Bee's Hive

Thursday, February 5, 2009


For me the early years of sewing started with rags. In our house nothing went to waste. Quilts were made from house dresses, apron backs, pj's. The batting was usually an old blanket that had no life anymore but hidden inside a quilt, it found a new home.

Very early on I remember a neighbor, Aunt Emma, teaching me piano, knitting and embroidery. I lived for those times when I would be asked in her house. None of these early times were caught on camera.

It wasn't until 7th grade that I really fell in love with sewing. I think that might have been the first time I worked with bought "material"..which is what they called fabric back then. Our project for the next 2 years was to make a dress for the 8th grade graduation dance.

That's me at the last machine where the teacher is standing. Her name was Miss Wehr. I loved her. I think she was an "old Maid". She seemed to understand my home situation. When I wanted to stay after school and work on my dress, she always had something she had to work on too. Looking back now, I don't think either of us had anywhere to go. That extra hour was always pleasant.

Here is the dress I finally finished after 2 years.

Two years later, thinner and with too much makeup, I was asked to a Sr. Prom by the neighborhood heart throb, Joe Macanally. I had been given a 301A singer for that 8th grade graduation. After 2 years of many hours of sewing I put together my second gown, this one full length.

Recently, I pulled out the 301A, ordered a new rubber for the bobbin winder and a tube of greese for the motor. It had sat for many years in the closet. I sent it out for cleaning and it came back broken. The bobbin case twirled around uselessly. A few months ago I decided to look up the booklet for it on line and found a fellows post about making sure you line up the bobbin case with the throat plate or the bobbin will just spin around. What an easy fix! I love this machine for piecing quilts. It's a real work horse!


elsie123 said...

That's so special to have your first sewing machine! And you did beautiful work, even back then. I've got Mom's Singer that I learned to sew on, but the very first one I bought myself got traded in 7 or 8 years later for one that zigzagged...and I think that trade-in was a featherweight. Darn! I hope to get Mom's refurbished one of these days. As far as when I began to sew? Probably about 7th grade in the homemaking class.

RachelJane said...

Holee, that's a lovely story. Your pictures are beautiful, and so are the dresses you made.
I started hand-sewing when I was really young, probably about 4. Then my sister and I got little sewing machines for Christmas one year - I was probably about 8. I sewed all through junior high and high school, then for graduation from university my parents bought me a very basic Singer machine. I still have it, but it's packed away and I use my Bernina now -very fancy!