Thursday, January 29, 2009

History of a sewist

This week I've had a project accepted for publication by an Oz magazine-submission of the project is in May but it won't be published until October-that's a long way ahead they work. Would appear that if I want to submit for the Christmas edition it would have to be in in July! Even the MOTH was impressed, finally realizing that all the time spent up in my sewing room is not my way of avoiding him all weekend!LOL I think he was even pleased for me.

This is not the first time I've had a project published, but it is the first time I've submitted off my own bat & been accepted & I'm the one that will get paid for it-getting paid for doing something you really enjoy, is wonderful!
Two years ago I had a bag published in Jenny Haskins's magazine & I am still getting requests for my Egyptian Goddess tote- readers had to email me direct for the instructions-I was really surprised at the response I had from that publication, it was a single page photo.
My real break came when I was asked to fill in a slot that the person had not submitted the project for in another magazine and I produced another handbag with the instructions & managed & 5 page spread in the magazine-I wasn't the one that got paid for this but I felt it was wonderful just to be published at the time. Funny I never even expected to be paid I was so astounded that anything I made would be good enough to be published!LOL.
I sent these new project pics to the editor, hoping that it would be a project that would appeal to them & they accepted it- what a surprise for I'm thinking, what else can I make?

Sewing to me has not always been the passion that it is today. In fact, I hated sewing early on & was removed from the sewing class for a year.
All school children back in my day were either taught to sew (the girls) or craft (the boys) & never the lines shall be crossed!
I was taught to sew & knit from a very early age- it being considered a beneficial thing for a young lady to know how to do.
At school we were started off in Kindergarten threading embroidery thread through huckerback to make pretty patterns & sew we moved on through the years adding to our repertoire each year. I mucked up from the word go-I really wanted to learn to basket weave & build things & I figured I did enough sewing & knitting at home-but NO....there was no way I could do 'boy's crafts"- I should have been born 10 years later.
By the time I was 11 I was pretty disruptive, my mother mortified at my behaviour, as the sewing teacher, Mrs smith, was a good friend & lived up in the next street-so she told my mother what I got up to. I was persistent in my desire to learn to basket weave & do woodwork & the education system was determined I should sew a fine hem!
The year started out pretty much the same for me but I refused to pin & tack side seams before using the sewing machine- I whizzed up seams on my own at home! I felt there was no reason to do french hems by hand when a sewing machine could do it far better than me....Mrs Smith after all those years finally told me I could not join the boys craft class & I could leave the sewing class- I grabbed the opportunity & said I want out of here! I spent the rest of the year in the quiet class room, on my own- I had the best books in the grade & I didn't care I had finally escaped sewing class!
When I reached high school, not only did I have to continue to sew, but they added cooking & household knowledge to our essential 'girl' knowledge- those damn boys got woodwork & metal work & I still wasn't allowed to join!
At about this time I discovered boys, parties & going out My mother, most unfairly, would not provide me with a new outfit each time I was invited to a party, what was a young social butterfly to do? I pulled out the sewing machine & started to make my own clothes, my own way & I never pinned & tacked a seam before sewing it- ever! So through necessity I started to sew-my babysitting money was used to buy fabrics & I had the wardrobe I mother was astounded & I bet you anything she told Mrs Smith who was left behind in Primary school.
My sewing continued through my years of nursing & then when my children came along I started sewing for them- we couldn't afford 5 designer outfits so I'd copy them & make them at a fraction of the cost.
Enter the era of stretch sewing & my sewing took off again- now I even sewed for DH-he had tab front tops, T shirts & track suits....who could believe I was doing all this sewing? At one point I even taught stretch sewing-me the teacher after being the most horrendous little brat for all those years in sewing class!
When the twins were about a year old I enrolled to do Developing Creative Craft at the local TAFE-I wanted to learn to tat & smock....I ended up doing just about the whole course over a couple of years-what fun I had! My mother shook her head in disbelief- saying Mrs Smith would be rolling in her grave if she could see me now. (she, unfortunately, died from a malignant melanoma when she was not all that old).
The sewing has continued & I've made everything from bras to lampshades- I never did get to learn to basket weave or do woodwork, but I seem to have found my own niche along the way.
These days I have an embroidery machine that keeps me busy & what fun it is to play with-I still don't pin & tack my seams or do a lot of those fiddly hand finishes that I was told I had to know- but lots of what I was taught holds me in good stead even today, with today's much more relaxed methods of construction.

Yesterday I was out pegging the laundry on my little clothes airer & looked in the tree that is near the back door.....and thought...what has DH hung in the tree? On closer inspection it was a snake skin-a complete skin from head to tail. Now, where has the occupant gone is what I'd like to know? There are great advantages to having cats it seems as we never used to have snakes that close to the house before! I now find it all a bit un-nerving when I venture up the back yard to water, hoping some slippery, legless thing isn't going to drop out of the tree onto me! I phoned DS no4 to come over & get it down for me (it was too high for me to reach & I've given up climbing trees)-I now have it sitting in the kitchen & every time I go down there it gives me a start as I forget its there!LOL I have decided I'll post it to my Grandson- he should enjoy taking that to kindy.


Suze said...

Very interesting bio, who would have thought it would turn out this way. lol. Thanks for sharing.

Did you every find out about that snake?

Oz-tralien said...

Never found the occupant of the skin-it looks to be a tree snake & they are harmless. There have always been snakes about- the cats used to bring them to the back door- half dead-but no cats anymore.
I'm just a bit more cautious in the garden at the moment!