (Kenmore) with money I had saved up fro babysitting. I self taught, also with the help of two neighbors I would reach out to -one who followed all the rules precisely and the second who was an artist and No rules -she cut off the markings in patterns saying you don’t need those. What a gift they both were to me, skills, freedom, creating,balance and connection. I have been sewing ever since (also knitting, crocheting and handwork). I try to pay it forward when I can.
    Natalie is amazing -one of my heros!

  • My mother taught me to sew, first as a child by hand and then by machine, progressing from simple hemming and sewing on buttons to altering patterns to accommodate my height as a teen… It was a shared activity that culminated in “household” sewing in adulthood​, when we worked together on curtains and drapes after I married.

  • I was taught to sew by my mother and the generous leaders of my 4-H club, on a Singer treadle machine. I think I sewed buttons on first and then made a fringed scarf and a gathered skirt. My mom loved to sew and made most of our clothes.
    Thanks for the opportunity to view and (maybe) win a Chanin kit.

  • My mom signed me up for sewing classes when I was 10. I loved it.

  • My grandmother taught me to sew as a child. I didn’t realize at the time that she was instilling within me an outlet for stress. She was a farmer’s wife. She made clothes for herself and her children, quilts to keep her family warm, and heirlooms for each of her ten grandchildren. She, at 94, continues to work on items made by hand and machine for her 14 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great-grands, from embroidered pillowcases to wedding quilts, from smocked gowns to crocheted doilies. She’s an inspiration!! Natalie Chanin and her staff have furthered my sewing education through the books and journal entries online. I’m a fan of the company as well as it’s founder!

  • My grandmother taught me.

  • i learned to sew from my mom, and made quite a few things in high school. I’ve recently take it up again as I got a sewing machine for mothers day a few years back. 🙂

  • My mother, grandmothers, and aunts all sewed, so I absorbed a lot. One grandmother always had an embroidery project for me to do when I visited; mom fed into that with lots of Jiffy embroidery kits. At age 8 or so, mom enrolled me in 4H for sewing and baking (after I attended a Brownies meeting where they glued macaroni to paper plates – mom was an artist, and didn’t approve).

  • I think it was my Grandma but I’m not sure. It seems like sewing machines have always been around the house–in our basement in it’s own table, at my grandma’s in her sewing room, in my other grandma’s dining room in it’s own cabinet and at my great-grandmother’s in the dining room. Ours was a heavy duty old school kenmore in a cabinet that you had to flop the top open and lift out the light blue beauty that was our machine. My great-grandmothers was a treadle machine that I would sit on the floor and run the treadle for her. I’m not a fabulous sewist but I make a mean costume! I’ve made one dress but would like to work on more women’s clothing.

  • Mother taught me to sew (and is still teaching me). I remember her helping me make a quilt…don’t know whether it ever was finished. She also helped me through the sewing portion of home economics class and many, many 4-H projects.

  • I first learned to sew by mimicking my mom and grandma. I would practice on scraps when I was four or five years old. Then I graduated to my mom’s hand-crank childhood Singer when I was five, making clothes for my dolls. I graduated to a 1940’s Singer electric when I was ten, and there was no looking back. I loved the process from thought to pattern, then material and buttons, etc., to finished product. Still do.

  • I first learned to sew in Brownies at the tender young age of seven – for a merit badge, we sewed pillows. (Mine was an owl.) A few years later, I sewed a skirt, vest, and blouse for a Junior merit badge, and many, many years after that I taught the girls in my daughter’s troop how to use a sewing machine.

  • I love your work! I would enjoy making a scarf if I win!

  • I was taught by my grandmother how to embroider and cross stitch when I was 11.
    Catherine L

  • I first learned to make doll clothes. I quickly learned that just cutting arm holes or neck holes in a scrap did not make an elegant result! My mom taught me to sew properly shortly after. I am a big fan of The School of Making! Thanks so much for offering the chance to win!

