I have been sewing since the 7th grade; that summer, I rode the city bus with my best friend from the suburbs to downtown Nashville to Watkins Institute, where I learned to read a pattern, cut fabric, and sew on a machine. We made a skirt and top.
I sewed formal dresses for the dances in high school; I made some clothing for my mother.
My first year of college, I got a part-time job for $1.65 an hour with a clothing designer; this was my best school ever.
When the babies came, also came the realization that I wanted to stay home with them, and that sewing could make that possible.
Eventually I went back to school to get an Early Childhood Education degree and thought that sewing would be left behind. But, I have continued to sew, one way or another, all along.
Wedding dresses, graduation dresses, and Swan Ball dresses were made. Many garments were altered and repaired; clothing was made from patterns and some without. I had other jobs, one being at a frame shop that specialized in museum-quality work. The textile pieces were given to me to mount and frame – another place of learning! Eventually, in my home studio, I took in quilts that needed special care: repairs, washing, stabilization, presentation. Along the way, I began to do living history and make 18th century clothing and accessories for private clients – self-education again.
Now, it is some 50 years later! I still love to sew; it is something I am good at; there are always new challenges; I see it as a gift that has been cultivated by the people and experiences that have been on my path. It is good work for me.