Learning To Love Sewing

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A colourful selection of make and paint your own totebags.

I fell in love with sewing at age seven and the passion has never waned.  Taught at my grandmother’s knee, I went on to learn about industrial sewing and design at my first professional position and then tailoring at the next.  I was blessed to have not only one teacher but three phenomenal women to mentor me, all who spent a good portion of their lives behind the machine developing their sewing skills.  Sure, there were periods of my life that demanded the time I would’ve otherwise spent on sewing, but I knew that someday I’d go on to teach others too.  After spending my lifetime learning the craft (and still so much I’ve yet to know) I’ve chosen to devote the little teaching time I have to children.  In some ways it’s like some of me lives on through their creations and, more importantly, the dying art of sewing might live on through their hands, their hearts, and their imaginations.

needle, thread, concentration

fabric, scissors, imagination

a bit of time, a new creation 

a well-deserved jubilation

×××××

This year’s sewing summer camp was as much fun as it was busy.  I added three new projects to last years four and they were mastered by all.  I purchased and borrowed a couple of extra machines and the class sizes were nearly doubled.  At moments it seemed as hectic as bartending on a Saturday night with everyone calling my name to give them attention, but thankfully I wasn’t going it alone as Margaret Maeve and Johnny were there to assist me.

I didn’t get as many pictures of the finished projects as I would’ve liked but I think the ones below express the atmosphere very well– the various fabrics and tools used, the children’s focused concentration, the pride in their accomplishments, as well as the workload we undertook.  It’s truly the kind of work that has rewards much greater than a paycheck could ever furnish and I’m already planning the new projects for next year.

Click on any picture to start a slide show…

I appreciate the children and parents who support my summer camps and also those of you that take the time to visit and read what I share.

Thanks!  Melissa Xx

27 Comments

  1. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    How wonderful to be passing such a craft and passion onto kids. My mother sewed most of our own clothes when we were young but clothes are so affordable now that it is rarely done. As a child I loved sewing and crocheting and like you had my grandmother as my first mentor. She died when I was very young but as an adult I had my great aunt (my grandmother’s youngest sister) mentor me. Sadly Aunt Kitty has passed away too now but I still have some of her crochets shawls and blankets and her old hand sewing machine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aunt Kitty’s keepsakes sound very precious as well as the memories of time with her and your grandmother. I find that I now use my sewing skills to alter/modify second hand clothes rather than make entirely new garments. I’m thinking to have elastic waist shorts and skirt in next years classes. Far from putting zippers into trousers, but it at least opens the door to making their own clothing. Most things cost less to buy then to make these days, but being able to personalize and experience the feeling of accomplishment that comes with creating their own is what I am hoping will get into their hearts and stay there for a lifetime.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am always asked ‘how will we get the ______ to look like (the end result or part of)’….a real test of patience and concentration and then there’s that lightbulb moment when it all makes sense to them, their first understanding of design. I absolutely love those moments!! That makes it so much more valuable to them, though I don’t know if they see it quite so deeply at the time.

      Thanks for your lovely comment Carol 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Mya says:

    Thank you Melissa for teaching me essential sewing skills. I really enjoyed the sewing camp. I’m overjoyed with how my projects turned out. I use my drawstring backpack every day and have got many complements on it. It’s the best camp I’ve ever done. You were a lovely warm teacher. Le Grá, Mya😃❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mya, Apologies for my delay in responding. I got your message at work and am not great at typing on my phone, also wanted to give you my complete attention…

      It was an honour to have you in my classes this year. Never before have I had a student with such enthusiasm, curiosity, and passion for sewing that they would skip play breaks as you and your cousin did. I loved your initiative to take scrap fabrics and ‘doodle’ about with them, making it your own. Johnny, Margaret Maeve, and I were all very impressed how you took instruction and zoomed off…a very quick study. You’re a natural seamstress and creator and I so hope that you can create a wee space of your own dedicated to sewing. Also, I wanted to mention about starting to save buttons, ribbons, etc off old clothes. Even old clothes can be transformed into new things, new clothes, toys, bookcovers, whatever your imagination sees! There are also beginner patterns at the fabric shop with clear instructions and the staff are very helpful guides. And I’m here if you need or have any questions about absolutely anything–I mean that most sincerely!!

      With your innate abilities and your super supportive parents I see a great future for you with sewing. Please God, next year you will be back for more sewing camp fun! Melissa 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bravo! Look at those happy makers! What a great sense of accomplishment! You are making such a difference in these lives, Melissa….passing on a creative and useful skill. It is so important to keep the tradition of handmade going strong, Imagine how learning to sew your own clothes, bags, etc. enriches our lives, allows us independence in a consumer’s world.
    Ds

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Roz Hill says:

    I haven’t popped by my favourite blog for a while. What you are doing here with the kids is awesome Melissa. Wonderful.
    Love those precious moments you mentioned too……the goat milking video brought tears to my sentimental eyes. Magic chuckle teat squeezing time!! Happy summer days. Roz x

    Liked by 1 person

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