  • My mother taught me to sew as a child. We lived overseas and necessity was the mother of invention. So she sewed all of my clothes, and my Barbie’s clothes, and I sewed whatever I could manage. Usually clothes, but later in life as I was setting up my first apartment, was thankful for the sewing skills and machine so I could make window treatments.

  • I learned to sew when I was 9, on my mom’s old Singer. I loved that machine! I was so disappointed when Santa brought me the much fancier Touch-n-Sew the next year — I wanted the simplicity of manual forward-reverse and not all those bells and whistles!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  • I’ve been dying to try one of the Alabama Chanin kits since I first learned about the company a couple of years ago! I only know the tiniest basics of sewing, picked up from DIY tutorials and whatever I remember from middle school Home Ec. I recently learned to embroider from a Purl Soho kit, and that was so much fun! I’d love to hone a new skill!

  • My mom taught me to sew when I was about four (I think). I have a very clear memory of learning embroidery when I was about six and being devastated to discover that I had embroidered my project quite securely to the table cloth on the dining room table (my mom thought this was hilarious, and then helped me fix it).

  • Making a head scarf at the neighbor’s house. We didn’t have a sewing machine.

  • My first memory of sewing are the sewing cards with yarn or laces. My mother was a great seamstress and taught my sister and I to sew by hand (I was probably about 7 or 8) and we made doll clothes. In 7th-8th grade I had home economics, taught by a taskmaster of a teacher, Mrs Yaegman. Our first project was an apron that we wore later in the year while cooking.

  • My sister, who is two years older than me, sewed and that inspired me to learn. I joined a 4H group whose focus was sewing, and that is where I first gained some basic skills.

  • I’m at the very beginnings of thinking about making clothing…I have experience with quilts and other things where fit doesn’t matter…I love the Alabama Chanin look…I even bought the Alabama Chanin plates from Heath Ceramics last year.

  • I watched my mother sew. She wanted me to learn but I wasn’t interested. I just wanted the beautiful clothes she made. Then I joined the US Navy as a parachute rigger. They made me learn how to sew. My mother thought it was funny.

  • My mom had a gold-trimmed, black, Singer sewing machine. When I was about age 8, she taught me to sew pillowcase for my Hope Chest. I progressed to skirts and simple dresses. Home-ec classes taught me finer skills and I’d practice at home on that little machine. Now that I’m nearly 60, I look at the little black machine which sits on my shelf, and go back in time and revisit memories of my dear, sweet mother and my treasured childhood.

  • My first sewing lesson was with our 4-H club and I was hooked from that moment in the art of creation. Still love to sew, knit and craft!!

  • I learned to sew by hand and machine in my sixth grade home ec class, which was my favorite! I remember doing many stitch samplers by hand, and our machine projects were an apron and a gym bag. It was a lot of fun and we learned a lot!

  • When I was a teenager, I learned to sew quilts looking to my grandmother’s for inspiration. Those quilts were practical and made great family gifts.

  • My mother taught my sister and I to sew when we were about 7 or 8. I actually prefer the feel of hand stitching to machine, but I appreciate the efficiency of machine sewing. My sister had gone on to be a prolific quilter. I chose other creative outlets. 🙂

  • I learned to sew by watching my mom on her old Singer, which she still uses! I’m a decent beginner, but she does amazing things like recovering cushions.

  • I learned to sew in home economics in 7th grade. Made a reversible vest and got a C+. Though I have fond memories of my mom and grandma quilting, I never gave sewing another go outside of seaming knitted things. Maybe it’s time for another try.

  • I first learned to sew at my Grandma’s.

  • Learn to sew from Mom around the age of 8. Mom had a old sewing machine (pedal). I love it. Wish I had it now.

  • You’re going to make me cry… I learned about sewing from my uber talented seamstress mom! Except, where she excelled, I’m lucky if I know the basics. Miss you mom.

  • Thanks for offering this giveaway. My Mom was a seamstress, so I guess I was sewing at an early age.

