Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sewing Was My Worst Class

Because my mom was overweight, she sewed a lot of her own clothes and was good at it. I think she knew better than to try to teach me though. I was a Tomboy through and through and had no interest in learning to sew. She was thrilled that I was going to learn at school. I was expected to go to school every day and do my best. Personally, I felt I should have the option of taking woodworking instead. Back then, girls had to take Home Ec and only boys were allowed to take woodworking. It was so unfair!

I absolutely hated 7th grade because of sewing. I’d say it was the second worst year of my education. For the first time in my life, I was introduced to sewing. My sister and I were both in the same grade so we both had clothing at the same time. What you would think would be a very useful class was a joke for me.

Struggling Through

Our first project was to make a simple skirt. Mine was dark brown. I was best at threading the needle. I had steady hands and could easily slip that thread through the eye of the needle. The hardest part was making a knot in the end of the thread and knotting it again when I was done.

I was pretty good at basting, just going in and out with the thread to temporarily hold things together enough to sew it up on the sewing machine. It seemed to me as kind of a waste of time because then it seemed like it took forever to get it out after it was sewn for real. I liked the thimble which protected me from poking myself with the needle. The thimble was my friend.

I had a great deal of trouble with the zipper for some reason and remember having to take it out and try again and again. The waistband gave me problems too. I did good with the darts though, I think because they were pretty short. The sewing machine sort of scared me but eventually I got over my fear of it. I really didn’t want that needle going through my flesh!

The day came when we were all supposed to wear our finished projects to school. Both my sister and I spent the night before fixing our skirts to fit with the help of mom. My sister’s was too loose and mine was too tight. We only wore them once, the next day.

Other Projects

I made a flowered green dress which actually turned out pretty good, but the material wasn’t very comfortable and I didn’t like how it looked when it was a dress. I liked the material on the bolt better. At least I wore the dress more than once.

I also made a blue and white night gown as a quick project—no zipper! That actually turned out very well, except the material was rough and not comfortable for sleeping.

I learned a lot in this class because I went in not knowing anything. What I found to be very funny was that I ended up with an “A” in spite of hating the class and hating sewing. It just goes to show how I persevered and triumphed in the end. I even have sewed four things since:

When I taught first grade in VBS, I sewed headbands for the kids with slits for inserting colored paper feathers. They were a big hit and my mom was impressed that I made them.

I sewed a bowling pin patch on the back pocket of a pair of my jeans once.  It was such a rare sight to see me sewing that someone took a picture!

I sewed a puppet team patch on the sleeve of our t-shirts when Gerard and I joined the church puppet team.

I sewed the neck of my stuffed lion, Leo, back together after it’s head was almost torn off.

I have never owned a sewing machine, and even when I had the chance to take my mom’s when my dad died, I sold it instead. Where would I put it anyway? I have recently found fabric tape for fixing hems that come out.

Did you learn sewing in school? What class did you hate that you succeeded in anyway?

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Sandee said...

Biology was my worst class. I took it twice in high school and finally passed it the second time around.

Sewing class I hated too. I think they just passed me because I certainly never made anything that anyone could wear. Still the same today. Have no interest in sewing at all.

Have a terrific day. :)

BeadedTail said...

We had to do sewing in our Home Economics class and I hated it too. I kept sewing a sleeve on inside out - 6 times. You'd think I would have figured it out but nope. I haven't sewed a thing since!

Lin said...

In middle school, we were introduced to cooking, sewing, teen living (which was how to take care of your skin, nails, hygiene, etc) and even wood shop, metal shop, and drafting! My class was the first to integrate the girls and boys into ALL the classes. Like you, I LOVED the "boys" classes better. Man, I loved wood shop!

I'm not good at sewing, but I do it. Garment sewing is not my forte because it is so very hard to fit properly, but I ROCK at costumes and quilts.

It's funny, but I never really enjoyed sewing, but I really like the artistic side of quilting and such, so I still do it.

Helene said...

I'm right with you, Karen. I totally sucked at sewing and it honestly wasn't something I enjoyed. I remember I got a D in sewing in 9th grade and my mom was mortified, being that she LOVED to sew.

It's probably a good thing I married Tim since he can sew a button on a shirt...he can't boil water but he can sew. Go figure.

MightyMom said...

I grew up under the sewing machine. I did take a home ec class...but I already knew how to sew by then.

my worst class, early on it was math. took me till 6th grade to learn my multiplication tables....Then, in 7th grade. I made a 99 for the year in 7th grade math. My mom couldn't believe it!
go figure.

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Sandee: Alike again! I didn't do very well in biology either, but I did not hate it like I did clothing.

Beaded Tail: Sleeves were hard too, but 6 times? I think they should wait to teach home ec until high school. I don't think most Jr. High girls have the brains or the patience for it.

Lin: I often think sometimes they kept the girls out of the boys classes because they were afraid the girls would out perform them. They definitely should have auto mechanics for girls. I think it's a conspiracy to keep the girls somewhat dependent on guys.

When I first read "Teen Living" as a class, my first thoughts were of music, texting, social media--LOL! That actual description of the class was the same as our health class.

That's cool that you like quilting though.

Helene: Yea for Tim! I don't remember too many in my class actually liking it either. I know everyone complained about having to wear their projects to school.

Mighty Mom: That's something you already knew how to sew when you took home ec. Glad the math finally kicked in for you before too long.

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