Thank a Sewing Mentor

by Ramona on August 23, 2013

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m a technical sewing junkie. There, I said it!

I often wonder how I became this way, but I think I know. I also believe–happily–there is no cure!



My grandmother sewed and I remember sitting by her as she operated her treadle machine. She let me play in her tin of buttons long before I entered school.



My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Wise, gave me those little lace sewing cards. The cards were simple characters punched with holes and a shoestring to lace in and out of those holes. I would sit for hours and hours entertained by those little sewing cards.


Mrs. Madden really began my adoration of technical sewing. Not knowing any better as a very beginning sewer, she opened my world to fabric, fibers and sewing terminology. I created a skirt, of a gold and cream uneven plaid and she taught me how to make the plaids match at the side seams of the skirt and insert my first lapped zipper. Not the usual first project for a sewer.

  Mrs. Marking I was fortunate to have as a sewing instructor for all the years through high school. With one year building upon the other, by the time those four years were finished, my skills had been built up so that my final project was a completely hand-tailored green wool suit. By the time I took college sewing courses, my skills were honed well enough that I was helping the professor with the basic through advanced sewing classes. I was so thankful for what I had been taught early on so that when I got to college I was already ahead of the game.

My concentration in college was pattern drafting, another very technical skill. For that I thank Mr. Smith, my geometry teacher who let us play with colored pencils as we learned angles and how to analyze x and y on a graph, plot and connect the dots. Though I did not know it then, those skills–along with the colored pencils–would come in very handy as I learned to draft patterns in college. In college, Joan Forbes opened my eyes to design possibilities through dart rotation. I’ll never, ever forget that day when the “light bulb” truly came on and the world of design and flat pattern came together.

Another true mentor was Georgeanne Fimbres who in college truly told me my skills were good enough to make sewing a lifetime career.


So why do I share all this with you? I think we sewers, no matter our skill level, should now take the time to thank those who have mentored us. I am writing this prior to September, which is National Sewing Month, so all of you can think about who has mentored you in sewing and perhaps personally thank them or send them a thank you card about how they, and sewing, enriched your life. In 1982 President Reagan signed  Proclamation 4976 declaring September, National Sewing Month.


Internaional Sewing Month

Please check out the website for National Sewing Month. You will find the history, learn how to get involved, and contest information. If you are a sewing instructor, there are free projects ideas. If you are a fabric store or machine dealer there is promotional material to promote National Sewing Month.

I am fortunate I have this platform to publically thank all those teachers listed and if I can find their addresses, I will send them a thank you note during National Sewing month.

Who will you be thanking?


Sew ’til next time, enjoy the journey of sewing…



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