  • My mom taught me to sew, but my friend Sheri was the one who put the fire to make things in me. We would have sleep-overs and sew seersucker blazers all night.

  • Learned to sew in middle school.

  • When I was about 8 or 9, I was visiting my German Oma who had this wooden egg on the table. She was very artistic and always had fun crafts she was doing around the house. When I asked her what the egg was, she quickly gave me my first sewing lesson: darning my Opa’s socks.

  • I learned the basics of hand sewing, needlepoint, crewel and embroidery from my grandmother. I started at age 5 by helping her organize and wind her threads and she started me hand sewing at age 6 using punched out cardboard. I did my first sampler at 7 and I have continued to sew since then! I was lucky enough to take sewing classes all through high school and even in college.

  • I learned to sew on thin cardboard sewing cards. When I mastered those, I graduated to sewing needles, thread, and fabric.

  • My grandmother taught me to make doll clothes over the summer when I was 6

  • My mom taught me to sew. We lived in the country and were a single-income family, so we sewed a lot of our own clothes and participated in 4-H.

  • My Grandmother taught me to sew as well as to crochet as a young girl. She would sew us matching Lily Pulitzer dresses, still have a couple from my childhood. My prized position is her Singer machine which I still use.

  • At my library! Orange County Public Library in Orlando, FL

  • 12 years old – our middle school had a random 6-week classes on Fridays, and the denim wrap skirt from the 70’s was the thing to make. Still have the sewing machine birthday present I got from Mom for my 13th birthday. That and 4 others, that is.

  • My mother signed me up for 4H because she did not know much about sewing. First we made a sewing box, then an apron, and then the world!

  • I first learned to sew in Mrs. Faucett’s six grade class at my small elementary school. She was a serious seamstress and we ended the year with a fashion show where we modeled our creations for the school. I was hooked!

  • learned to sew in fifth grade with one of my teachers and my mom, then again in seventh grade in Home Ec class…..

  • I learned to sew when I was probably 8 or 9 in our 4-H Club, many years ago. I can’t remember exactly what we made but it was made using a kitchen towel. After that, I sewed many of my clothes and learned some tailoring techniques in home economics. Now I make many home decor products and grandchildren clothes. It’s a wonderful hobby!

  • Home ec in middle school! I made a huge Gumby doll in mint green polyester.

  • A very special neighbor taught me to both sew and knit. Such beautiful kits.

  • Oh, yes… The Singer Featherweight machine!! I love it still and hope some day to own one of my own….

  • I learned to sew from my mother and to do the custom-finishing essential to handmade garments from my college roommate’s clothing designer mother, Clara. What a gal!

  • Home Ec was my first formal instruction but my mom always encouraged any making.

  • My mom taught me to sew as a child.

  • I first learned to handsew as a Girl Scout and then in junior high from Mrs. Small the sewing teacher taught me how to use a machine. I currently use my grandmother’s Singer from the 1940’s.

  • My grandmother taught me to sew because I REALLY wanted a poodle skirt. This was the mid-80s when 50s-inspired fashion returned, but I had not yet learned the art of nuanced styling. So, my grandmother carefully helped me construct one pink circle skirt complete with a set in waistband and hidden zipper. We scoured every fabric and trim store in hopes of finding the perfect material from which to make the poodle. In the end we cut the smooth poodle pieces from an old grey sweatshirt belonging to my grandfather and carefully appliqued them to the skirt. Then, I painstakingly created the curly poodle parts (including on floppy ear lined with the pink of the skirt) by making hundreds and hundreds of French knots out of grey embroidery floss. I was so very proud of that darn skirt!

  • My grandmother taught me to sew…by hand. I learned to make doll clothes, quilt blocks and later made my own small doll (her name was Arrabella Anibelle Lee) and I made her clothes. I still have her (somewhere) and she has many warm memories to share.

  • My mom sewed my clothes and by the time I was a teenager I sewed what I wanted. I don’t remember learning how.

