How I Lost my (Sewing) Virginity After Two Years of Marriage or an Homage to my Mother

by Ramona on March 30, 2012

Today we welcome a hilariously & beautifully written post from ASG member Carole Zimmerman, whose membership is affiliated with the ASG’s Bucks County, PA chapter. Take it away, Carole ……………

Of course I’m speaking about being a ‘sewing virgin’! What were you thinking??? My Mother was an excellent and adventurous sewer.

Carole (left) and sister Roberta in outfits sewn by their mother

She made all the clothes for me and my sister when we were young, including beautiful lined wool coats and lovely dressy outfits for family affairs. And she did all this while working fulltime when most mothers were home with their little girls. As I got older I didn’t want to wear anything she made. I had no appreciation for the fine seamstress she was. I wanted to shop for my clothes like the other girls in school so my Mother stopped sewing for me. In the Home Ec class in school I had to make an apron, and hated the whole process. I damaged my Mom’s machine getting the #$!!@*! thing finished. It seemed that the ‘sewing gene’ had skipped a generation. My Mother continued to sew for herself and I never understood the pleasure she derived from sitting at her machine.

Fast forward to the birth of my first child, a handsome, charming, exceptionally bright child who spread joy wherever he went (a personality he possessed right up to puberty). When he started to crawl and I started to buy corduroy overalls from Sears, our little family was living under the constrictions of a very tight budget. My Mother, not one to ponder the social graces of subtlety, suggested I could save a lot of money if I made the overalls myself, instead of buying them. When I priced the pattern and fabric and realized how cheap it would be to make them myself, I had an epiphany! My Mother was brilliant! She was so much smarter than she was during my teen years. When and how she acquired this knowledge I didn’t know but I figured I should start to really listen to her pearls of wisdom. I bought a cheap sewing machine, figuring in my head that it’s cost would be spread out over a lifetime of sewing overalls for future children and I’d still come out ahead. Well, I was off and running. Oh my! There’s more to sewing than overalls! There’s t-shirts, and pj’s and robes and blankies. I came to covet my collection of notions and fabric and trim. Mom and I would fabric shop together. We had our own show and tell. We took Stretch & Sew classes together. I finally understood and shared her love of sewing.

Three children later I positively had to have a better machine. Nancy on TV had a Pfaff and though I never heard of it before, I had to have it. It had a walking foot and I really, really needed a walking foot. I started to quilt and my old machine just couldn’t cut it. Thus began my new journey into the never-ending need for the newest, the best, the most innovative machines, tools, notions and books. I became a Collector. You name it, I collected it. Fabrics I didn’t know what to do with but oh, so beautiful! Do you think five yards is enough? Sewing books and quilting books and appliqué books and ‘How to…’ books. Notions I needed to sew quicker and better and…..wait..what does this funny thing do? I can’t find the instructions. Perhaps it will come to me in a dream. Or perhaps I’ll forget I have it and buy it again. Well, at least then I’ll have the instructions.

Sewing had become a major part of my life and I was deeply immersed in expanding my creativity. One day in a fabric store I heard a calm & sweet voice telling someone about the American Sewing Guild. I was drawn to that voice like Lorelei. Like a stranger offering me candy, I had to go speak to that voice and learn about this guild. And thus began a new journey. One that has given me a large circle of new friends and wonderful new adventures …… ……..but that’s another story.

Carole Zimmerman

Thank you, Carole, for that insightful piece! Readers, you must have a sewing story of the past; comment here if you want to share it. It’s so much fun to see where our current personal sewing mojo is coming from!

Samina, American Sewing Guild, follow us on Twitter @SewingGuild


Michelle Umlauf March 31, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Thanks for sharing a beautiful story of how your sewing relationship grew with your mother.

Robyn Fogler April 3, 2012 at 11:23 am

Hey, that sounds so much like my story! LOL! Except….this ASG thing….hmmmm, do tell me more…….

Samina April 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Robyn, thanks for your comment! Click on everything (except Members Only) on the ASG home page and you’ll discover the wonders of ASG. When you become a member, you’ll have access to the webinars as well as events in your local chapter. It is a fun, fun organization, on every level — local and national.
Hope you’ll join us!

Samina April 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Thanks for your comment! Carole’s post made me laugh & cry at the same time!

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