1976, Simplicity 7771

I first started sewing when I was 8 years old. My Mother sewed mostly home interiors and an occasional special event dress for herself. She occasionally sewed things for me. Her Mother, my grandmother, was a stylish meticulous seamstress. I started sewing by sneaking and using my Mother’s sewing machine, something I was forbidden to do. I made clothes for my Barbie’s from scraps from my Mother’s sewing projects. In the spring of 1976, my Mother agreed to show me how to sew with a pattern. She wasn’t very excited to do this, but I think I’d just worn her down, and she was sick and tired finding her machine obviously ” used” by me.

The pattern (Simplicity 7771) a wrap skirt that I made for myself to wear to church for Easter. The fabric was a lightweight off white broadcloth with tiny cerulean blue and coral colored flowers. Full yardage all of my own, I had arrived! I had often studied the backs of my Mom’s patterns, thinking to myself,” What does this all mean?” I really struggled with reading and math, so those pattern backs were over my head. I remember her pulling out the instructions; my mind was blown. I didn’t even know that these newsprint papers were even in all those patterns envelopes. When she pulled them out, I saw pictures, flat drawings, keys, wrong side white, right side colored. I knew right then, I can do this. This was a pivotal experience for me and would ultimately be the seed planted to what would be a lifetime of success and failure as a seamstress, designer, and creative. All I remember Mother saying was,” I don’t think I have the patience for this.” My thought was, “I got this!”

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