  • I took a year of home economics in high school and we made an apron and a dress.

  • My mom showed me how to sew on buttons, but I didn’t really learn to sew until I took a home ec class in high school. I used to sew quite a bit until my kids got “too old” to wear homemade clothes. I’m interested in quilting and that’s one of my first goals once I retire.

  • I learned to sew making doll clothes. At first by hand and then on a machine. I still sew on the machine I learned on, a pre WWII Singer.

  • I learned to see at age 7 from my mother. She sat me down at her sewing machine which had a knee lever instead of a floor pedal that my short little legs would not have been able to reach. She had me practice sewing straight lines on lined notebook paper with an unthreaded needles.

  • My mother taught me to see and I love slow sewing!

  • Learning to sew is a lifelong journey. My journey began with the women in my family–grandmother, aunts and mother. All shared valuable time to nurture this priceless gift. It is now my pleasure to do the same with my granddaughter. The scarf is exquisite – happy mother’s day to all!

  • I’m teaching myself to sew – it’s very much still a work in progress

  • I probably learned to sew earlier, but the earliest sewing project I can remember was a poncho in 7th grade home ec class. That was definitely my first sewing machine project, but I think I was hand-stitching in elementary school.

  • My grandmother taught me – I learned with her old sewing machine and used up all her old bedclothes for my design experiments …

  • My mother taught me how to sew. I taught my daughter and she has taught her children.

  • I started making dresses and stuff for my dolls when I was 8 years old. I just used scraps of fabric that I found in my house. I thought I was very creative and it was such a relaxing way to spend an afternoon! Then I admired the result for days (even if it was not so great!). I remember making a denim coat with orange buttons for my favorite doll!

  • I was 6 or 7 and had a doll I loved, and many ideas what I wanted her to wear. So I pulled out the neglected sewing machine, and began hacking old clothes into shapes to fit onto my doll. By the time I was an early teen, I discovered patterns and fabric stores, and found one of my true loves. Nothing made me prouder than to wear something I made.

  • In 1972 I was 9 years old, and joined 4H in Granby Ct. My mom’s best friend Pat Joy was my sewing teacher. No elastic waist green skirt (usual 1st project) for me. Under her patient tutelage I made a sleeveless dress with a zipper back. Kept it for years…
    Now I stitch gifts and quilts.

  • My mom learned how to sew us dresses and encouraged us to follow along and make our dolls’ dresses. Fabric still excites me just as much as yarn:-)

  • I learned to sew in elementary school home ec class. I’m signed up for snippets.

  • I haven’t learned to sew yet! But I taught myself to knit 30 years ago, and I figure it’s time to try something new.

  • At school. And from my grandma.

  • My mom made all my clothes growing up (back then in the distant land of the 1980’s it was cheaper to make them yourself) and taught me good fundamentals. Then I joined 4-H and a neighbor’s grandmother taught me to sew my own clothes for the “fashion show” at the county fair. I picked it up again a few years ago when I became a stay at home mom and was bored to death. Now I sew everyday making mostly bags and pouches.

  • My mom taught me to sew at 9 years of age. I learned by making Barbie doll clothes! Looking back I’m surprised I still love to sew…

  • My mother was an avid sewer. When I was young, I looked forward to the annual nightgowns at the beginning of each summer. They were usually seersucker and flowered and crisp. She taught me to sew when I was in junior high.

  • The first things I learned to sew were scraps of fabric cut into squares and other assorted shapes by my grandmother (who is 90 this year!). She showed me how to thread a needle and sew pieces together with basic running stitch. I spent hours awkwardly sewing things together. I learned to use a sewing machine in grade 9 home ec class, where I sewed a pair of boxer shorts and earned a perfect mark! I went to to work in an industrial embroidery factory, where I ran 2-, 6-, 12-, and 18-head embroidery machines and marrow machines.
    I now have my own sewing machine and have used it to make reusable fabric bags for Christmas gifts and other assorted uses, as well as a really ugly doll dress and a pretty awesome Princess Leia (at the end of a New Hope, the kiddo was very specific) Halloween costume!

  • New to MDK and this looks interesting. Like I need another project, duh!!

    • I learned to sew at school, still have the needle case and tray cloth I made.

  • My grandmother taught me how to sew (of course!)

  • I learned to sew when I moved to Malaysia and attended the local convent school, Assunta. We had regular sewing and embroidery classes – all hand sewing! A couple of years ago my mother found the apron I had painstakingly sewed and embroidered (rather unevenly) for my first project – I still have it!

    • Oh, and I’m already a snippets follower under my hotmail account!

  • When I was five, I learned to sew little quilt squares together by hand, with a running stitch. I sat at my mother’s side working with my own little pile of two inch cotton squares while she pieced her more intricate quilt blocks. I felt so accomplished when I was able to sew 4×4’s blocks together all by myself.

  • I’m really not very good at sewing but think this kit will help me on my way to learning. Always hopeful

  • My grandmother, Harriett Bradley Fitt, taught me to sew. She had campaigned for women’s suffrage alongside her mother and my grandfather.

  • I learned to sew while sitting on my mothers sewing table watching her creations come together. I would practice making odds and ends with her scraps.

  • Already signed up for Snippets! I learned to sew in Home Ec class at school. I just retired, and part of my plan is to reinvigorate my sewing skills!

  • My mum taught me to sew as a kid – I made a doll by hand with embroidered features, yarn for hair and a made from scratch wardrobe.

  • My mother taught me to sew. I remember her giving my sister and me little fabric square to practice our stitches. I was so proud when she complimented me on my even stitches. I eventually went on to a long career in sewing clothing for dolls, ending at about age 12.

  • I learned to sew from my mother when I was young. She first taught me to sew blankets for my dolls, then I graduated to simple doll clothing.

  • My mom taught me to sew when I was five- I made an apron for my greatgrandmother out of mushroom print calico. It was 1978

  • My Aunt taught me to sew in 1961 when I was 6 years old. I learned to sew on a old peddle sewing machine, which was nice as it was harder to run over my little fingers. I mostly sewed doll clothes, but I watched my aunt sew beautiful garments, as she made her own clothes. As I got older, and had my aunts hand-me-down Sears sewing machine, I made cute little dresses and outfits for my babies. We used seersucker, corduroy and cotton fabrics – such fun memories. I love your website as it’s so much fun to learn (sometimes re-learn) new techniques. Thank you.

  • I’m already signed up for Snippets. I first learned to sew in Homemaking class at Barstow Intermediate School in Barstow, CA. I stayed with the sewing portion of homemaking classes all the way through high school – and I’ve never been without a sewing machine and a basket of threads, pins, etc… since!

  • I learned to sew on a Singer treadle machine, with my grandmother at my side. She was a quilter and made rag rugs. Every button and zipper was saved for another project!

  • I learned to hand-sew from my Mom before I was 5 years old. For Christmas when I was 6, Santa gave me a sewing kit that I used until adulthood. I remember being over-the-moon thrilled.

  • This is beautiful! I leaned to sew with my Mom. She made all her own clothes growing up and she wanted to see me take an interest in making my clothes. It took me a while but now I’m a intermediate level seamstress. Now we both quilt and it’s been a lovely way to slow down and have a chat.

  • My mom taught me to cross stitch when I was 8. She made me a lot of holiday dresses, and my paternal grandmother made me costumes, so I mostly learned by watching them. I need to take a refresher course, because I want to get back to machine sewing. I’m still a good hand stitcher.

  • I’m already signed up for Snippets. I’m just learning to sew now; my grandmother always made things for me and didn’t have the temperament to teach. So only knitting and crochet till now, but I am taking a class.

  • My mom taught me to sew. I also took classes at Eunice Farmer’s, a great sewing shop that is now closed, sadly. I remember making seersucker shorts.

  • My mother taught me to sew. I experimented with making doll clothes.

  • My mother taught me to sew when I was a very young child. The first thing I remember sewing was yo-yos which my mother would assemble into the flopsy clown dolls that were popular in the 1970’s. I traced around a tuna can on scraps of fabric to make the circles, and sewed around them in a running stitch. In my early teens, I learned to use the sewing machine, and I have made everything from quilts, to Halloween costumes, to wedding dresses. So happy to have these skills!

  • I learned how to sew in a 7th grade Home Ec class. I made the homeliest butterfly sleeve t shirt and skirt that I wore with great pride. There was–and is–magic in being able to stitch and fold fabric into fashion.

  • Just the basics from my mom (who had taken a class), and then lots of hours with a sewing machine trying to make clothes for my Barbie.

  • How lovely these kits are! I signed up for Snippets back in the day, before I started my grad class and lost my time to read it, but I finish my class on Saturday! Yay! I learned to sew from my mama, and though knitting is my main jam, I am still known for my personalized pj pants for friends and family, and some quilts that take FOREVER but are bright and warm.

  • Wow, this is delightful. I am part of that group of crafters that taught themselves. I learned to sew from an American Girl craft book when I was in elementary school. I think my first project was a square pincushion with a star applique and a button.

  • My mother taught me how to sew as she made school clothes for my siblings and I when we were in grade school.

  • I have signed up for Snippets. I first learned to sew about 4 or 5 yrs of age watching my mother, (who comes from a long line of seamstresses​), and made a great majority of her clothes and those of her three girls. My mother is 83 yrs this month and still sews today. Started on handsewn Barbie clothes. Graduated to the Child’s version of a sewing machine which didn’t use needles but, get this, an upside-down bottle of glue for seaming instead of the real deal sharp needles and thread (mimicked real machine setup). Lol! It worked quite well for 4-6 yr olds. My first experience with the real machine ended in a broken needle tip as I had sewn down through the tip of my index finger and before I could think of the consequence, yanked my hand away. Yes, there was a hole there and some blood but nothing serious, and that didn’t stop me.

  • I learned to sew my own ballroom/latin dance costumes in college when I was dancing competitively and didn’t have tons of money to buy custom-made ones. I have somehow always had a knack for sewing with stretch fabrics, thank goodness!

  • I first learned to sew as a Girl Scout years and years ago. Then retaught myself for making garb for events like SCA and Renaissance Faires.

  • I learned to sew by hand (cross-stitch and repairs) from my mom and by machine (quilting) from my dad’s mom. A McCall’s pattern taught me how to sew a shift dress. There’s always more to learn.

  • My mother taught me to sew, a skill reinforced in a junior high school home economics class and in specialty classes starting in my early sewing career. Anyone else remember Stretch-and-Sew? My mom gifted her original sewing machine to me, and it’s still my go-to-machine, a ’50’s Singer Swingline with cabinet. Sewing has a long tradition in my family: my mother also gave me my great-grandmother’s treadle sewing machine, the one used in her professional life as a dress-maker.

  • Already signed up for snippets. My aunt taught me to sew during summer trips to her house. We would pick out a pattern and buy material. My first garment was a Muslin top that I embroidered the yoke

  • I started sewing when I was 4 making crude clothes for my dolls. By 10, I was making clothes and still going strong!

  • I learned to hand sew from my grandmother when I was quite young. She was an amazing woman and artist, I blame her still today that I ended up becoming a fiber artist who still prefers to hand stitch than machine sew. And I now pass the sewing skills onto students of all ages who take my classes. Nothing better than teaching a university student how to hand stitch and them wanting to know how to sew buttons on in response.

  • My Mom taught me how to sew on her Singer treadle machine when I was about 10 years old. I made a crop top for myself and made many of my own clothes from then on!

  • I think I first learned to sew in the Brownies – we handstitched the spine of a needle case that was a little pinked=edged flannel book, and then embroidered a design on the front. After that we graduated to machine sewing an apron with a hand-sized pocket on the front left and with the top gathered into a folded waistband that extended into long ties. Still remember the magic of pulling on the thread to make the gathers!

  • My mother helped me learn how to sew as a Girl Scout to get my sewing badge! That was in the 1960s, and I have been sewing, off and on, ever since!

  • My mom started me down that sewing road, but I remember a Jr. High School summer course me and my BFF took…

  • My sister, brother and I were kids from the 50’s. My brother was bought school clothes every year, but we girls had to sew ours school clothes. MY sister learned sewing from my mother. When i became old enough to learn sewing, I guess mom was shot out from teaching my sister and she sent me to a singer sewing class. There was a fashion show when our classes were through, we got to model our creations. I did not win but it is a great memory. MY brother sadly because of his being a male missed out on the craft.

  • I first learned to sew while in at the age of 12 or 13. I remember learning to sew a pillowcase (with french seams) as my first project. I still make pillowcases and the occasional pajama pant. 🙂

  • I learned in home economics class in 8th grade. I’ve improved a bit since then I hope!

  • I learned to sew out of necessity when I was in my early 20’s. I had moved overseas and didn’t have any money. In order to stretch what I did have, I learned to fix my clothes and sew curtains and other home goods on an old pfaff hand-me-down. I love that I can sew and am teaching my children!

  • I first leaned to sew when I was a fairly new teacher and I bid on sewing classes taught ny the librarian at my school in a PTA auction. She was wonderfully patient,

  • I taught myself I guess. I had to patch my jeans.

  • My grandmother made school clothes for my younger sisters and me (back in the days when little girls wore dresses to school!). As we grew older, she taught us all to sew.
    Last summer I opened up my old sewing machine to make some small household item, and it all came back to me–the sun pouring in to the upstairs bedroom window, the struggles to learn to thread the beautiful black and gold Singer, and all the hours spent with someone I loved so much.
    Already signed up to Snippets. Thank you for this wonderful contest!

  • I have absolutely no memory of learning how to sew. I can remember my first attempts at knitting, but not at sewing. I think my first sewing attempts involved Binca fabric at school….how utterly peculiar that I have no recollection at all, and therefore do not know if it was Mum or school!

  • Learned to sew from my mom! She sewed lots of clothes for me when I was young. I also took Home Ec all through junior high and high school (when they still taught life skills) in the old days! Ha!

  • My mom taught me to sew when I was 6. I love your designs.

  • My mother first taught me to sew. I can’t remember what my first project was – there were a series of crafts I learned from my mom: embroidering, needlepoint, crocheting, and finally knitting. For my birthday one year, she gave me a Bernina sewing machine, which I still have. My mom has now passed her love of crafting onto my daughter and nieces and has helped each of them make their own quilts.

  • Learned to sew in grade 8 home ec class, made a jumper, but my mom sewed a bit and my older sister sewed my bridesmaid dress for her wedding at that time. I never looked back, sewed, modified and repaired everything I wore for a long time until work and raising 4 children got in the way. Now I have time again and I’m sewing for myself, it’s always been my sanity in a crazy world. Recently bought one of the Alabama Chanin books to attempt to learn these slow hand sewing methods as find they speak to me and are just beautiful. The scarf kit would be a great start. Now as my life is going through many changes and I find myself alone, sewing and knitting are more than my sanity they are my therapy:) Already a snippets reader, love it, hence here. Not sure if the contest applies to Canadians but want to say thanks anyways for what you all do in the world of making these days!

  • I was about 5 or 6 years old and wanted to make doll clothes. Then I made a halter top, then a wrap skirt, then shorts…and I kept going. My mom sewed all the time and made many dresses, whatever we wanted to wear, for me and my 4 sisters.

  • taught to sew by mom and grandma

  • I am a self-taught sewer. I learned to sew by making clothes for my troll dolls, and then another doll (you know the one).

  • My aunt taught me when I was ten.

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